Thursday, June 01, 2006
seems like, when I write/think about poetry, the interest isn't in meaning so much, in the way of looking for treasure. meaning, whatever that dawg is, seems like a process of consideration and combination. 2 books I've been reading lately, quite different from each other, bring up something in my brain. Mainstream by Michael Magee (Blaze Vox 2006), and The Secret Lives of Punctuations, Vol 1 by Eileen Tabios (xPress(ed) 2006). modus operandi. both books come from a specific practice, it fascinates me how that practice proceeds. with Mageee, okay, we know that he's writing flarf. real flarf, insofar that he numbers among the actual flarf writers who know and (in a sense) collaborate with each other. the issues of Google sculpting and outrageousness are worn tires, or what I mean is, you can stare at those issues and kinda not see the poems. which don't make no sense no how. Magee's work is not simple and direct. it's poetry, not opinion. I love the density of the work. the many sources that commingle and contribute produce a shifting landscape and a lovely ride. I am finding, as I read, that the work provides answers of a sort as to how to read. there is self-reflection (the poem reflecting on itself, not the poet) within the works. if reader would kindly see 3 dimensions in these sculptures, you know, other sides and aspects, it would be a generous offer. Eileen, kinda on that note, provides context and method in her rather lengthy book. I've noted earlier that in Bay Poetics varied types of works are cheek by jowl: prose, criticism and poetry. Eileen proceeds similarly. Eileen has a process that makes me think of Olson's sense of archive. genre distinctions are muted. there are poems, collaboration, and reflection in this book. I like how that works, all tied together. her thesis, to call it that, is a use of punctuation, a conscious controlling of the poem's space. I think this is a useful consideration, or what I mean, that punctuation isn't often seen in its larger meaning, or meaningfulness. I like to see the thinking of the artist, the active process, so these 2 books work for me. I just got Punctuations, just getting warm to its invitation. I've had Mainstream a l;ittle while, and I poke at it often. it is incredibly rich and challenging. a flarf canon, if we want to call it that, is developing--gee, Faux Press has published 3 of them (by Sullivan, Gordon and Larsen--and Mainstream is a hearty addition. I hope the word flarf doesn't become a stumbling point.