Thursday, February 19, 2009

reading Nota Bene Eiswein, but I shan't review it at this time (might as well read it before review it, tho I do not wish to set unattainable goals). I am, however, inspired to write a few general words about Eileen Tabios' work. a byproduct of reading her work, for me anyway, is that I want to write. I always want to write but I mean try something different. Eileen's hallmark is adventure, in the sense of setting a challenge for herself, and enjoying the ride (mixed metaphors are the best metaphors). I think of Virginia Woolf, who, at least in the handful of her novels that I have read, seems to have given herself experiments to perform. the relentless wave action of The Waves, the focused quest of To the Lighthouse, the shifting POV of Mrs Dalloway. she sets herself challenges beyond the creation of a story, technical challenges. with Eileen, one sees different methodologies applied with each work. she attaches context to local effort, or the local context is understood as informative of the whole, the whole being Her Work. Nota Bene largely eschews the prose that she often writes in, instead she uses hay(na)ku and similar short lines forms. what she does not eschew with this book is notes and such, which she supplies with every book of hers that I have seen. I love notes and afterwords and all that stuff. Black Sparrow Books were always good for extra matter, which I enjoy. Eileen frequently uses other works of art, as well as historical or personal narratives, as seeds to riff from or with. in the case of NBE, there is an extensive use of the work of Christian Hawkey, whose work I am unfamiliar with. one thing that interests me with Charles Olson: his poetry, his prose, his lectures and interviews, all of it has the same voice. I mean the bold rush and stutter, assertions and questions. Eileen's work, including many blogs and even her place and placement in the Poetry Republic (as writer, editor, instigator), is an embrace of the many in one. all my life I heard one makes many. this is inspirational. it is simply fun to discover what is next with Eileen. when I say fun, I mean including books that embrace her father's death, or the painful nexus of her heritage, as well as the immersion into criticism of her work she allowed with The Blind Chatelaine's Keys (which see). these few words for now...
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