Wednesday, August 8, 2007

25 poems


Tom Orange
25 poems

the interrupting cow dc 2004


25 poems consists of 25 poems
each 14 lines long
each line 3-5 syllables, unless I missed a variation

the last line of the last poem is
elegaic brilliance
each word qualifying the other
but the preceding lines
the stormy white
having spent its little
(elegaic brilliance)
leans more towards a brilliance that is elegaic
than towards an elegy that is brilliant
but we can have both and more
as bakhtin noticed
any word brings all its possible connotations into play
in this case
brilliance
made me think about the lightness of this text
how the lines shift through a lyric troposphere
so lightly
resisting the downward pull
towards this or that usually inevitable trope
found in the atmosphere of lyric poetry

your way with
dusk sprayed
at gentle feet
leaves the
minutes mortals
hear to curl
into gardens:
glare long
together and
lovely for the
horizon to soothe
the disaster you
too had never
unveiled first

this is finely deconstructed lyric poetry
more by way of reverdy than rilke
or eluard

a reformed napalm death or carcass
could give a nice rendition of this material

in lyric poetry there is always the risk of suffocation
these poems are open-ended
there are always multidirectional exits

here’s one of the poems restructured

pleasure, the
there and look
to pillow through
we till: hand me
through to some
loving you paler
the rivers and weeds
we would eat from
that little silence
ultimately in all
palpitating heads
long lineage of
& breathing hands
of what we want

there are 59,115 possible variations in the order of the 350 lines of 25 poems

here is a poem made from these poems

legs unleafing
you faked and
from that which
that you sound
to the bones
other that you
a numerous lover
far more than
imagine everything
legs unleafing
language flashing
phosphorescent
breathed the
loving honed out

because the line is the unit
because the line is inextricably within the nexus of the text
the movement between the lines within the text is diffused
because the line is inextricably within the nexus of the text
each line reflects the other
each line is all the other lines

I think I stole that from Merleau-Ponty

“Things explain each other, not themselves.
George Oppen

“In poems such as these, as in Apollinaire’s “Zone,” the elements, the primary data of the poetic construction, are narrative or at least informative wholes. In verse such as Reverdy’s, they are simple, sensory, emotional or primary informative objects capable of little or no further reduction. Eliot works in The Waste Land with fragmented and recombined arguments; Pierre Reverdy with dismembered propositions from which subject, operator and object have been wrenched free and restructured into an invisible or subliminal discourse which owes its cogency to its own strict, complex and secret logic.”

Kenneth Rexroth
“The Cubist Poetry of Pierre Reverdy”

in “Silence as Text Among the Works of George Oppen,”
Gwyn McVay quotes Edmond Jab├Ęs
"Why," he was asked, "is your book just a sequence of fragments?"
"Because the interdict does not smite a book that is broken," he replied.
(The Little Book of Unexpected Subversions)

no ideas except in things

the interrupting cow makes my life better

continue reading
continue thinking

the material nature of words

words as mysterious

1 comment:

tmorange said...

"dismembered propositions from which subject, operator and object have been wrenched free and restructured into an invisible or subliminal discourse which owes its cogency to its own strict, complex and secret logic" -- that's fantastic! rexroth makes reverdy a sort of mystic proto-language poet. thanks, doug.