Tuesday, March 06, 2007

notes from juliana spahr's response and a poem

in our last workshop, rob mclennan had us go to http://www.ubu.com/ubu/ (a great site for post avant stuff) and choose a collection to read and respond to by means of a poem. i chose juliana spahr's response (i've read and felt affected by spahr's writing already):

in her poems, spahr describes a series of scenarios where someone's truth is questioned: the torture of military prisoners, the self stalking of a woman with disassociative personality disorder, the abduction of people by aliens.

in her introduction, she discusses the difficulties of representing what's real and what's not through patterns, through art, through history. my poem was triggered by her use of abstract language, her method of including everyone by not being specific in naming, her occasional use of very complicated sentence structure, her simple language and the following excerpts:

"some co-opt this language and paint a series of meticulous and beautifully colored (sic)
monumental images of people imprisoned alone and at the edge of a
tedious despair."

"some [refigure [refuse] respond] call out for an end "

"rewritten the goal of the artist is to present reality in a true and concrete manner"

"another [generic human figure] says passionately we express ourselves in a lan-
guage of regulations. Symbols and numbers best convey our ideas."

"a voice stutters in the background of our waking mind"

"in the narrative she finds herself floating up and out of the bed"

"i can't say this happened to me and expect to be treated in the same way again"

"you keep shaking the secrecy tree
hopefully something drops out"

"as we try to look with eyes better than what we've had before"

"when terrible things happen they must be witnessed"

"how much of self can be removed and the self remain?"

and all of this VIII from page 79

"an attempt to speak to the human moment will occur
in these moments someone touches someone
someone claims to love someone
someone moves closer to someone in prelude to a proposition
someone waits outside for someone to come by
someone becomes unable to live his/her life and succumbs

this is information that might be left out of witness
yet it has a bearing that is all the more strong
it speaks to the safety of immunity that does not exist
to the various kinds of immunity that do exist
such as an emotional immunity to the world
a quarantine of engagement
a feeling of safety

which do you believe?"

untitled poem by me (amanda)

these pages are intentionally left blank

any attempt to find meaning

here is fruitless

abstract does not equal concrete does not produce sound does

not translate

into utterances decoded by ear

there is no evidence to suggest that saying no does not eliminate occurrence

or re o cur rence

to engage in hypothetics is incorrect

muscle memory is a myth

to obey / respect conspires against

solve this problem

where x is father

and y is mother

and z is child

x + y = z

x + z =

there is no answer

solve for why

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