THREE+ very different, equally industrious, nourishing, bright, elegant books: 22 Skiddo / Sub Tractions (Michael Boughn) and The Book of Frank (CA Conrad).
These two books (in fact, THREE, as the Michael Boughn book is really, actually, two books in one) both deserve separate readings and blog posts, but I wanted, for the moment, to just jot down that they are so very different and for me compliment each other because of that -- one, Bougn's, is stacked with rich, long, force-multiplying syntaxes and DENSE language, deep allusions (including literary allusions that emanate (always only) from long acquired and intimate reading/familiarity/erudition), and brain-bending thought-power, and the other, Conrad's, works from simple, gentle, ingeniously conceived structures on the surface "childlike" and "playful" yet packing lethal blows to all our "super-ego," "Top-dog," "Parental" prescriptions against what in all of us is abundantly healthy CHILD as well as, indeed, essential "spirit."
You'd want BOTH books and forms of intelligence at the time of your death when the universe questions you to decide what level(s) of "being" you would be eligible to return as in your next life (if reincarnation is reality) or how close to Shakespeare and Stein and Li Po and Tu Fu you'd live or if you'd end up in some trailer park closer to Dana Gioia and T.S. Eliot and a bunch of egotistical greeting card producers for eternity.
But BACK TO Boughn and Conrad poming:
(1)Who/What is the implied and literal "you" throughout most of Sub Tractions? When I get to the bottom of that, I'll apprehend a great deal of the sub-content and thrust(s) of this intriguing poming/book much more deeply and comprehensively.
(2)What is the repeating "penetralium" in almost all of the separate poems in Sub Tractions? "Petroleum" "MINUS ONE" or Plus 1?
If penetralium describes "the inner most or most secret part of a building," one then must ask, Whose "building" or at least What kind of building, as well as, Is "building" a metaphor for a system, perhaps a system of "secrets" (and again "whose," the poet's, the reader's, society's, modernity's?).
Or is "penetralium" the inner most "secret parts" of the poet's mind/self/Unconscious, or is it society's, for example, a "Collective Unconscious" (Jung) or "the uncreated conscience of my race [modern N. American culture/society]"(Joyce)? Or the secrets of American/(&Canadian) society, which some might argue distinctly lacks in "conscience" (while others might argue equally persuasively, such an argument would be overly-totalizing).
penetralium (plural penetralia)
the innermost (or most secret) part of a building; an inner sanctum
Now, then, permit me to add yet another ENTIRELY different poming to this mix, Peter Ganick's Er a densely packed, I suspect chance-procedures produced, spare use of white space work that METHODically resists habituated "totalizing" description (the kind that sells so dang well in our American universities largely populated by overworked professors with little or no time to teach writing that cannot easily be summarized). Here, Er, is like the proverbial dense (essentially American tree but its trees and foliage surely could be found in other temperate climates and foreign grains) forest; we may easily get lost in it and not be able to find our way out, too. It's also like, say, an enourmous and vast collection of data, like what Darwin ACCUMULATED b-e-f-o-r-e he condensed his findings into a remarkably flexible, malleable, and USEFUL theory -- "useful," QUITE, in my humble opinion, like what Mr. Olson was fond of wanting, and like Michael Boughnn's and CA Conrad's, which are equally useful, at least here in this still relatively free country or here on this still fairly free North American continent.
But before I go with this (apples/oranges mixing) strange what-it-is/what-it-isn't form of review, close-read, another million dollar question needs to be asked -- if I'm crazily "analyzing" three very different kinds of poming in the same READ, why don't I have any female poming in the mix. Hmmm, I'll need to address that question, too, I should theenk...
Friday, November 26, 2010
3 very different, equally industrious, nourishing, bright, elegant books: 22 Skiddo / Sub Tractions (Michael Boughn) & The Book of Frank (CA Conrad)
Posted by Steve at 1:48 PM