Sunday, December 9, 2007

This has no thesis statement: A small essay regarding poetry and voices and procedure

In the past two weeks I have listened to readings and lectures by Rae Armantrout, Alice Notley, Lyn Hejinian, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Spicer. (Thank you PENNsound.)

I listened to them while I shipped motorcycle parts and clothing.

I thought about people's procedures of writing poetry and all their different forms. Spicer's ghosts and Martians. Notley's trances.

I have been thinking a lot about "voice." I feel like there are infinite voices available to use in poems. I feel like there are infinite voices you can access through osmosis. I think this is because of things like TV and the internet and technology's ability to both alienate us and unite us at the same time. I am very scared of this merging of voices. I am scared and excited, I think.

I think of it as a sort of collective unconscious Jungian thing but I probably misunderstand Jung. I like thinking about poetry as the ability to access/be any voice.

Lately, I like trying to distrust my own voice in writing. Or at least trying to separate/distill my voice from other voices.

I have been trying to write poems using different procedures. Since I listened to all of Spicer's Vancouver lectures I tried writing some poems by emptying my mind and only acknowledging thoughts that I felt were "alien." Not Martians. Just different and interesting and decidedly not "mine."

I want to write a poem using a Ouija board.

I have also been thinking about trying to write something while I hold a part of my body over a candle. This seems like a valid procedure.

1 comment:

Annie Lo said...

Writing a poem with a Quijja board would be a good idea. Also, it might be an interesting hobby and/or anectdote for a spun out, morbid character to have in a novel.
I don't know about burning yourself while writing, but there is always that open grave in the Ashland cemetary near Walker street you could climb into with a candle and a notepad if you wanted some ambiance.

Anyway, keep it up with the intricate procedure, your work is respectable.