Wednesday, January 28, 2009

C = F + S1 + S2

I’m thinking again, which is always a bad sign. Number one, it means I’m not writing, as I only think when not writing. And number two, I’m going to post it on the blog.

So bear with me and help me out if you can, as this is something I keep coming back to, and can’t quite get my way around, over, or through, as if maybe if I just kept calling it different things, maybe one of them will do the trick and some secret door will open and I’ll be inside. Inside of what can wait until I’m inside.


In all art there is a placingness—that things must be placed—which is movable—“where should this go”—as a craft issue, yes, but also as more than the pedestrian way we often hear of craft being talked about. Just because something must be composed doesn’t make it objectively decided upon.

Line breaks are like this. Creeley’s Form / Content dance is about this.

Because there is always or there must always be the distance after the plan.

Why “craft” has always bothered me is because it feels to me like some recipe for success one might hear talked about on Oprah. In much the same way that Creative writing classes aften seem conceptualized as a recipe, when of course we know they aren’t.

Is art personal? If it is, then the coming together over craft issues would seem, at the very least, suspect.

Is art impersonal? In some ways yes, knowing a bit about how language works us, but so then why do we keep talking about the importance of “voice”?

Of course it’s a mix of both. It’s as much incantation as communication. More so, in my estimation.

Voice & Craft

And what if one’s voice is arrived at through chance operations? (I do this myself quite a bit when composing)

And also, what if the craft is personal? You know, making up the form as the form unfolds.

The heater just came on as I’m writing this, changing the formal restrictions of my environment. Coffee is ready.


If conceptualizing things as a puzzle assists one in constructing poems, then one should. What matters is not how we conceptualize things, but what we produce in the reader.

But I’ve never believed in the message.


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