Craig Watson, True News, Instance Press, Santa Cruz, CA, 2002.
Loosely propositional abstractions centering on the inadequacies of human response to existence. "Infinity of the under-imagined"
Watson laments the menu of categories our minds like to present us with, and uses the shapes of these categories as a negative template for an assemblage arraigned heavily around issues of artistic process, representation and thought.
He takes on issues of poetic self-consciousness, the undesirability of a unified subject, the ambiguity of representation etc., and crisscrosses back and forth across their implications with persistence and patience.
He explores feedback loops of ignorance, not through a celebration of word/reference disconnection, but through a quiet indictment of systematically self-perpetuating veneers which operate at the service of seriously out-of-balance competitive mental and social ecosystems. The subject of the poet's inherent involvement and investment in these systems is never far way in this work, esp. on the cognitive and creative levels.
Complaints against the mechanisms of inheritance, biological, mental, social.
Somewhat vague? What is the difference between ambiguity and vagueness this kind of poetry? How exactly does one identify vagueness when it becomes a drawback?
Thought morphs into thought via analogy and vocabulary juggling.
Consistently responding to issues of social and bio-political productive force.
The things in Home Guard are presented as props in a kind of off-Broadway theater of mediation. The poem is a modular stage where this drama takes place.
Figure B starts as a mediation on an image -- a plane landing -- and then branches out by analogy to mental processes. The intentionally self-halting rhythmic accretions of Ron Silliman's new sentence are fused with complex analogical mechanisms like those of Jack Clarke.
Mellifluous critique: "theft always comes easier to a man of faith and taste"