Friday, October 22, 2010

O pen -- October 18

Prose vs. Poetry:
What is the difference between a prose poem, a narrative poem, and a story which uses good language? What if writing were only collections of words that sting?
What hooks us in?

Here is the link (apologies -- fuzzy here) of Alan Ginsberg at RIT reading from “Howl”

Are there works like “hydrogen jukebox” in the poems and sentences below?

Merlin Enthralled by Richard Wilbur
OCTOBER 4, 2010
Hell, by Zbigniew Herbert
(discussed with Christopher Kennedy 10/9 at his workshop. Two paragraphs; an ordering of Hell. One wonders about the nature of life as joke.)

Antonina’s Education (runner-up for Cranston prize awarded by Calyx. -- for winning poems and other runners’ up.
(stanzas: part 1 of 6 lines; part 2: 3 lines; (initiation -- as girl, changing language/country) part 3: couplets. The juxtaposition of the German guard who shares his sandwich. Her surprise when she expresses sympathy to him on the loss of his son.)

Lines from Prose : (from Gary Lutz' talk 10/9)
Sam Lipsyte: Novelist – sentences that read like a string of epiphanies, glued with assonance, patterned repetitions, blends.
“Viola tones rose from a carved alcove.”
“So maybe I wanted all these memories, the sorrows and the hollows.”
“the blade bordered on sword.)

Christine Schutt:
“Mother had used overcooked bacon for a bookmark,
or a hair pin, stick of gum, sucker stick, twig –
whatever was at hand.

Two poems by Christopher Kennedy from "Encouragement for a Man Falling to his Death"
poems with a touch a strange, beautifully structured prose poems.
Speech Identification Procedure : beautiful crafting in 3 stanzas -- relationship -- of father to child, light, dark, absence, disappearance. How italicized "father" migrates to italicized last word, "bird".

The 3rd stanza:
A person can stand still for a long time moving about in the world.
My days are like this, a scarecrow in a field, trying to imagine "birds"

King Cobra Does the Mambo
Like Ashbery -- a view of chaos, with serpent power and clin d'oeil to Villon, Stevens' monocle.
Juxtaposition. Italics: "I love you,/but you never phone." non-italics: For this, our species waited centuries./ That's as far as I go today;

and the poem continues. Ends with a dream -- "I intuit the laughter/of trees. That, or a runaway train headed your way."

There's an irresistable humor, more pleasing than Herbert's "Hell";
Prose cannot be a simple kyrielle (string of Kyrie) of epiphanies. Nor poetry for that matter.
Well-constructed snapshots that capture more than the black and white.

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