I set out with an alleged problematic – that radical poetry cannot fully include itself (the materials of a poem cannot all be up-to-date) – and make a series of moves based on it, to conclude that a poem’s value is a spontaneous and non-mechanical (intentional, reasoned, rule based) conviction (however momentary) that it has reframed the actual things (“people”, “words”, “love”, “blood”) out there in the world into a poem, ideally in a sublime incoherence. It was initially out of fear that conceptual poetry meant art no longer had truth content: but, even if so, maybe poetry can still work if not all absences are closed, and sometimes there are holes – where e.g. the readers were – through which a “nomadic” (Pierre Joris) work and a world “leak” into one another. My own approach to this aforementioned problematic ends up as, I hope, a kind of simplistically ordered, or tuneful, terrible grotesque that might appear formally sublime and contentless, as well as, in light of the failure of radical poetry, art in general, new, especially in terms of ‘fragmentation’ as a quality belonging to the world in the poem. You can buy a print on demand chapbook composed of earlier attempts to combine these poetics without really being nomadic, here
“Emmet’s [sic] is a poetry of compressed energy; linguistically taut, fast moving and enigmatic, it gives the impression that it needed to be written;.” Alan Baker
“Yes I love these poems. Poetry is a very strange thing when it’s good.” Tim Allen
“The result is very mellow work that has serious value.” Sean Carey
A few doubts?
If this were art it would be like a “miracle”1, ahead of itself like a fuse… think “with the things as they exist”2. Resist “the lyrical interference of the ego”3. In an “emotional complex”4, in the instant, as in all his America. I took care, and the form it took. Sneezed; a drink helps. Four names, for one, equivalent.
1. Should begin, with the first, that is the end of progress as “Echoic”5 flourish. What else?
What further felicity?
2. You may try too hard or too little, equated as the above, dreamt, that is woken into a dream. To approach it, to have that as your practice, that’s the anti-figurative certified as figurative.
Its opposite would be art. As “radical art” is a “swerve”6 from “figurative certified as anti-figurative”6.
3. The movement, of poetry works: “phrase against phrase”6; “the HEART, by way of the BREATH, to the LINE”7; or “a matter of the energies of words”8.
There’s no sense of the poetic, having those three superposed upon syllables.
4. Music bore its “crisis”9 in a composition which involves every aspect of the material in a whole whose language cannot refer directly to life, without alienation of content and expression. Thus, it is neither narcissistically “infantile” nor “outdated”9, as the other arts are, but ripe for overcoming. So poetry need not be art, if written with noise, music’s meaningless antithesis, as its catalyst.
Poets clarify “the temporal and eternal questions”10: verse is meaningless when embodying resolution. Thus, if a single detail bears the full dynamic and shifting weight of an Image, it enacts meaninglessness. So, if a juxtaposed element embodies its restless energy, while another does its energetic rest, then the poem’s phrasing is neither, is not musical, and, if wed instead to meaninglessness, closure, like noise!
Until used up!
1. Hilary Putnam on scientific anti-realism
2. Zukofsky in An Objective
3. Olson in Projective verse
4. Pound in A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste
5. Michael Palmer
6. Bernstein in Perfect Pitch
7. Olson in Projective Verse
8. Zukofsky to Monroe on the Objectivist movement
9. Debord in “Why Lettrism?”
10. Ibsen in The Task of the Poet