Monday, April 27, 2009

Promises lived up to (and Jorie Graham)

Seconds ago finished Promises of Glass have to talk about it so excited have to talk about it taken me awhile but so excited he is brilliant isn't he he is I want to be just like him don't think I am write differently so excited write more excited don't know maybe less misty just figured that out I think he writes misty just beyond reach can't grasp it unamed things undescribed things characters appearing receding fading the narrator or the reader the Michael Palmer character war rhyme has become prominent fashionable maybe I don't know he works it quite blatant but beautiful usually brings it in heavy for one stanza then drift away again something I should try maybe have to talk about it have to come down from Tower:
just now, wind and racing sky,
the distant cathedral of Epifan',
and after repeating the words pine

then pond a few so many
times I wrote them down
just now and the word crocodile,

and Beograd, Pristina, this night their fires.
Time was I would memorize
each thing that passed before my eyes

and scribe it on the magic list.
sleep's deeply secret tablet,
titled My Life as a Futurist.
Fucking amazing!

[Added 12:00pm]

Read a beautiful essay about Jorie Grahan by James Longenbach (Modern Poetry After Modernism, 1997, Oxford University Press NY ISBN: 0-19-510178-2). He was talking about her in terms of post-modernism and how she treats her writing after Pound/Elliot and then Elizabeth Bishop etc. but I get the feeling he is in total awe of her powers, the way she does something remarkably and astoundingly different with, not only every book she has written, but every poem. My curiosity is raised. It sounds like she is incredibly smart, incredibly ambitious and incredibly hard to read. I guess not aesthetically because she has good grasp of music and surprise, but because the classical references, the competing narratives, the largish words, the subtle philoosphical debates all require incredibly close reading and thought. Sounds like the kind of thing we should all aspire to write. But can everyone write like that? Should everyone try? I think attempting new things all the time is definitely worth while, but classical references, I've never been into that. But I like her ideas of melding disparate narratives, like in one poem she had some classical story (Greek or something) the story of a girl in a gas chamber and a personal story of visiting her grandmother in a home and somehow made them all one. Interesting idea. I'm going to have to get some of her stuff. I'll go look now and see what around to buy. Longenbach you are awesome!

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