Against the idea of “communication” in art: We must also
recognize the existence and importance of still less articulate mental episodes
in which the thinker gropes for expression and is swayed by dimly perceived
intimations of significance or promising roads to solution.
Thoughts come with their expression.
Postmodernism came about along with a general feeling of
relativism, more talk of truths and less of truth.If any one thing can be pointed to as an
indicator that postmodernism has passed or is deep into passing, it is the
current tendency to move away from relativism.
All propositions are true and false.No they’re not.
Talking, and writing as well, is full of the chance
operations of how one sets off.As one
speaks, structures are set up that must then be filled.This makes demands upon the direction of the
thinking—the formal direction.It forces
us to say it in a certain way.We all
Language has a cold.
Logic has never been enough.
Is art purposive?
Language is a forced march.
Is decorated banality still banality?
Poetry as an expression of a feeling or state of feelings,
or as a state of being in those feelings.This dichotomy has been going around a long time.It’s a false dichotomy.
Ideas that seem clear but in actuality, when examined, are
not, is the hugger mugger in the museum.
Most confusion and misunderstandings arise from the multiple
and shifting senses of key words.
Most artists and critics at any given time are clerks of
You can’t have a boundary of only one side.To understand a limit, you must, therefore,
have some knowledge of what is outside it.
The pleasures of simple answers do violence to fundamental
Describing should not be about liking or disliking.Is such a thing possible?
The problem of poetry in our time is outside of aesthetic
positions.Poetry has become the doily
of the PBS News Hour, and now everyone can have one: a fitting proof for any
domestic space that no domestic space is calling for.If one desires, one can even claim it helps
them in some way, the way any doily helps preserve the table’s finish in the
The style, the manner of the poem, is the manner of its
thinking.The manner of thinking allows
and disallows the expression of some thoughts.
What once arose from a discovery of language and world,
becomes, over time, a wall standing between the language and world.
Art might well be thought of as a mirror, but then one must
supply what it is that stands before the mirror.
Art production occurs to the side of statements on art, not
There is a lot of necessary as well as unnecessary
theatricality in the presentation of art.
It’s not that the poem is its own explanation, but that no
other explanation suffices.
Art performs our unreasonableness.The part of you talking and the part of you
The best poetry leaves in the reader a feeling that there
should be a response, but from whom, or what?
Poetry is always going to seem nonsense to most people.
In the presence of great art, we feel an acceleration.
It’s important for artists to think about, and have ideas
about, the role and function of art.On
the other hand, there’s this complimentary attitude that one should, like Nike,
just do it.That also is a thinking and
a role.It’s the ones who do neither,
who attempt the unexamined art, who make me all itchy.
There is always noise and there is always music.
“Once upon a time things were bad until our ideas came
along” vs. “Once upon a time things were good, until some people with their
ideas came along.”
The problem of a signature style: A person who can always be
counted on to say the same thing supplies no information.
I’m going back to something like a foundation, to lay out
(at least for myself) the situation of the poem.It begins with language as an act of
The more one attempts the linearity of communication, the
more one will drift from the complexities of thought.The more one attempts the complexities of
thought, the more one with drift from the linearity of communication.This is not really a—or it doesn’t need the
baggage of a—question of “experimental/avant garde/conventional” or
whatever.These are social categories
for what is at heart a personal disposition toward the problem of
The difficulty of most questions resides largely in the
difficulty of making clear to ourselves what we are asking.