Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Benedikt on changing

Here’s a little blip from Michael Benedikt on changing one’s mode, or method, or style.  It’s not that he’s saying something earth-shattering that’s interesting to me here, but that he’s saying something very basic that I think can be easily forgotten by poets/writers/artists, etc.:

Partly it’s an attempt to get at all the corners of one’s consciousness, to use all the resources that you have.  You pursue an idea as far as it goes, and when you begin to feel that it’s weakening, that it won’t carry the thrust of what one feels and thinks, you try another route.  And sometimes those routes appear to be opposites, but they are contained within, hopefully, the same mind and have some kind of internal consistency.  And, if one dare use the word, integrity. 


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Hamilton's Dark Dreambox

Through a glass, darkly

I really can't stress enough how much I like this book. At moments I get a similar feeling to that feeling I first got when reading Michael Palmer's SUN for the first time.

This is a must read. If you like it or not is beside the point of what Alfred Starr Hamilton was trying to do with language.

Thanks to The Song Cave editors (Ben Estes, Alan Felsenthal), Mary Austin Speaker, and everyone else who had anything to do with this.

Here are a few poems: 


Why didn’t you say an inkstand
Why didn’t you say all of this was for the blue sky
Why didn’t you say a sheet of writing paper was for a cloud




But a snowflake stayed on one’s lips
I talked to a golden jar of white roses
That stayed in the January parlor



I wanted to find a little yellow candlelight in the garden



At the back of the skull Tonight I knew of the House
That lodged the living muscle that clung to the starlight




Why didn’t you say the stars were in her eyes
Why didn’t you say the cloud was over the sun
Why didn’t you say every cloud has a silver lining
Why didn’t you say the sun comes shining through
Why didn't you say you were for peace

Why didn’t you stay home
Why didn’t you say there was thunder over the grass
Why didn’t you count the stumbling blocks over again
Why didn’t you say your elbow was on fire
Why didn’t you say you were for freedom

Why didn’t you say you were stupefied
Why didn’t you say you were dumbfounded
Why weren’t you confounded
Why didn’t you say the sun was for the looking glass
Why didn’t you say a cloud just now has passed over the looking glass