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.
A common quality of the readings, excluding the commentaries on Ashbery, is the sort-of stream of consciousness style. I write “sort-of” because these essays and poem are considered, detailed, and meditative. However, the quality of movement within them is intuitive and more felt than structured. The intuitive movement is especially visible in the stanza breaks in Ashbery’s “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” a movement from the painting to balloon (a shape similar to the convex mirror – but also to the dream in qualities of popping) to tomorrow to dreaming to the dream. Continue reading