Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Monday, March 14, 2005

wiser and more eloquent people than me have already fired off about The American Thinker article mentioned below and located here. I find this sort of cunning writing nearly impossible to read. it is cunning in about the stupidest way possible, with informative sneers in almost every phrase. it is not just the opinion that Ms Lappen raises that angers and irritates but the scurrilous manner of her argument. by rights, one should just respond by saying, come back when you've grown up enough to make a reasonable argument. of course the inherent issue is serious, and one should always stay on one's toes (or, I guess, someone will be on your toes). this is the kind of half-reasoned but biting commentary that has turned the Poetics List into a sad place of umbrage and confusion. I mean, I just hate bad writing, cheap writing like this. that's the issue for me, the smoke and mirrors crap. a proudly ignorant fear such as Ms Lappen displays can do all sorts of damage. HUAC!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Jeff Harrison has a book out, his 1st in print (!!!), called Fickleyes, Futilears & William Wormswork (Mag Press 2004). as I have mentioned before, Jeff and I are ensconced (!) in a collaboration, now just about exactly 3 years old. we have yet to tip English ales together, there being a 2000 mile gap between us on daily average, but I am inclined favourably towards his work. he sent me his book and I am pleased to receive it. I wrote a lengthy consideration this morn, but lost it in a let's not talk about it way (I can't blame Blogger (sigh)). so this is attempt #2. I find a LANGUAGE-y sense to his work, which being the abrupt and disjunctive (at times) assertion. in fact, some of the bolt upright phrases in his work reminds me of Bruce Andrews. I hate bringing up LANGUAGE, however apt, for it being such a lightning rod for readers. yet it is apt, I'm sure (without asking). but when you have knuckleheads like Alyssa Lappen (profitably exCOREYated by Josh, then you have to make clear that groups are imaginary. Jeff sure fits my definition of sui generis. for those disjunctions are seeded on a rood of 17th and 18th century English poetry. which, sooth to say, is and long has been an interest, tho not an expertise, of mine. I would guess, sans facts, that Stevens and Dickinson are familiars to Jeff, and many another spring to mind. not in a dry way, the exuberence of literature as we love it. phrases of utter perplexity and relief appear in steady march from the page. there is so much that is kind, surprising, bold, redeeming, slightly miserable, and splendid on these pages. and I am writing with this person! okay, it's not about me. his writing is bountiful, considerable, testing, yet pleasing. as I look thru the book, each line seems quotable. I like his persistence, with many mentions of Virginia (person? place? feeling?), and the estimable William Wormswork. see, he uses 'characters', in a way I am familiar with. I believe Jeff and I are simpático. I'll finish here with a full poem, which mentions Mr Hole, with obvious Beatles reference for someone as creaky as moi-même.


the Sage of Concord
white oak-leaf in hand
pries open Waldo's coffin

to find Mr. Hole Bras-Cheche
who will not let him in on the joke:

"seeking claims forgiven
is your orchard pillow,
your eye hear a solitary lamb

your history a cold ripe wind,
your purpose shall be evergreen".

* * * * *

here I am 2 miles from where RWE sleepeth. this poem is very present for me. I don't know if Jeff has been hereabouts, nigh Emerson's grave or whatever. he sure puts a touch to the place. this is a savoury, demanding book of poetry. I have only touched the pleasures of it.