Booklet for the Music and Poetry Workshop #5:
Williams Carlos Williams, from Kora in Hell: Improvisations. Short prose sequencing working across a wide spectrum of creative and social concerns. Journal/poem/criticism fused. Accumulation.
"Between two contending forces there may at all times arrive that moment when the stress is equal on both sides so that with a great pushing a stability results giving a picture of perfect rest. And so it may be that once upon the way the end drives back upon the beginning and a stop page will occur. At such time the poet shrinks from the doom that is calling him forgetting the delicate rhythms of perfect beauty, preferring in his mind the gross buffetings of good and evil fate."
Carla Harryman, from Gardener of Stars. Working across a wide spectrum of creative and social concerns. Intimate, critical, cosmic and dramatic. Character, theme, scenario and thought operating in speculative environmental space. Large-scale reverb settings mixed with close-up character information. Seamless transpositions of scale.
"Some people say I'm impatient and others don't notice. Appearing, disappearing, grouping, regrouping the stars, about which I personally know nothing, do not want to research, but plow over obsessively, mentally, as if I were trying to read my own genetic code for no reason other than that I had been genetically programmed to read it. Thus, the stars form or inform, shape, deplete, slacken, and even leave my thoughts to their own devices. Which, ill-informed as they may be sometimes, do not sleep piled up on themselves as male captives in sloughs of despond but bounce toward the massive externality named the world: this is were "there is so much to be grateful for" drives it's messages. The messages then take root, lining the streets with palms that rise to such heights one blinds oneself looking for their tops."
Bruce Andrews, from Divestiture – A. Crammed paratactic structure -- small sequenced blocks of noise. Using negative social emotions to foreground social issues. Employing unusual settings on creative social filter dial. Discomfort/humor. Accumulation. Zero/negative reverb setting.
"Do microscopes turn you on? My desire for freedom is too weak, just kiss yourself and watch the blood run out, making her feel guilty, externalizing my self-dislike & laying it on her -- pretty great! "What we need is a female victim of sudden death. Can you do it?" -- you wear it when the novelty wears off BEFORE THE EVENT. "
Joe Brainard, from I Remember. Attenuated list structure with uniform syntactical template. Allowing unusual (embarrassing) social filtering settings to create social-environmental detailing and intimacy across scales of time and place. Equality of units -- heavy and banal treated the same. Accumulation. Memory and time as environments (w/ particular reverberation characteristics). Clarity.
"I remember the first ball point pens. they skipped, and deposited little balls of ink that would accumulate on the point.
I remember Aunt Cleora who lived in Hollywood. Every year for Christmas she sent my brother and me a joint present of one book.
I remember the day Frank O'Hara died. I tried to do a painting somehow especially for him. (Especially good.) And it turned out awful.
I remember canasta."
John Godfrey, from Midnight on Your Left. Lyrical/mental/environmental tangle.
"It must be ecstasy to die in action. To think children are afforded this privilege. The sky suddenly comes up real close and your body is on it's own in the middle of the whole world. De-boned legs of such a drug are roasting in a room next to the one I am in. Hunters are waiting to be paid. Without the moon things go better. All the heroes come out of the firmament smelling blood. "
Rae Armantrout, from Made to Seem. Ambiguous or negative emotional resonance or framing (self/social inducement/ coercion) transposed into meditative, lyrical, comedic with energetic "pop." (i.e. cold fusion) Clarity.
"The idea that they were reenacting something which had been staged in the first place bothered her. If she wanted to go in, she'd need to ignore this limp chronology. She assumed he was conscious of the same constraint. But she almost always did want to proceed. Procedure! If only either one of them believed in the spontaneity of the original actors and could identify with one. Be one. For this to work, she reasoned, one of us would have to be gone."
Christopher Dewdney, from The Natural History. Large-scale lyric/environmental time/place reverb settings.
"There are two worlds -- one diurnal and that other world, where lunar mottled eels stir like dreams in shallow forest water. Allowing both to continue, we painstakingly remove and replace their parts with corresponding and interlocking absences. The glass machinery equally full of allusion to our summer carnality, an infinite part of the pattern that references itself with it's own repetitive logic."