Friday, July 18, 2008

poets write poems, I guess. writers write. it took me a while to admit with confidence that I was a writer. that producing whatever shitload of work, crappy as it might have been, was not confirmation enough. I think Dickinson had 4 poems published while alive, as you know, and Rossetti pumped Blake to life, did he not. I kept keyboard and pen busy for several years before I accepted that I was a writer, and not just that I wrote poems: I was a poet. well, anyway, I no longer recall the point of this preamble. I wanted to speak about Microsoft One Note, which prolly aint the most poetic of possibilities, you might think. what is this unsulliable poetry of which you speak??? je ne said pas. and so. the program came bundled with the rest of MS Office that I scarfed at 91% discount, legal, as recounted here in May. SO One Note. it is not so much a program that I mench here, but a method. it is like note cards, bits of data collected, manipulated, and used. I am only now getting the hang. One Note gives you fields upon which you can write anywhere. discrete units can be combined, or you can draw lines between to connect the thinking process. collect urls, notes, ramblings. organize later. One Note gives you options for putting things together. a good study aid for the computer age. cut and paste cogent passages to your heart's content. I am not selling One Note so much as tickling the possibility. poetry is not just a dose of fly agaric and a bit of transcription. methodology is part of the plum. the learning aggregate enters in, the dashed off, the unthought-thru expression. I am trying to use this program practically, collecting bits that will add up. I see in One Note the excitement of the barely formed. you doodle out what comes to mind and see what that thing is. this is exciting to me. I have always loved notebooks, what people dash off without the effort of formality. if Silliman's School of Quietude deserves any whammo of critique, it would be how foreign incompleteness would be to the work. that is, a drive to make poems start and finish with narrative imperative, this is SOQ. what is most exciting about Olson is his incompletions. poems as notes, or glances. isn't this wonderful? Cinvat Bridge, aer, a mole to get at Tyre. I love this sense of narrative that leaps with the mind. One Note is a tool for very rational building of logical form, and I am trying to use that. but it makes me think, also, of a poetics of incomplete lines. the mind jumps, jumps. not just the press to disjunct, LANGUAGE POETICS 101, but an affirming sort of processual movement. George Oppen comes to mind, just now. Susan Howe collecting and collating. we can learn from the tools we use.
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