Saturday, February 24, 2007

Matthew Cooperman - DaZE

Matthew Cooperman – DaZE

One of the things I hate about making lists of books is that I’m always missing something. DaZE came out in 2006, and I completely missed it.

Now I’ve made up for that. I have a copy, and I’m finding it thoroughly intriguing. One of the things I’m finding so compelling about this book is its near anti-lyric lyric nature. It’s an amazingly difficult project, to write a book of poetry where one of the foundational blocks of reception, of enjoyment, is being pushed back against, but DAZE is captivating.

Some of my favorite bits are turning out to be the bits that are the furthest from lyric, the pieces that become, or nearly so, little associative essays that turn out to have wonderfully lyric shadows.

Versions of Progress

Seeking the old kingdom of quiet he enters the hall and takes a seat. Takes, as in time, the occupying tendency, as enters might mean plunge. “It’s a halo glow from a filmic descent of icons over Los Angeles.”

This is one way to say practice, practice. This is one way to show distance.

There’s a notion to sitting of progress, but the years go by as separate breaths. Or the years go by and the breathing continues. Who is he to demand a sense of achievement? We live in dreams that are next to other dreams.

Hegel suggests the swirl, the upward thrush flying always to the celestial nest. Is there a we in a storm of atoms? Let’s start with specifics: autumn, weekend, refuge, asses, the lotus meaning labeling of mind. The film motif turns out to be missing, something physic employing drift. But then

it’s conflation, a girl’s life with his own, the odd sense of arriving here or there in a how town. Buddhas, yes, and preconceptions, the now some liquid amber turning gold against a courthouse.

Counting bricks . . .

We count thoughts but they don’t turn into kingdoms. “A dove-cote of perception,” so says Plato. We have ideals but they don’t turn into achievement. The labeling “if I’m lucky” is a way of seeing progress. It’s just Los Angeles, people in a room, fidgeting.

Slow walking mudra, twenty pigeons on the sill . . .

“The head is connected to the neck, and to the ass, there being a primal magic to the spine.” He thinks of this as a vestigial tale, as impending love or past lives. There is enough here to say we are delicious, people try real hard.

Let’s forget Hegel and assume practice. Taking a seat is a good picture of work. The capital we fund is the building across the way. It’s Doric in the way your neighbor is Doric, standing in his yard supporting the sky.

Your neighbor nods on her cushion. Angels, the city, angles. It’s a quiet you just might buy. He tries this out as Sunday. His left hip aches from the weight. Despite the static from the film, the pigeons, this trying turns out to be.


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