Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Believer and Omission

The Believer has an amazing article about the use of omission with texts. When I realized I have several of the mentioned books, I wondered if I am an omissionist.


Conceptual World-Famous Topeka Zoo

With the use of newspaper articles, the source on how Topeka learns about the trouble the zoo is in, I'm seeking that collage of information over time. Article titles lack sentimentality, in so much as they are Dickinsonian in their economy of words. Even the language isn't what a typical lyrical poem would be, which can carry its own kind of sentiment. So as far as a conceptional poem, the titles blur into an understanding of how suddenly and often an animal, if not two or more, dies at the Topeka Zoo.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Poetry of Witness

I don't like the cliche catch-phrase either, but I'd like to share what Joseph Harrington posted on facebook today:

". . . the poetic word is the one that is always situated in the position of a remnant and that can, therefore, bear witness. Poets - witnesses - found language as what remains, as what actually survives the possibility, or impossibility of speaking."

Giorgio Agamben - Remnants of Auschwitz ‎. . . riffing on Holderlin's remark "Was bleibt, stiften die Dicther" - "What remains is what the poets found"

I generally dislike the term "poetry of witness," because in practice it provides a warrant for some rather cheesy, self-righteous posturing. But the way that he uses it here makes sense - witnessing not as authority but as a kind of abjection.

Friday, January 6, 2012