Aesthetics of Immersion Poetry
Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia
Literature is created through the usage of three devices – style, sentiment, substance. Of these the device which separates prose from poetry is style. Style is the single most important aspect of poetry. Whether coming in the guise of paragraphs or in broken lines, style must be of the utmost concern to the poet. Tone, meter, imagery must push the form into being, from there sentiment is established via metaphor. A single image running through the three lines of a senryu or 21 syllables of landay can be in itself a notion of so much more than what is easily read. This is what pushes poetry into distinction from prose.
The next important aspect of style is a question of story. There may be some innate desire among some to feel the need to tell something and thus the narrative. This is understood. This is where style again must come through. Here is where style disrupts, shatters or perhaps illumines story in a way unlike prose.
The poem is not a short story in broken lines. The poem is a poem. Poetry is the art of another way. It is the art of different approach and perspective. And perspective should be of serious thought to the poet. Forget reliable and omniscient narrators. Think of voice and participants and the act of being. Understand time/space. Let style adjust understanding. As sentiment is established throughout the course of the poem, those events/ideas will create a sense of lyricism. And form must comfort that. Form has the responsibility of carrying sentiment. Caring for sentiment.
Words (and their counter – space – and their complement – punctuation) need to be carefully chosen. Substance –the actual words, punctuation, and space are there also to convey sentiment in le mot juste. even if it means forcing words to work in an unusual way. Noun, verb, adjective are subject to change in poetry. All can act. All can be acted upon. All add image. All are image. And image is everything.
The image is the poem.
A good story makes one read on. A great poem makes one stop. This stop is to let the mind fill in the image. Or fulfill the image. Or to let the metaphor be carried to its end on the other side of the poem’s conversation.
As all poetry is correspondence. Exchange is the work of the poem via the combination of style, sentiment, substance. Poetry talks to/answers to memory. In such, Proust is poetic at its best. But it is his style which disturbs his poetry. Though he breaks story, time, hero, and creates a sense of perspective as none else other than Beckett (who obviously comes out of his shadow), he lacks a certain style in tone and meter. And space. He does not allow for the gap, the space, the time to examine – to fulfill the image. Poetry enjoys its spasms and its sense of specific sparsity regardless of overall length.
To get into the technicalities of esthetics in poetic style, a poem must if not carry then deliver a sentiment via its conversation. The poem should feel interactive. The poem should have something to say. Nonsense is an aspect. It is not a totality of the poem. If absurdity is to be used, it must serve a purpose. (And there is a purpose to Dada and language poems. There’s something to be said about questioning grammar itself. And there’s something to removing communication from language which was created just for the purpose of communicating. And of course, one should always challenge prescriptive linguistics.)
The poem after this, while maintaining/creating a style, must enter a reader into difference. It must slow the reader into thought. Into questions. Into pause. Poetry’s closest cousin may not be song but comedy which understands pause and not explaining itself. After this is the comic book which allows each frame to act as a part of the context/text or to be its own individual pictorial representative of an else. And oh, how the rules are meaningless in comics. Anything can happen – see Arkham Asylum’s up and down versus left to right reading. Let stanzas/movements be the rooms they are – filled with their own furniture.
The stanza is not nutmeg to complement the cream of a béchamel. The stanza is root vegetable after root vegetable to create the stew within the overall broth of white space.
Some well chosen (well, all well-chosen) substance is the nutmeg and perhaps a freshly ground pepper and a secret ingredient or specialty perhaps. Le mot juste is the mustard or thyme no non-saucier saw coming.
Through the careful interworking of style, sentiment and substance comes the poem. The poem is work with language not play. Words work. And words employ. Words are at play as an athlete is at play knowing this game is a means by which a certain contract will come. Language is the medium of all literature. The poem must put this language to its use or give it a new job.
At the same time, poetry is a product and requires producers and raw material.
To conclude, image is the blood of the poem. Image immersed in the words. Immersion poetry. Beyond expression, concept, process and out of focus/without focus should be the images running through. Through shattered narrative, through spastic, through sparse, through conceptual – the image. More to the point, the idea of the image. The trigger to thought. First the spark (of consciousness) in writer’s mind then spark in reader’s mind. Poetry of unwriting – leaving space for completion elsewhere.
To read is to perceive.
To write is to convey realthought where realspeak was unable to.
Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia is the author of This Sentimental Education and Enter the After-Garde along with two other collections of poetry. He was raised in Brooklyn, NY and has a degree in Linguistics. He has studied several living and dead languages in addition to philosophy and poetry at SUNY Albany and Hudson Valley Community College. He spent over ten years working in restaurants – cooking, washing dishes, etc. Currently, he works overnights putting boxes on shelves. By day, he runs kjpgarcia.wordpress.
The Poetics of Immersion
Sentiment and Sensibility
by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia
Withinside of experience is poetics
an unhidden poetry runs its course through occurrences
a further unhidden poetry has been handed down and lived in for centuries in myth, fable, folklore, philosophy, religion, worldview, and other notions often marked as ‘culture’
images have existed
images created are tangled with past images
ideas are images to be
images are ideas had
images are ideas being had
the image and idea (of the image) is the center of the poem
even when the poem has no center or focus, the image/idea is
a direction of a poem is an image
a whole piece can turn on a preposition
into (for example) is an image/idea immersed into the wordery of the poem
the wordery is the added imagery of words surrounding the essential image
a room described is often done so just to place in or out of it the agent or patient of the lines
a poem finds its place immersed into other poetry at all points
no words exist alone
there is no alone with words
a single word is a combination of concepts, idea, and (what) sensiment imag(in)es
sense is a two-way conduit for sentiment
sensiment(al) is the poet’s stock of ingredients, materials, detritus, etc for poetry
sensiment is found art
sensiment is art forced upon artist via life and the image/idea occurring and being processed
the poem occurs within the overall web of poetics/wordery/sensiment
poem as written/being written is an act of immersion (at times invasion)
poem inserts into web of myth and history and truth and wish and current events and the POP
the pop the today’s need for myth with truth being subjected to wish
the poem once inserted into the umbrella of wordery undergoes the next step which is to be immersed into the reader
the reader more properly defined is the perceiver of poetry
the perceiver once in contact with the poem is in the poem is withinside the occurrence of the piece
minimalism, distillation and small vocabulary further allow for an enmeshment with the poem once the perceiver is immersed in the poem
the poem immersed in the experience of the perceiver
immersion poetry is NOT conceptual poetry
concept is but an aspect of/step towards idea
immersion poetry is not found poetry
all poetry is found in the cosmic and psychic language of the real and irreal/subjunctive worlds
possibility is its own myth
wish is a pantheon governing the will
immersion poetry enters this world wrapped in other wordery
it comes through and with all art and all pop
it comes with myth attached
it comes via quote via reference naked but for the air it has relationship with
it comes knowing it itself is at times nothing other than a paraphrase a para-image para-idea
it gives room for continuation
it is conversation
it is called to respond
it responds to call
it calls for response
respond and correspond is immersion
it does by being allowed to do
to do is to be received
perception is reception where poetry is concerned
where poetry has flourished in its immersion
as but a petal coming from and returning to a mythic center
APPROACHES TO LONG POEMS OF THIS NARRATIVE
by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia
Anna Elena Eyre
- Although temporal this narrative is non-chronological, non-hierarchical and non-linear and more akin to that of a spiral with layered complexity as well as the backward, forward and present trajectories of moment(s).
- The idea of the image of an occurrence is the motive for this narrative and the motivation for readers to enter into the story as well as to have the story enter into them.
- This narrative emphasizes transition/attention/relation not action/conflict/heroism.
- This narrative is no longer storytelling, it is story-talking.
- This narrative is highly interpretative on behalf of the reader because of authorial choices.
- In this narrative the reader in some ways becomes the writer because the text requires participation to be determined. It is because of participation that we can locate and re-create a poetic tradition that requires personal enactment.
- This narrative engages delimited and ultra-discursive identity, naming, setting, plot and experiences.
- This narrative wishes to escape the literary narrative (resolution, coda, evaluation and exposition) to bring about a linguistic narrative (intuitive temporal sequencing, displacement, coordinate clauses, orientation complication, and an abstracted exposition).
- This narrative is primarily textual and utilizes translation of oral poetic strategies including: patterns of recurrences; morphology; deixis; pitch; juxtaposition; minimal vocabulary; variation; improvisation; rhyming that can be but does not necessarily have to be sounded but rather based in associative resonances; as well as rhyming that is unpredictable and spontaneous.
- This narrative is a mirror or window that has been shattered but each shard is a piece of and offers another jagged perspective of the whole that is necessarily indefinite.
- This narrative explores othering, exile, hybridism and errantry.
- Voice is key to this narrative.
In Defense of a New Lyricism
by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia
“man is himself an object”
Lyricism, the poetry of emotion, is in need of an overhaul but not in need of complete annihilation. Lyricism at its core is rhythm and sentiment tied together. This bundle is of great importance to both reader and writer. As poetry finds a natural pace conjoined to thought, it returns to its verbal and thus songlike primordial state. This rhythm which comes with thought attached to breath or heart or nature or machinery or whatever is contained inside and out converts emotion also to its natural state – the state of being sensed.
Lyricism is poetry made natural or better yet, normal/mundane. The new lyricism is not concerned with meter as much as it is concerned with the pace of thought, memory, experience. Lyricism translates the world into emotion and emotion into a musical/tonal state of being. Being is important. Lyricism works with flow and rests so as to keep the emotion moving between writer and reader.
This link between reader and writer is the crux of the new lyricism. Lyricism is about emotion not about subject and object. It is about how an occurrence changes a state of mind/how a mind changes at all. States of mind are what connects all individuals. We experience and we process. We react. We internalize. We externalize. When we read we not only absorb words but apply those words to our past and ideas of the future and our current place.
Reading is daydreaming or meditating. When one reads poetry one should stay close to the words until words fade into the moment. The moment of sentiment. Of sensing. When one leaves the poem and enters into the Self or outside of the Self.
Thoughts collect as reading occurs. The new lyrical poet harnesses their own thoughts and experiences/perception and transfers into an absorbable state of musicality. The new lyrical poet takes into account syllables, breath, phrasal constituents, phonology, harmony. This poet is love with language and brings it to a natural place where it can do its duty of communicating or rather communing.
Lyricism does not need to be subjective. We are all subjects and objects simultaneously. Experience and perception is all around and ever-occurring. With this taken into account the new lyricism focuses simply or only upon conveyance of the emotion and/or those thoughts related to emotion. The mere mention of joy, anger, love, distress conjures up sentiment and the daydreams which transfer one back intowards such a state of occurrence.
Emotion needs no agent nor patient. Emotion is. And if it is, it is worthy of the poet’s attention.
Emotion is an ever-changing part of being human and emotions shift at any given time. The amount of triggers which set off thoughts and thus emotion or more precisely the memories surrounding and caging memory are infinite. Today is different for everyone. This second is varied for each experiencer but it is experienced. And, emotion is there; even if the emotion is the emotion of nothing – no value. Apathy, indifference, nihilism, zen, etc states of non-emotion are in themselves emotion. Emotion is nothing more than a state of mind/being which sometimes becomes a reaction. Mostly, emotion is from the Latin for remove or displace. What is more displaced than nothingness? And, in all honesty what state is harder to achieve than that of nothingness within writing? Even the most abstract and uncreative of poems emote. Each syllable in its morphological essence may trigger change. Each syllable with its phonological presence can soothe or ruffle and thus create an emotion.
The new lyrical poet does not need to fall into archaic traps and be brought into a state of ‘I’- heavy wordings. Nor does the lyrical poet need to fall into meter. Language will find its flow from there we place emotions to move between eyes/ears and print/voice.
Critics, theorists, linguists, translators, poets, teachers and students, Altpoetics is calling for all those bits of poetic musings which tend to have no place on poetry blogs or in the vast amount of poetry journals/zines.
Altpoetics is looking for manifestos, mission statements, process pieces and any theory on poetics/poetry, language and translation. This is the place to voice all those odd and innovative ideas about writing. This site can also be a place to dig into older theories (as new tends to sprout from old) but really, there’s no need to continue to sing the praises of decades old manifestos. Let this be the place to voice your own ideas. The future is yours to create.
Altpoetics isvery interested in writing as a response to other writing/writers. Letters to the past and poems re-visioned/re-imaged are also of great interest.
Altpoetics is also looking for slipstream work -writing which shows innovation or a new/different approach. Altpoetics is especially desirous of work which pushes the limits of the lyrical narrative.
Please send 2000 words or less in a .doc attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Previously published material is welcome.) Also, please title the piece and send a short bio within the attachment. And, a cover letter is appreciated.