3.04.2010

Julie Carr
100 Notes on Violence

yes I entered this too!

[and I lost a peter jay shippy early book today -- think I accidentally dumped it in library returns -- lord knows they would never shelve it!!!]

I perused this and was blown away by the bio and the poems. The poems and the bio. Things I should have been doing and writing, but didn't. Then I read A Review, and it seemed All Wrong. Tonight I am reading _Testimony_ in spurts thru a review. It is a favorite work/author, but also -- in a way that testimony is the lietmotif and violence omnipresent, I've looking for the relief in Carr.

What I get flipping back now, packing to go to a wedding, is voice + testimony -- not what I wanted, but I think it is good voice...
make notes to yourself to prepare to read your poem aloud
what are they?
read it aloud
have someone take notes on it or try to transcribe (a sort of dictee)
make notes as you need as you read
make "cool down" notes -- what was different that you thought it would be? where did the audience respond?
have it read aloud by the person to your right, say
take notes
have it read out loud by the person on your left
anything different? can you experience it as a listener, and is that listening experience similar or different from the one in your imagination / as you wrote?
More Books I can't review, reviewed

Martha Greenwald
OTHER PROHIBITED ITEMS

This is a work mostly in form, but with a sort of "plain speech" moomy town suburban setting. As one might imagine, I have some problems with most poems in form, especially since most new writers in form, in order to be colloquial, I include all the worst verbal / thought patterns of free versifiers. These include lame following of epigraph with poem. These epigraphs are faux serious: southwest.com, amtrack, and a Jackson & Perkins catalog. But the poems are, well, exactly what you can't have in the carryon luggage, a poem about the enviable color of roses, as marketed, a poem imagined as waiting an hour on a train siding. I think the best poem is "Quarterly Meeting: Late Arrival in a Southern City," because I feel that the form gives a good feeling of the orderly disorder of the experience of travelling for business, the travel pro, the smells of the rental car, yet as soon as "dream" kicks in, the poem goes awry. Maybe it is the problematic of dreams in poems. Here, dreams (including the American Dream) are puched in a section with a Bachelard quote from POETICS OF SPACE. But I disagree with the quote (childhood home the embodiment of idea of home, but also of dreams) -- which comes first, the home or the dreams? The home. In other words, the childhood home is the embodiment of home and the dream OF HOME. Not of all dreams. IMO. Anyway, just trying to give an overall impression of how the epigraphs are not particularly well chosen.

Reminds me of an Amy Gerstler poem I heard her read called "Dog Life" -- she had seen a copy of a magazine called Dog Life, back during the brief explosion of micro-market magazine publishing. And of course, the poem was a vision of what life is for dogs.

This, I think, even more than phrasing, is the flaw of the poetry. Not that working Mom can't be done, or she isn't doing it and occasionally succeeding, but that form doesn't give quotidian content a purpose; that content -- especially "the quotidian" has to be UNDERSTOOD, not just presented.

3.03.2010

Fifty Poems
Liana Quill

Extreme Directions
Alice Jones

[I'm actually qualified to review Jones, but the book IS eight years old (I did make copious notes and a review start or two); not Quill, as I have her book since I entered the The Mississippi Review contest.]

These small poems (of Quill's) immediately remind me of those in Alice Jones' Extreme Directions.

[PoBiz opinion warning: Not at all of any of the poets mentioned in the blurbs or blurbing.]

Jones is working within the Chinese tradition (T'ai Chi Sword), and uses the Chinoese characters for the names of the sword thursts/movements, does what most uses ofChinese characters in American poetry does -- through Pound -- asks, "what are you seeing?" in the Chinese, the in the English. This is the first gesture of the poems. Quill starts with "fading fathers" rather than founding ones, and then the overdetermined? redundant? merely murky, grammatically? "fruit tree seed."

What is the "wide globe" Jones writes, but a fruit? (Or a globe, but an orange slightly squashed around the equator?) She continues, "we're a mouth"... Both books continue -- Quill first moves, "brother" but then blurts, "circle" -- Jones writes more about self / other, inside / outside (concepts related to the concept of the circle in math) and then, "penumbra / possibility" -- is so spherical.

OK, maybe you're not buying the parallels in "moving out" in these two brief books of short poems published eight years apart.

After all, Jones ends, in "Sword back to origin," "nothing / but the circle" whereas Quill concludes, "half emptied." But it is not a glass, I would mention, but a whole versus a lack.

3.02.2010

Do I have a problem with the Tupelo contest? Only one or two.

I think that it is rather misleading to call their newsletter the Poetry Project, as there's a pretty famous newsletter by that name, unless they've bought the name... or are coordinating with Anselm Berrigan now...

Now, it is that they chose a single translation for the fragments, Anne Carson's in fact.

- the one with violets in her lap ( fragment 21)

- if not, winter (fragment 22)

- no more than the bird with piercing voice (fragment 30)

- but all is to be dared, because even a person of poverty (fragment 31)

- you burn me (fragment 38)

- but I to you of a white goat (fragment 40)

- the doorkeeper's feet are seven armlengths long (fragment 110)

- just now goldsandaled Dawn (fragment 123)

- sweetbitter unmanageable creature who steals in (fragment 130)

- gold anklebone cups (fragment 192)

3.01.2010

second pageImage via Wikipedia


"do you know which clothes even fit me"

working on my trobairitz poems (mostly Countess de Dia -- not sure if I'll to a sort of "all the trobairitz" thing or not), i.e., writing!!! for the first time in a while,

and reading the last poem of Iovis II, because it is a Countess of Dia poem,

mostly because "youth" and "joy" are both related to the Latin for Jove in Occitan

and these are important tropes for Dia that weren't as primary -- at least initially it seems, to Waldman (rather than power/sky/justice), but by the end of the poem, joy & justice vs. war is very clear

but what struck me yesterday is the "I didn't want to write/sing this" in many of the cansos (but other women, too, and not in Occitan)

from the Da3 experience, I carry forward the idea that so much of the writing in HERESY was writing under pressure -- from the Inquisition.

what is the pressure of the trobairitz, why don't they want to write?

they say: I would rather tell you this or sing this in bed, not as a message (written) -- but this seems more than a difference between desire for recording, publicity, remuneration, fame for the men and modesty, privacy, intimacy for the women (to put it as an opposition) -- and not merely "I miss you" either.

they say: I only want to write/sing happy things, and I am not happy -- sometimes "because you are away" -- this seems a sort of censorship, I ought to be doing this, which is appropriate, but instead, I am having real emotions

sometimes, this is because my husband died, sometimes this is because my lover died and/or is away and/or no longer loves me; sometimes this is because my courtly lover is inappropriate for my rank or me, his

they say: songs/writings aren't action, so they are a waste of time
they say: if you are so attracted by my songs, how easily will you be attracted by songs of others -- even in this, I am not specific, but generic (interesting given how few female trobairitz we have on record, b/w the extreme conventions of fin amours & writing it)

Castelloza: song wrecks love; I love what hurts me

it is expression that makes it less incohate, never gets it right -- is love more esoteric than anything (we have Dia remarking, I gave you love, should've gone with sex instead)?

does Castelloza love her song, then?