Friday, August 19, 2005
I just received the latest book by Eileen Tabios, I Take Thee, English, for My Beloved, from Marsh Hawk. of course I've yet to do more than scan it, which is always a great pleasure with new books. new recordings likewise. the book's big, a a sturdy handful reminiscent of the tomes you lugged to civics class. it makes quite a statement, not just because of its size, a full 500 pages, but of the many works it includes. Eileen has chosen inclusivity as a ruling idea here. at least 5 separate possible books nestle within these pages, different series of works. how they go together, I've yet to discover, but I am confident that the whirlwind that Tabios is will make it all cohere. the image of a whirlwind works well in this context, for one sees a tornadic gathering and focus to her spin, as opposed to centripetal fling. excuse the metaphoric motionings on my part. Eileen includes in this work an interview conducted by Nick Carbo, a lengthy epistle addressed to Pablo Javier, an entry from Ron Silliman's blog concerning a work of hers, as well as "The Official History of the Hay(na)ku", the poetic form she created and which has become quite popular. plus poems, memoirs, lots of stuff from what I can see. Robert Duncan's later work comes to mind, as he let the various projects he was working on intertwine. like Duncan, Eileen's work is markedly various. once again, I give only the most preliminary of comments, but I must notice my excitement at the prospect here. Eileen, as is obvious, is a writer of great energy and dedication. to feel those 2 elements so definitively to the fore champions one's own writing. do you see? it goes with Jordan Davis projecting a million poems written, or Alan Sondheim bubbling over, or just me piling up a lot of work. it's the willingness to remain largely undistracted. OR to utilize those distractions. Eileen Tabios is a force with which it is a pleasure to contend.