Monthly Archives: February 2011

Layering Complexity and Recklessness (or, How Poems are like Cookies)

I’ve started reading Dean Young’s The Art of Recklessness, and have been thinking about loosening up the layered connections I am beginning to make in my poems.  The lateral leaps it takes to pursue these layered constructions seems to align to some of the things he’s talking about in the beginning of the essay – it’s really like one long essay.

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Update to Writing Outside of Tone

Just a quick note that while I did not quite hit the humorous mark (although there were some humorous lines), I did manage to extend my subject matter.  And I do feel as if I was able to bring my tone down to a more conversational level, which is something I have been [not pursuing] lately.

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On Writing Outside of Tone

The assignment: Draft a poem outside your normal tone.

So far, I have come up with three drafts.  I usually write on the more serious, exploratory side, so I’ve been trying to imbue a sense of humor, or dark humor in response to this assignment.  I would love to be able to write poems like Tony Hoagland or Dean Young or Billy Collins: filled with a striking insight and humorous tone.  So I’m attempting to write one.

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A Brief Response to Idoru

This is not my first time reading Idoru, but it is the first time I have read it with an eye toward the techno-orientalist characteristics.  Of course, I noticed from a past reading the settings in Tokyo and San Francisco, the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the characters, and the relatively near-future technological advances (Rei Toei being primary, of course).  I had not thought, however, about some of the implications of these qualities of Gibson’s novel.  Continue reading

On the Edge of Vertigo

Again, I find myself drawn to Stewart’s discussions in Poetry and the Fate of the Senses, but this time am finding it more difficult to locate a continuity between this reading and readings from Hoagland’s Real Sofistikashun or Longenbach’s The Poetic Line. Hoagland’s essays, especially, seem to want to break the connections seen in “Facing, Touch, and Vertigo,” while at the same time they are reflexive and recursive. At the same time, Hoagland points to the idea that those poems which become completely disconnected or overly aware of the connection between writer and reader, which invoke complete vertigo, are necessarily less successful.

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Intention and Questions

When I write, I struggle to locate myself within a concept of self.  If identity is dependent on understanding one’s relationality to all that is around, and writing is dependent on the ego, then must the act of writing assume a defined identity?  As I write more, I feel a more concrete definition approaching… a better word might be concept.  The concept of self avoids the immutableness implied by definition.  It’s fluid, and therefore changeable.

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