Robin Blaser & Etel Adnan, Poetry Project, 10.5.05
Details of everyday life set against a distant war felt as a kind of ever-present absence/force.
Welcome details of a late Steve Lacy concert.
"We are angry and you know what it means"
Funny to think The Holy Forest came out 12 years ago. Curious to see what the new U. Cal vers. is like.
Blaser looked the same as the last time I heard him - tweleve years ago in SF. I hope I age this well. He also read many of the same poems from the Holy Forest, so he must have favorites which haven't changed too much.
"Alien exotica," in classic tonality. The voicing and pacing very much like Robert Duncan. Ditto the play between the imagistic hinges, self-portraiture, historical references, and generally intense, expert, sprawling intellectual control over the materials. What differentiates it from Duncan is the Midwestern speech tones shot through, which are also my favorite element of this work.
"licking stones to improve their color"
The things that might, or, should, bother me about this poetry, the grandiose self-inflation, the pretentiousness, the too self-conscious mesmerism effects, don't for some reason. Because, I think, there is so much pleasure and range in this poetry. Because... that dude can write a poem!
"Your saxophone is by your bed / think of starlings / and their sharp quick sounds / goodnight."
Patterning of image / pun / setting / self-reflection /historical reference/ speech movement / image / etc.
"there is no future unless it be unpredictable"
The surface layer is romantic, but the underlying engine here is cybernetic -- events as information / information as events.
Identifying and going with complexity.