Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Leslie Scalapino from Crowd and not evening or light:

boy or man terrorist - flaccid - having old rule
that will
create that action - and him - affected - right -
negatively - not - by - his view

This is a wonderful excerpt from a wonderful poem, but I'm trying to get the hang of the dashes. More to say about it later. Is anyone out there very familiar with her work? I fear that I haven't read enough to speak to why she uses dashes, except to say that it creates a nice disjointed sense within the poem. Many writers (think Joyce) have tried to capture a street scene or such (Woolf at the start of Mrs Dalloway) all happening at once within the text, a full painting, employing different devices. I think that's what I read in this poem in part, but it may be that Scalapino is attempting something else and I'm entirely missing the point. The mind of the artist at work? Something not as physical as I'm getting from the words? It probably says more about the way that I read that I'm always looking for things, actual physical things, in poems like this, when perhaps I should be letting go of those conceptions. My own work doesn't always deal with such facts, so you would think I could read the same way I sometimes write.

Is it possible to read differently than one writes? Different part of the brain?

I need to post a better example of what I'm talking about. Will do so this week.

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