Monday, October 03, 2005
reading Joanne Kyger's selected poems, which I find bright and firm. both qualities give strength against potential zen wishy washiness. the idea of zen poem strikes me as problematic. or theoretically it's a good match, for zen strives towards essential condition, or let's say it does. and poetry strives towards essence, doesn't it? but, and yet, however... the zen poem can be too damn talky, just as zen commentary can be. one sees in Kyger's poetry well-lit observation as well as a steadiness. I'm fond of Lew Welch's work, but he was, as he may've thought himself, a failed buddhist. he was too nervous, agitated, hopeful to 'succeed' in practice. but that agitation worked in his poetry. Kyger's steady on, with a flush of humour, and a lightness. she's not sticky with the zen biz. I got the book from the library, but when I'm rolling in the rye grass, it is one I'd look to purchase.