Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Radiant Signal - Juliana Leslie

More Radiant Signal - Juliana Leslie

Two new books are out from Letter Machine Editions. Here are a couple poems from one of them, Juliana Leslie’s More Radiant Signal.


Department of the Interior


Not between you and the birdbath, but the birdbath and the farmstand is triumphant. A happy confluence, says the dictionary. Between the Pacific Ocean and myself, something similarly transitive and dependent. Between the longitude and the conjunction of where I’ve been, we observe a given and a line passing through, from one side to another, from here to the moment before. This means I promise to join you at precisely half past the hour. I promise this meeting will be an encounter of great magnitude and proportion, expressed as “we,” in the present perfect, “have encountered each other.” Or, have you been smiling for a great duration, earth’s equator, prime meridian?



A Little Sound in the Middle of Simone


Sound of her in the x of you. Sound of p in paper human beings. Sound of salt in salty water and transitive verb swim, the sum total of wind and wind-bearing objects in the distance. A sound in Simone saying, shall I? Not the same as saying I shall or the sound of sh inside of Simone saying shall. Not sound of silent e in Simone or the sound of e in something unlike Simone. Sound of the windfall of s in wingspan or wisp of air. Sound of l in the middle distance of Gala apple. Unknowable things in the middle of Simone, in the style of Simone’s voice and locution, in the size of Simone’s tone and presentation. Sound of irregular Simone. In the hope of Simone if s is not an actual Simone saying yes, I am Simone. Sound of Simone unfolding in a secret language of color and texture. Sound of Simone in piano key for p next to a for the animal in her surface. Simone descending a staircase. Something to fall in love with: sound of s in Simone saying yes, the sound of s is something.

14 Comments:

At 11/30/2010 3:27 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

I received this book the other day. My first reading of Leslie's work.

I do like the "Simone" poems in the book, and the ones that follow that way of proceeding.

 
At 11/30/2010 5:16 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Agreed.

 
At 12/01/2010 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with the journal Poets & Writers is its implication that poets do something different from writing. But didn't Pound say poetry should be at least as well written as prose? In these poorly-written prose poems, I find further proof of something I've concluded after spending several years in graduate writing programs: poets just aren't interested in writing well these days. They're more interested in obfuscation and the masking of the fact that we as American poets have no subject left besides poetry itself: thus American poetry is turning to gnaw on its own bloody wound in a kind of self-cannibalization that will surely be the death of the art. How far we've fallen down the chasm of our own egocentricity from the blossom-strewn cliff of Whitman's outwardness and empathy!

 
At 12/01/2010 3:37 PM, Anonymous Joshua Clover said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/01/2010 4:03 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I hear this critique a lot on blogs. I understand that a reader can feel irritated with some poetry. I share that feeling of irritation (of course, it's about different poetry), but even so, making assumptions about the motivations of poets, that "poets just aren't interested in writing well these days. They're more interested in obfuscation" is simply untrue. I have yet to meet a poet, no matter how opaque one might find the poetry (Celan, for example), who is actually interested in creating or acting out obfuscation. It's just simply not true.

 
At 12/02/2010 6:44 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/02/2010 7:24 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/02/2010 7:27 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/02/2010 7:43 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12/02/2010 8:47 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/02/2010 9:08 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

My response to the post by "Joshua Clover" was written in some anger, sparked by the offensive last sentence.

I've just discovered the comment really isn't by him, and I should have realized he likely would not post such a remark. I profusely apologize for my characterization of the "Dana Gioia" part of it, inasmuch as I ascribed it to Clover. Even if I can't really apologize for my characterization of a couple recent writings by him, though the candor there was unleashed in context of the misplaced anger, too...

I've asked John G. to take both comments down.

 
At 12/02/2010 9:18 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

And I should say, falsely posting in comment boxes under the name of another *actual* person is not cool.

 
At 12/02/2010 9:30 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

That should do it. Whew, that was quite a little mess of comments to send to the trash can.

Yes, indeed.

It's not nice to comment on blogs pretending to be someone else.

-The MGMT

 
At 12/02/2010 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it's not nice writing poems and claiming that your someone else either!

 

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