Wednesday, April 28, 2004

"The linear, often transparent functions of utilitarian prose are completely subverted and instead we find ourselves riding lyrical waves without the comfort provided by the shores of lineation." Well put Nate. I like this idea, be it Tate's or your paraphrasing. It turns the prose poem into something daring, even dangerous. To keep with the metaphor, one is unmoored. Perhaps I'll have a run at one and report back. I'll call it "Damn you and your good points Nate" Do you think you (or anyone else) could dig up a particularity metrically regular prose poem (or one that is doing interesting rhythmic whatnot) that we could put on the operating table?

Jorge, I too wonder about how conscious we are about these kinds of tiny matters. Even when reading those fine lines by Harevy, I'm unlikely, early on, to have those kinds of thoughts. I'm more likely to just enjoy them and perhaps look more closely later to find out why. But in writing/revising a poem, these are precisly the thoughts that occur and need to be grappeled with. As for non-poet readers, I can't help thinking that if the reader isn't looking for conscious effect, they must have an unconscious one. Something is happening in the half-second when the brain is truned on and the eyes are shifting back to the margin for the next word. There is at least the mild shock of having your expectations (and we don't even know what these are sometimes) met or not. The prose poem as an "ambush" I also like quite alot.

Joe, thanks for the Ashbery, "like the way one's consciousness is surrounded by one's thoughts." He always gets to say all the good things.


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