At the Musarium [19301 – 19400]

[19301 – 19400]

Zebra twaddle at backgammon,
temperamental about the wildfire—
the python, the boa, & their ilk—
& about what the specter of misanthropy
achieves. Unconvinced, they befit
with deadening percussion the gashed
eucalyptus, scud & jowl with denudation.
Who would begrudge this meddlesome
intermixture of pickpocket & ringleader?
The leakage beneath the landlocked weathercock?
The inelegant smudge embracing the Hessian
& bruising the Teamster’s Corvette? What vats
of aphorisms & incubation ravish
the hub of this time-honored judicature
with extradition & mutilation?

Composed: 6-17-09
First published: Critiphoria. Mar. 2010. Web.

At the Musarium [27301 – 27400]

[27301 – 27400]
Cripes! Kilimanjaro all grownup, her
florescent polysyllabic tits gyrate
democratically, their heavy-handed
intinsicality underwritten
by trochee & myopic Nostradamus,
by Lebanese latticework. Don’t Juneau
Notochord, the overrode pathologic
grandparent of dextrin & glaciation?
Supermen derogating gabardine
rediscover Ming pangenesis &
grayling desolateness, the swank beyond
the kitchenette that bluefish colonise
dispiritedly, as every titbit
ballcock the bilberry at perigee.

Composed: 1-7-14
First published: 5-4-14 Poehemians. Eva Xanthopoulos, ed. May 2014. Web. []

At the Musarium [20101 – 20200]

[20101 – 20200]
The bagpipes of the dockyard henchmen
overhang obliteration—excrescence
of hairless vainglorious alpaca
that jangle a bucolic maelstrom
interminably. Cornstarch & uncooked
bovine oat, perspicuous & satirically
mazy, exonerate the logician
of his dyspeptic naphtha & pointless runes.
His turgid formalism is unemotional.
His gritty semen outlast his stockbroker’s
migrating by subtraction as antic
cassava sugars & cutlery hurdle
Herzegovina in a shoddy huff
of impish mesmeric equipoise.

Composed: 4-29-09
First published: Infinity’s Kitchen. No.6. 2011.Web. []

On the Dialectics of Procedure and Intention

This week, something a little different. I’ve been reading a book of poetic commentary (Gray Wolf Press, 2010) written by a practicing poet pursuing an interesting, often contentious, and vital genre known as “poetics.” In Recklessness, Dean Young analyzes some of the productive contradictions that contribute to poetic composition. Here’s a passage that rang a bell:

People use language for two reasons: to be understood and not to be understood. . . . To simplify, this is a distinction between a communicative state and an expressive state. . . . Between interior and exterior, between liberty and obligation, anarchy and order, self and community, referent and what it can refer to, sign and thing. Between defamiliarization and recognizable rhetoric. . . . disjunction and wildness . . . versus the concentrating gravities of formal control. (38-40)

That poetry can be interpreted as a dialectical process, as with just about anything the human mind deigns to contemplate, is nothing new. But Young’s formulations are astute. I, for one, would not object to the prospect of being understood through not being understood, and so concede a certain wistful indirectness in my “At the Musarium” project. One of the tensions in my work is between procedure and intention. But readers should not overestimate the degree to which either my procedures or my intentions tend, in these works, to be calculated as opposed to being vague. They are much less predetermined than they are unfolding and, in retrospect, revelatory in concert and in the process of composition itself. I particularly like Young’s attention in this context to the doubleness of “referent and what it can refer to, sign and thing.” The words I find in the frequency lists I exploit come to mind as having a potentially dual nature: as parts of speech that can help construct a sentence or phrase, and as the “things” they may refer to, the objects, characters, settings, actions, emotions, joys, sufferings, judgments, rejections, invitations, longings and whatever other meanings they might evoke by being near each other within sentences, sentence-like constructs, and “recognizable rhetoric.”