Wednesday, February 02, 2005

If you do a Google search for the curious word "meticules," you will get a curious and vaguely anti-Semitic-sounding constellation of misspellings of "meticulous"—here are some of the pages that come up:
Baseball Stamp Story - Mozambique
MOZAMBIQUE Last update: february 28, 2002 JOGOS OLIMPICOS DE SEUL February 10,
1988 20 Meticules Yv: 1078 Mi: 1114 Sc: 1036 SG: 1177 Back.

RPG World
... One was as meticules as Frater and the other on was as creative Artemis. So
they are there you just have to find them. Kinda like anime! ...

Re: How did the Holocaust story originate?
... A little basic reading will probuce tons of evidence, the Germans were actually
quite proud of their efforts and kept meticules records for the camps and ...

Reminiscences By Aaron L. Lanning 1845-1934
... Before we were to leave for camp the Brighton girls made up a lot of little meticules
containing needles, thread, buttons, and pins which they called housewives ...

MysticWicks Online Pagan Community and Pagan Forums - Input please ...
... executed. BELIEVE ME, the Jews were meticules record keepers when it comes
to the Jerusalem, their kings and Religion. Nothing more. ... Militaria Forums - Opinions on EK2 Envelope
... With the exception of the swaz, this is one of the more detailed crosses I have.
The beading is meticules and check out this date. Any opinions are welcome. ...
You will also find some poems by Sheila Murphy and this 42-word review of Lisa Jarnot's book Some Other Kind of Mission from "Erika" at Horse Less Press:
Some Other Kind of Mission by Lisa Jarnot Recurring names. Other pieces are in blocks. Her hand on the visuals. Doesn't close? Constellations. Palimpsest enacted, recurring. Recurring names. Other pieces. And more chaotic. Definitive version of text's methods. Arranged. Deny "stop". "To stop" as verb (not verb/noun). And "meticules".
All of which is as good an introduction as any to the ex-centric and unsettling world of Grood Poet No. 3, the hat-making, London-swinging, horse-betting, Robert Duncan-biographying, repeating-with-a-difference Lisa Jarnot. Check out this illuminating interview with her where she cops to her first influences being "Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie and Lenny Bruce and Abbie Hoffman." The complexity, the wit, the sheer strangeness of her output would be enough to get me to reconsider the value of the Beats, if I weren't sort of doing it already (I've been grooving to a CD some kind person gave me of Kerouac reading (and singing! who knew?) pieces of On the Road). Dylan plus Stein describes Some Other Kind of Mission pretty well—I would say Stein's influence has been the most constant on her style, while her finely honed sense of indignation comes more from the Dylan side (though she does not come across as a particularly ironic poet). To locate her in the Grood Group I'm assembling, I'd say repetition is the rhetorical trope that her obsessions are most tightly wound around (as the permutations of syntax are for Moxley and fragmentary collage is for Davies). I read her as a Change-Pleasure-Abstraction poet, since she's constantly flickering the electric field around individual words by repeating them; after that I notice/enjoy her stance toward the world; and immediately after that I'm conscious of what she presents to us (a lot of animals, for one). Her prose poems layer bits of narrative paratactically against each other, like sedimentary layers or younger ice accumulating atop older ice in the arctic. Language hallucinates itself in this passage that for me has interesting resonances with Stevens' "project of the sun":
Against the sun. a dream of source against the sun. willed against untitled. it is only a dream of the lawn. blowing against the source of the sun. due east. a dream against the source of the sun in the dream due east. count meticules. find. find visible. find dream of the sun it is only. in going to the median. meridian source the sun goes means. meridian dreams of means. find. find visible. find means. find dream due east. find means of. in find the means go east the median source of dream support in east due means supports the sun in find in visible in in click. in dreams of. it is only. going. in the. in find. after. of. is. only. going. in the. due east. of of of.
A slippery quest for origins, for the originary, that simultaneously puts its own ambition in jeopardy? I love that "it is only a dream of the lawn." Pastoral, not incidentally, is an interest of Jarnot's, and I think she derives her take on it from Duncan (who she is hardly over-reverent toward; the "sun" prose piece above is from a section of Mission titled, "Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Salad Bar," a sardonic remark perhaps on the dissociation between poetic means and ends that characterizes the post-Language scene). Nothing I've said so far touches on the sheer aural delight she's capable of producing as in this poem from her most recent book, Black Dog Songs:
Elmslie Blake Pastoral

In the meadow cows are leaping
through the branches monkeys sleeping
on the fields the sheepies bleating,
dancing on the vert fields creeping,

leaping, creeping verdant reaping,
all around their hooves repeating
what the bright green bushes say
opening the vert gren day

daylight, sheeplight their bright rays
chasing cows the monkeys play
dancing through the clear green hay
having hooves to leap they stray

into fields green cleared away,
how the monkeys verdant sway
sway on monkeys, sing and leap with
verdant sheep who mow the green tips

of the vert and verdant green
bright green, clear green, sheep-filled scene.
I'd read that poem to my kids, if I had any. The naivety of Jarnot's persona performs I think the same function as Ashbery's infamous elusivity, creating a space of imaginative freedom in which the writer can take risks: in Jarnot's case the risk of seeming silly, shallow, of having the reader totally miss the wordly context of words that can seem so barely themselves:
Land and Sea

Idle land in Israel
and snails are in a sea,

a real deal in a diner sails
as salads in a sea,

asides aside, aside asides
in salads in a sea,

aside in rinds in lines in lines
as diners in a sea,

a din in dine is in a deal
ideal as red a sea,

as in in dins asides aside,
and and and land and sea.
This is one of my favorite books of the past five years. Tomorrow I'll talk about a poet who became one of my Five Groods on the basis of the single book of hers that I read and then proceeded to carry around with me for the better part of a year.

And no, I still don't know what "meticules" means.

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