Saturday, October 27, 2007
we might've headed east this evening, to Somerville, where the book party for the Wieners book Prophecies was held. I like the excitement of this, and Wieners being honoured. there's a part of me, however, that hesitates at the Wieners adulation. only in the sense that he is not 'our' only poet. the identification here with Wieners seems a little desperate, I sometimes think. I mean the need to have a Wieners as a Boston poet. it's part of what makes Boston so small. but I digress. we went west instead, to a party that would likely be Erin's and our last among the homeschool/Shakespeare crowd. it was rainy today, grey, but as we headed to the party, the sun started to find a way thru the clouds. this gave a captivating golden tinge to the sky, and electrified the autumnal colour of the trees. the wind was swift, driving clouds east. then we saw a rainbow. a very strongly coloured one, the spectral segments were clearly defined. and the arc was a full 180 degrees. on top of that, there was a 2nd one, paler but still vibrant. this was enough to get us to pull over. Erin, luckily, had his phone i. e. camera, and I hope the pictures he took come out okay. a compelling necessity exists in writers to describe. this can manifest as the crummy novelistic descriptions that occur in stories and poems, where adjectives are plastered on the thing in vividly pointless excess. I aint talking that kind of description. I mean the internal interplay of feeling and thing. a nod, serious nod to the thingness of the thing, if I may gingerly bring Heidegger to the fire [I meant to type to the fore but I like my accidental image]. description in an active and processual sense. be not afraid to picture the thing and bring it to mind with a colloquy of wondering words. the excitement of any poetry is the excitement of thingness. the dynamic visual experience and excitement of the rainbow is not fulfilled in the adjectival delineation that I wrote above. I hint at the experience. a poem is the experience. not of the rainbow or whatever thing, but of the language of thingness, or the thingness of language. today's rainbows would make a lot of people look, remark. they are a stirring phenomenon, hard to believe. any phenomenon is thus, but our blighted eyes refuse to stir, most times. this fabulous sight awakens a primordial need to wonder, feel awe. and there is a language that wants to accommodate that wonder...
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Richard Lopez comments below on Signs. he's more knowledgeable about movies, more thougtfully prepared to discuss them. still, I have a keyboard and fingers, and an urge to process publicly. I don't really disagree with his view of the movie, except that I liked the thing a lot. saying that uncovers the limitations of my movie aesthetic. I almost never accept a movie's serious face value. I dislike the practiced resolutions of fiction in general and specific. I'm really taken by the interplay of the 4 main characters in Signs. the boy is mopey, the girl eccentric, the brother goofy, and all 3 are charming. the father, the minister who has lost his faith--Mel Gibson, that is (and it won't be easy to ignore Mel the anti-semitic drunk, just as I'll never watch Seinfeld again without thinking of Kramer drowning in flop sweat)--maintains a dry humour, especially with his kids. Shyamalian plays them together superbly. I'll go to the mat on that point. at several places the plot seems rushed, which it probably is. Shyamalian spent quite a bit of time letting the family develope before our eyes, thus he had to shorthand the story. I'll accept that. I find the implicative rush of plot the downfall of movies and novels. the pale, frail imitation of life that plot entails so often distracts from the characters and the words they speak. and the gravy train lessons that one must take from the plot's purposeful striding is often malarkey. when you watch a movie again, or reread a novel, you no longer have the surprise of plot to pull you. the way the characters present themselves, and how the narration stands on the structure: these are what attracts the imagination. so I'm fine with the holes in plot and the nervy necessity of a fine resolution in Signs. my interest is elsewhere.