Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Andrew Mister has been thinking about my list of books at his blog, for minor sky. Damn, but does he have a lot of records. So...what book or books have I had a kind of unmediated, or synthetically unmediated, shining response to? That seems a tall order, but I've read plenty of books that are decidedly post-langpo which rocked my world, even if I wasn't entirely willing to admit that that's what they were doing at the time. For better and worse my namesake Joshua Clover's book was big for me. I've already mentioned Tessa Rumsey. Jeff Clark's The Little Door Slides Back is a fave and I suspect it's been much imitated. Barbara Guest has a luminous quality—her poems seem the most sheerly beautiful of any that I can think of, without being visibly attached to a paricular school or other mediating device (her vexed status as a New York School poet notwithstanding). Hm. I can never make a list like this without feeling that I've utterly missed the point, that I'm saying exactly the wrong thing. Reminds me of a bit in the Piombino that I was reading this morning:
from Third Silent Manifesto

You've said many things, you've thought a lot, you've visited people and places, you've wondered. You imagine that someone stops by and you try to explain. But what comes out are words that have nothing to do with what you had planned to say. You planned to say that the tropic sky is definitely blue against all that yellow. And the parakeets twitter so beguilingly that the jungle bends itself to surround them in an orange-green veil. And that the veil is then lifted and, after a shatter of lightning and rain, you fall asleep on a cot on the dark, damp porch. Your dreams contain mostly ancient images, great gods made out of stone, a woman dressed in white, an empty plate. But what actually comes out is a long sigh, a few complaints about who had said or done what about something or other, and a couple of slightly more than minor disappointments. That's all. Then you hear someone laughing—and you start to think about dinner.

Truer words were ne'er spoke. Or blogged.

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