Distribution Automatique

Saturday, April 12

Re: Schwerner interview- what I find in common between "language" poetry and Schwerner's "Tablets" is the
admission (?) awareness (?) recognition (?) in the pattern of the work of the sporadic quality of the "reception" of the poetic "message." Not knowing the difference between outside and inside: is similar to Jack Spicer's idea of "messages from Martian" or the idea of poetry being "Martian"- a different language. Another way to describe this is "indeterminacy" but I think this model distorts more than it clarifies since it brings in the idea of a projected time field which may be unnecessary, i.e. "The Tablets" projects a time field both backwards and forwards. Indeterminacy of intention- this is probably a way to describe the difference between Schwerner's work and much language poetry. Often in this work the impact being sought by the writer as a poetics of either the content or the form is less apparent. In this sense, the cohesiveness of "The Tablets" dramatic (let us say) intention offsets the fragmentary quality of the lines themselves. Language poets tend to subtitute a procedure, that is, foreground the procedure."The Tablets" does this too, but in a more traditionally naturalistic manner. On the other hand, this approach allows for a more clearly discernible sense of humor, for example. You "get" the joke, whereas often the very interesting and challenging difficulty of language poetry often leaves you unclear about the "intended" emotion; ie, Lyn Hejinian's pursuasive attack on "emotion" in the "Writing/Talks" book. The humor of "Tjanting" is perhaps more wistful, this emerges from the repetitions and the accretive quality of the experience of reading and rereading the work.

Poem: Perpetual Motion