Distribution Automatique

Thursday, June 26

“If you don’t believe in god, don’t quote
him,” Valery once said when he was
about ready to give up poetry. The
purposefull suspension of disbelief.

Jack Spicer

“Distance, Einstein said, goes around
in circles.”

Jack Spicer



If I wanted to open a door or look
out a window-no. If I wanted to
open a door and walk into a world I
would like to live in for awhile- it is
this feeling more than any other I have sought
out by reading and writing. Invariably, I
want to choose the first door at hand that
intrigues me because, now that I have
discovered the opportunity I am well aware that
there is no time to waste. As often, no, more
often, much more often than not there is
nothing behind the door, and once I have
tried to open it and see that the door
won’t budge, very soon after I realize that
there wasn’t any door there at all. But
sometimes- the best times- I can walk
right through, look around, even settle
in for awhile. And, despite any wishes to
the contrary, after awhile, the room,
the door, it all disappears. But then
sometimes, there will be another one, maybe
this time a window, a place, a time
machine. Machines…I imaged a
language machine (not unlike Kafka’s that
wrote horrible messages on his character’s back),
a machine that would generate words from
each other. Often, in my early experience,
I would simply associate to the last letter of a
word, then make that word my next word.
These strange poems were capable of reminding
me of the thoughts and feelings I was thinking
about when I was writing them, although
none of the words seemed at all connected
to these thoughts.The poems would be
built out of a strange conjunction of words
that spelled a rhythm but not a specific
experience. The experience of reading those
poems became more and more specific,
more palpable over time.Some had colors,
others shifted around and in patterns of
light and dark. Or even castles in
mist or even lines like
“ideas so that the can will very”
which where probably borrowed in part
from early readings of ee cummings. What
I was looking for was a world to inhabit,
a world for the eye and the ear and for
thought and imagination. Most of all, this
world had to have sounds and sights
and what other appurtanances of reality
which I was attracted to for the purpose
of constructing my imaginary universe. The
problem only began when I wanted
others to view these adventures as something
called poetry. For a long time- at least
with other types of experiments nobody
would go that far.

-“We’re not complaining, Piombino,” said
some strange voice, “You did the right thing.”-

So, I went about my
business writing some poems that I felt
could directly demonstrate my competence in
some “traditional” form- or some recent

“What are you talking about,” I want to
say to some imaginary figure, “all you
think about is poetry.”

Something recognizable- these were published-
a couple of them. Soon, however, my old wish
to open a magic door asserted itself and
I began my journey. What I’ve learned is
that time is a merry-go-round in which
you will always get another chance to reach
for the ring and not fall off your horse-until
the end of the whole ride, not just a
few turns around (called years). Just the
right combination of waiting and reaching. There
is more than one combination, but there are
right and wrong combinations.

Doors, merry-go-rounds, waiting, combinations,
here it is again, as expected, trinkets to
play with in the gaze of some light, so
I can watch them sparkle. Memories…
prices to pay, compensations…there are
series of events, view them microscopically
or at a distance, but remember you can
change it. Not a question of which one
is better, but the changes help understanding…
You can’t just say anything…then
again you can…you can remember a
card game or one can come hazily into
view-you remember a time when you
would imagine needing thousands of details
to see this…actually, being there is more
like being aware of one or two details very
clearly or a few at a time in a sequence…
You can go in as deeply as you like
in zooming for the detail, even the red hearts
on the card…you can see the leg of
the table, feel the shoulder of the man
holding the cards…everything stops at once.