Thursday, July 14, 2011

Statement for Poem to the End of My Days

This was required for a chapbook submission... they wanted something considerably longer, but for my own work, I'd rather the poetry explain itself.
Still... a useful exercise.
__Every poet worthy of the title writes but one poem in a lifetime. Not little framed verbal icons to inscribe in the margins of soon to be forgotten books, but a single tottering edifice of found things held precariously together with spit and sperm and shit and blood--inviting readers to enter, at the risk of contagion--an unholy order of life without rule or law, but that which it creates for itself… Found Things.
Each section or chapter in Poem to the  End of My Days is a single poem of multiple, thematically related chapters, or ‘rondos,’ a continuous muti-volume work. A rondos is a musical form of at least three iterations on a major theme in different keys, interspersed with subordinate themes and motifs—each ‘rondo’ of Poem to the End of my Days, itself a single poem in a larger one, consists of from nine to 29 Entries, each Entry on a single page.
As all time past is present the date of origin of any of the Entries is of no matter in determining the sequential order which is to say immaterial, & such significance as one may find by the assignment of any one occasion to a place on the calendar is paradoxically a-temporal as are all days of
commemorations of births & deaths --  the numbers assigned to these being entirely beside the point & without meaning outside the delusional waking dream we have come to accept as history.
I  use & reconfigure older poems & journal entries, though the great majority of the Entries are new. There is an underlying thread of biographical material going back to my earliest memories, interwoven with reflections on critical and aesthetic concerns, philosophical conceits, notes on historical events and items drawn from the daily news. The narrative structure alters from sequences of immediate experience, as in Found Things, to fragments of a memoir-in-progress. It’s my hope that I can maintain the drive and profluence of traditional narrative in a long poem, while avoiding the teleological assumptions and tendency to mythologize causal sequences that characterize them.

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