Sunday, March 21, 2010

Disjunctive Stratagies: Journal Notes Morning After a Reading

Last night’s reading at Brickbat Books: Stan Mir. Voice over.. or voice-under—poetics as a running associative commentary on objects-ideas-events passing through the mind-field, tripping off little explosions on the page: syntax only partly disjunctive. Sentences: declarative, interrogative, occasional fragments, sometimes clusters of fragments.

Disjunctions located between phrasal units.

Beginning to note and classify disjunctive strategies as I listen to poets read—simply because it’s often so much more difficult to follow at a reading than on the page. Certain features begin to stand out—how is this poet different than that one?

Poetic taxonomy.

Sarah Dowling's  syntactical amputations ( ). Resist internal closures, holding structures open at a grammatical level, inviting reader/audience to complete the interrupted sentence, phrase, ‘idea.’

For CA Conrad, there are parallel disjunctions: associational (the surrealist heritage, with free association primarily on the macro-level, creating structural coherence (his Somatic Exercises)on a second level with breaks in explicit and implied narrative/thought lines—maintained through transformative variations—lines spliced sutured resectioned around suggested ellipses.

Ryan Eckes and Brandon Holquest both draw on conversational disjunction—structures developed as internally evolving generative dialog.

So many forms of this—so many kinds of fault-lines: the disjuncture of qualification (“we don’t misunderstand hours but don’t misunderstand them” (Keven Varrone : Passyunk Lost) , or reversal, or figurative re-assignment: metaphor and simile as layered dissimulation—comparative incommensurates.

I consider the possibility of developing this as a thesis with supporting examples, then quickly dismiss the idea. It’s about fine tuning my ear. Becoming a more attentive and discriminating listener. Theory and thesis seriously stated demand defense, revision, reconfiguration—all of which cling to the same idea. Prefer to trash an idea before it fossilizes. An imprint is wax tossed into the fire to make room for another. Let both poetry and criticism remain uncommital… or rather, committed only to the next poem, the next idea. Prefer to leave the academics to arrange the bones of the dead.

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