Sunday, September 11, 2005

I got The Thorn by David Larsen (Faux Press 2005: fresh meat!) yesterday. Larsen possesses one of those names that have interest attached, as in: sounds interesting. I liked his guest blogging at The Ingredient, where he presented some odd writings and nifty visuals. I read blogwhere that he performs his poetry well, and that he does so from memory. perhaps that (memory reading) suggests a sense of stance towards the work, or just that he's wired special. one thing he does: presents many of his poems handwritten. here are some illustrations, one of which appears in The Thorn: "Glory of God". what's generative in handwrit? I don't really know (possessor of sloppy handwiting). but, well, you see (infer) the pulse. it also unnarrows the possible. poetry exceeds format, that's the whole point. Larsen's poetry? it is directed from speech. one poem, a long one, calls itself "Wild Speech". formative tussle:

MY READER
FIGHTING WITH ME IS LIKE
FIGHTING THE SUNSHINE
IN A DROP OF DEW
WHEN HALF OF THE BEAST
COULD BE YOU
WHAT YOU WOULD NOT
YOU WILL NOW

(note: Larsen's handwrit caps come across less shouty than above).

I hear KNOW in NOW, not that you need to. I choose not to fight with Larsen, for he seems like a facing toward. I'm trying to picture avant-garde as personal, a step toward and into, not the coagulated aesthetic insularity that each generation wallops as needed. for Larsen gives me a sense of facing, forward even. the above quote seems like working advice. which sounds blurby so let me resay that. the voice in these poems is particular, ranged directly with and towards the general. a gravitational dance? it's a way that oddity feels familiar, and familiar feels strange. look especially at his prose pieces, which come across as skewed term papers. "THE DIVINER SATIH" (Satih has accent marks that I can't reproduce) is all this info regarding Islam, and I dunno what's 'for real'. it's all quite certain and shaky at the same time. he cites the prophet Anna as a particularly interesting New Testament character, and concludes "And she recognized the infant Jesus right off the bat." that colloquial phrase unsteadies everything in a most useful way. you can feel the writer's satisfaction at being so brisk and conclusive. I mean the any writer who would be boiling Islam down to 3¼ pages. this poem is on the back cover:

EASY TO READ
HARD TO BEAT
AND ROUGH ON
THE CORONA
THIS TEXT
ANTICIPATES
YOUR RESISTANCE
AND OFFERS IT
A MEATING-EATING
FLOWER

well feed me too, Seymour. I get this rush of sensations: goofiness, surety, entanglement, posture, energy. his language goes somewhere, yet it stays somewhere. does that sound plausible? it is the consciousness that he retains within the swirl of saying. the tension of which is rather important, and loving.

I want to say once more, rules of this court, that when I write of poetry here, it is off the top of the head. mayhap I have no depth. I like to take these opportunities with new work. take a stab at it. and publicly, just because privately I mayn't go to the trouble. when I take notes for myself, I leave a lot out. but in imagining a reader of these words, I try the outward a little more. the import of my writing here is interest. so if I am lame here, don't let that dissuade you from the writer. I'm just trying to parse my own confusions, and recognize the resilient light.k?
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