Monthly Archives: February 2008

Pictures of things with pictures in them

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Are we scared of what we really mean?

This will be formal-ish and pseudo-inteligent. inelegant… Ladies and gents, after reading a well wrought entry on http://quoileternite.blogspot.com/ (feb 5 and feb. 7), i decided to prattle some.

Firstly, I don’t like typing into a box. Firstly, I don’t like typing. Firstly, this is faulty since it’s the third thing. In reading what a few people have to say about schools of definition for writing and the such-and-such arts, I want the inside of my head to say—”no wrong or right”—like someone dragged their spraygun up through the varied holes in my face and started to tag at will and use quotation marks.

A good poem is a good poem because someone says it is and what makes it “good” is completely decided by that person’s eyes/tie/class/education/tongue texture. Not to say that that person can’t sell a “you” on what makes a poem good (is this a form of education?). What I continually see in discussions of writing and the such-and-such arts is a mode of exclusionary thinking, people set up camps and look out at others who are not similarly minded and throw things at them—refuse, a bottle of rice written words, the labelmaker in its entire wheeled fury.

Now I know it’s not up to the writer of things to completely parcel out the intended meaning of a thing being written, and I’m all for multiplicity of meaning and misreading and mishearing and distorting sensory input, but I know too that there are people out there who like things to mean what they say they mean, and who like to be told a story—since however much we want to reformulate “story” as socially conscious, educated people who know of the restrictions of the cannon and its monochromatic configuration, we cannot discount the fact that on some level “story” as it stands is essentially human (insert discounting comments at will).

This is not to say that when writers refuse the idea of narrative or the idea of the lyric entirely, as many writers choose to—or at least distort those ideas beyond a layperson’s recognition, so that a reader, when cognizing, has to sort the pieces out–they’re not making another kind of narrative or another kind of lyric, they are. But this act also turns reading into a different kind of work, maybe a more productive work (and what the product is here is often discernably intellectual, rather than a tingly thing of the body–though again, my bias may be at the ready here–there are often too many buffers for me to get chills from something I’ve had to think long about) and I know there are readers who love doing this work, too. This is also essentially human and so is the want for labels and the act of labeling.

So where does that get anyone who wants to discuss writing and the such-and-such arts? Well, the school of being silent and the avant-poster and the new and the new and the new and the people who refuse labeling and the labeling of the refusers as that and the want for an outside from the in and an inside from the out, I doubt will stop. However, I don’t think it’s wrong for writers (since that’s mainly who’s concerned with this whole idea of labeling and portioning out the known map of the world in a handful of colors—or wait, maybe not) to work in any of these modes and if anyone out there is spending their time building a hierarchy you are no better than classicists, but from here I can’t say what’s essentially wrong with them or with you. Just be sure to back it up and let other people enjoy what they enjoy freely.

I enjoy coffee, so I’m having some now. The critics can circle and buzz, saying “I don’t like to mean. What’s said.”

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OR: If I was from Canada…

the best invention has had to be procrastination. the bed phone at 5 in the pm, a lingering taste of salt on the lips. i have been conversing with people who i’m concerned with about my concerns–we agreed that the terms of the agreements we reached were not fully agreed upon but solved a minor issue of discretion and personal value. clipped: not so much a leaning toward prescribed conscription as much as a more civil union. clipped, a leaning toward i wish it would snow. the cities and towns we’ve sworn in grow hushed, the streets evaporate their lines and everyone gets a cup of something warm to drink. ideally, people like each other more and more and make less war. make less of others and noise.

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A Fuzzy Cup–This Long/Short Island of a Month.


few words do better some and when you can’t get pure you have to form from them

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