Better brush up this blog!
Last night I had some insomnia, and so read Maryrose Larkin's THE BOOK OF OCEAN, not cover to cover, as its unpublished, but -- through and through.
Now, I am sitting at my computer, with a week left before I start working again, thinking -- should I review / write about the book, since it isn't published? Certainly many have done this -- the example I think about is Louise Gluck, in her book of essays, writing about Martha Rhodes' first book, AT THE GATE, prior to its publication. The reasons Gluck chose to break out this psychologically fraught poetry is clear from essay context, but of course, the motivations of Gluck and the siting of Rhodes is even clearer reading Rhodes.
One of the reasons Larkin's manuscript begs (me) for some type of review is that it makes me think that one definition of innovative art, innovation in art, might be creating something which goes beyond critical vocabularies. I imagine that the case is actually that I enjoy being carried just a bit farther than my own vocabularies.
In any case, Maryrose Larkin has written some poems, including one of the last ones in the collection, "The 100 Letters" which have some traits similar to some of my OO poems (there are some of these online at Black Box, the now-defunct Whalelane, and some which are horrifyingly left-justified at Word Riot).
The meanings in the ms. are carefully constructed within not-deceptively (the idiom here would be I guess "deceptively simple," but these aren't deceptive or duplicitous poems, and they are simple. But of course, they are also poems, which means they about as simple as an apple) simple/complex poems. These meanings, these poems, by the end of the collection, begin to "dance" in the way that Pound's cantos I like, or some of Anne Waldman's in Iovis Book II that I'm currently reading, dance to the songs they sing. The narrative tension between seeking to understand and understanding / controlling so very much gives way to a canny referential structure which unifies religious philosophy and natural philosophy.
"Charm" is the last poem in the order I have. It is of course a type of subatomic spin. The second line asks, "is the hereafter empty?" Now, I have also been re-reading St. John of the Cross for a project, and came across this little Kabbalah site re: the dark night of the soul yesterday, and I was surprised to read a claim that the existential nothingness, or the quite different Buddhist emptiness, and the dark night of the soul, were essentially similar experiences / existential stances, here associated with atheism.
Is the hereafter empty? In the sense of being devoid of / a void?
Larkin continues, "description and accident resembled to her inversion /
unusable numbers and how night swarmed out her mouth"
Unusable numbers! How perfect! Is the past an invention, like numbers? What is the hereafter if not an invention? If it exists, wouldn't it have to be empty? But I'm moving beyond what I have figured out. But what else would a blog review of an unpublished (as of yet. Iit's been a finalist in the Ahsahta competition, so we know Janet Holmes and a few other folks know it is very interesting.)