Monday, May 04, 2009

Diffuse Nebula, Unresolv’d

Some Clouds


To plumb the downing reaches
of one’s own cavernous fastnesses,

down where the rock plummets
endlessly after the splash, violent

or sly, of entering, still
plummeting whilst the spray-droplets

mount up towards the sun
to reach a shining aerial

apex, loosely white and radiant,
only to pause, feckless &

scatter’d, half-insouciant to begin
the drenching descent. And though

nobody in the ruckus of
thinking (it’s a little like

the endless felicitous ricochet of
a congress of mirrors) knows

where that thinking is (it’s
rather like a confederacy or

a relay, it’s high pucker’d
astringency sapped and curdling up

into a series of clots
evading and freely sequencing), one

tends to the taut pull
of trajectory, line and bob.

And there’s Lisa Robertson in “After Trees” (out of Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip):
What about the data of trees before
Virgil? The day comes out of the earth like
an animal and it goes. A suite of
shadow follows. Some of you don’t have to
like it. Absence is a sauce licked up, a
little peplum of fat and lint flung
off. For today only
I’ll accomplish novelty’s capaciousness

So long
To juxtapose against what Walter Pater saith (The Renaissance):
At first sight experience seems to bury us under a flood of external objects, pressing upon us with a sharp and importunate reality, calling us out of ourselves in a thousand forms of action. But when reflexion begins to play upon these objects they are dissipated under its influence; the cohesive force seems suspended like some trick of magic; each object is loosed into a group of impressions—colour, odour, texture—in the mind of the observer. And if we continue to dwell in thought on this world, not of objects in the solidity with which language invests them, but of impressions, unstable, flickering, inconsistent, which burn and are extinguished with our consciousness of them, it contracts still further: the whole scope of observation is dwarfed into the narrow chamber of the individual mind. Experience, already reduced to a group of impressions, is ringed round for each one of us by that thick wall of personality through which no real voice has ever pierced on its way to us, or from us to that which we can only conjecture to be without. Every one of those impressions is the impression of the individual in his isolation, each mind keeping as a solitary prisoner its own dream of a world.
Permis de conduire’d forth and back in a general tizzy. Finish’d Michael Herr’s completely audacious and terrific Dispatches. Wrote numbers CXXI, CXXII, and CXXIII. A negligible series of chores. The bite of spring, &c.

To read about “Careerist dissembling. Kowtowing. Pollyannaish refusals to make distinctions (somewhat related to the refusal to examine one’s dismissals—both provoked by an inability to do any hard justificatory work). See the rise of the non-category of ‘hybridity.’”—go here. Just a squib in response (along with a number of others) to Kent Johnson’s masterly letter about “practices of reviewing in the poetic field.” All in the premier issue of Mayday.

Edward Halbert, inventor of a flying machine, holding a kite in Chicago, 1908.