Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Sitting at one of the upstairs windows at Juna's Cafe, looking down on the Commons while snow follows its own meandering path downward. Trying as usual to lay hands on the separate pieces of my dissertation, trying not to be daunted by the scale of it all. My Pound chapter is turning into a Pound/Heidegger chapter, which seems natural enough: both were tremendously influential on postmodern poets/thinkers with progressive tendencies; both were themselves Fascists. Extracting the pastoral dimension of Heidegger's thought is like unwinding a ball of yarn into a second, identical ball: painstaking and yet a bit obvious, at least to me. (But it's the moment, the action, the energeia of unspooling that matters, right? "On the Way to Language," indeed....) Still nowhere near actually discussing The Cantos or even Pound's "Imagist" poems. It's going to be a long chapter. I hope the others come more swiftly.

I really enjoyed writing "The Prisoner Poems" below and thanks to those who've remarked on them. I tried to use the show as a kind of pivot around which to swing some verbal energy, as opposed to writing "about" it. I imagine it's a similar impulse to that expressed by David Lynch's use of noir conventions in Mullholland Drive; they're there to inspire and to provide a web of reference for the audience, without actually constituting a "plot" or "subject matter." Shannna, just because I "beat you to it" doesn't mean the world doesn't need more poems about The Prisoner! In fact, that might make a nice anthology to follow up Aubergine. (Speaking of which, like Michael, I too received a Yale Review subscription flyer in the eggplant aftermath. I figured it was because J.D. McClatchy had my address, but now I wonder.... Of course I get unsolicited poetry-related mail fairly frequently; we could just all be on the same list because we once subscribed to Poets & Writers or something.)

Later on I'll post my own stab at Court Green's bouts-rime challenge.

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