Looking to the Edge
Looking to the edge
Of the dawn-tinged mountain
Tops’ cliffed flaming skyscape,
The ladder to the brow of the morning
Star leans against the wall between
The night and day of a new year.
I peak over the sky, blue as the part
Of a candle flame that entrances
A child in Easter Sunday’s Grace
Before what’s thanked for is consumed
For weight toward Earth’s center.
And I see it’s the same primordial pool
Of fire and flame and lust that does
Dervish whirls from a screen door
To a backyard. April is draining
Its pain of birth, thaw and rust
As though the hinges
Of soil opened to houses
In the enclosed bark of trees.
Poetics Statement: My writing invariably goes back to the basement apartment where I lived when I had a nervous breakdown over twenty years ago. The different parts of the apartment symbolize various parts of my psyche; for example, the door leading into the apartment is the location of the pineal gland in the center of my brain. And the window across the room, which is the title of one of my books: The 4D Window, is the sensorium screen where my worldly experiences, including poetry, take place. I consider myself to be a student of Charles Olson’s Projective Verse essay.
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.
A Response to Charles Olson
by E.S. Cormac
I, Saladin, To Nobody in Particular
Wandering idle down Styx lanes
Periwinkle, Crimson, safflower
hues assault windshield unrestrain’
battlement’s arrows shower.
Shall I sit upon the shore fishing?
With the sea stretching out from my feet.
Or speak of undone business?
of syllable, syllabus, syllabic
Oh Glowster Man
(that is how the ears hear it)
My spatial nature geometry is lost now
buried beneath billboard
advertising gleaming teeth
and all manner of elixir
and what watches
and what wears
I want to fit
I want to shine brighter than the fifty stars that glint atop Metropolis
I want that piece
I want that peace
I held that gun at them
for the confusers for the Brooks Brothers cloistered minions
I held that gun
watching as we lay siege at Ma’arra.
How they feasted
Across winter windshield
giants stand gleaming teeth on black ribbon roadsides
Fear Not Citizen!
get the yellow out
tune in tonight at nine)
GOOOO! SPORTSTEAM! GOOOO! COMMERCE! BUY SELL SELL BUY BUY
fly where you can never reach
fly and I will follow
My ship’s mast melts with wings
to cause quarrel over the loss of golden armor.
There are riches enough to be satisfied in Troy
where Dear Fathers, Fearless Leaders, Benevolent Uncles
Bearded Revolutionaries smile down on us all
for the chance to purge
O Commerce O Commerce
My teeth dream of the day they can gleam
sublime ego sentence strands removed from shores
blown to glass
situated in teethly tower rows
erect Testaments to our fathers named
Sears, Comcast, Chrysler, Key and Bank of America I and II
O Commerce O Commerce
I repent I am Redeemed for five cents
Do not discard me in your Gulag Archipelago
I am not so poor, you will make no great profit
Do not discard me in a home of wayward Roman D.J.s
In twelve plus twelve I would never produce a cantos
Oh Glowster Man
Do you hear me?
Was this percussive?
Was it PROJECTIVE?
I want to wander through brilliant stacks of cans
I want to act after taken thought
I want to fight no more forever
Oh Glowster Man
Do you hear me?
Your RAT-A-TAT-TAT DA-DING
has been replaced by yet another glowing blue screen that can paint the windows of Suburbia
The keys still clack
but even as we speak they are being replaced…
By what says you?
by shiny glass and aluminumy tablets says I
Like His word says you?
better says I
they gleam of billboard staring toothuses
Charles Olson’s poetry and essay, “Projective/ Verse” are the antithesis of the New Critic School of writing. Although Olson is scholarly and fills his stanzas with learned quotes and references, he departs in every other way from the New Critics. Embracing all the features of modern printing Olson breaks his verse up according to how it should be spoken or into ‘breaths as he calls them. His open verse or Composition by Field is formed free of iambic meter. Instead Olson prefers to concentrate on the kinetic nature of the poem, Olson also carefully points out that all metaphor, objects, or anything else that would interrupt this kinetic flow must be omitted.