Sunday, March 12, 2006

Explication de Texte 2: sources

The ostensible source of "Music Theory" is the experience of the poet. The poem reports on something that "happened". But it is, of course, not important whether or not it is true or accurate: what is important is that for the poem to work the teacher and the students must plausibly exist. The poem's emotion depends upon our ability to imagine the scene and to identify with the teacher. The poem does not "work" if we identify with the students. The materials, more importantly, are arranged around a point of view that asserts itself as poetic, a particular sensivity, an aesthetic "rightness" precedes the reading of the poem.

"Wallace Stevens" accomplishes itself as a poem by the arrangement of materials that are not in and of themselves poetic. Flarf is made out of materials that are unprepared for poetry; the materials used stand in an arbitrary relation to the emotion presented in the poem. Below are the sources I was able to find. As usual, their critical effect is minimal and negative, i.e., all we learn by discovering the sources is that they do not explain the poesy of the poem. They do not account for the emotion available in the poem. And yet, there is nothing else to the poem but their arrangement. This may seem like a banal point, but it ought to sharpen our sense of the contribution that poetry makes to language. It ought to make it somewhat clearer what poetry is.

3. Wallace Stevens

I couldn't have imagined, nor could you have less imagined, anything so worthy of America, had you not been there and done things, oh so many things, there.

Ahmed Balfouni, "Top 10 American Poets" in
Neo-comintern Electronic Magazine #187,
January 27, 2002

You're an evil motherfucker if, when somebody dies and you were THERE contributing to the damn shit, you're an evil motherfucker if you say, well, he did it to himself. Of COURSE he did it to himself. And I thought it was a riot, at the time, contributing to it. Look, man, it is actually pretty fucking FAR from a riot. And you got fucked up with Wallace Stevens? Hart Crane? And you're proud of it? Well, FUCK you, Peter Rabbit. I miss everyone I've ever known. Even those I did not like.

Kevin McGowin, The Benny Poda Years, Chapter 20

Track 10 is “Angel Blake.” This is Glenn Danzig at his finest: slow, heavy and richly textured with his sotto-voce tenor. Lyrically, Danzig is the Wallace Stevens of Evil. “Angel Blake” is a haunting tale; and simply a beautiful song. Here is the perfect example of a man getting better with age. He certainly has come such a long way from, “I turned into a Martian…”

Mick Stingley, Review of Danzig 777: I Luciferi

Oh yeah
In france a skinny man
Died of a big disease with a little name
By chance his girlfriend came across a needle
And soon she did the same
At home there are seventeen-year-old boys
And their idea of fun
Is being in a gang called the disciples
High on crack, totin? a machine gun

Prince, "Sign of the Times" Like small, young Japanese women, Kirsten can dress like Cyndi Lauper circa 1983, or like Bjork circa anytime, or like Betsey Johnson on crack (redundant ...

(This archive seems to have been deleted)

3) "Interactive writing for sexually active teens" -BMC

4) "Hot shit off the dome for the mentally infirm" -Rickey Petersen

5) "Leaky cow udder writing for milk-starved sycophants" -Melatonin

6) "Hi-fi writing for high people" -Gnarly Wayne

7) "Wisecracks for wise people on crack" -BMC

"Top 10 Rejected N-Com Tag-lines" in
Neo-comintern Electronic Magazine #187,
January 27, 2002

1 comment:

Simon said...

Wow, that Van Cleave poem is so prosy! Rather negligible, I think. (And what is up with the typesetting that each line keeps breaking at the wrong place!)

KSM's poem is interesting; I like the transitions more than the places I end up.