A very lean and cautious love wants to talk limits. Some writers of Writing are so so lean, full of talking about what poetry and what language can never do, the limits of words and of abstraction; their poems themselves prove these limits—certainly—little suffocated readable things—suffocated? they haven’t drawn a breath!—stillborns + stillborns indeed that never had alleles to make a Characteristic; and they are tidy failures each piece, they slide into a pine box periodical ready for an audience more happy to mourn in chorus than work to make a thing properly.
They bemoan metaphors like these, the AWP writers; their identity slighted, loss and attempt slighted—they are trying—publicly trying—the putti! Raphael’s putti of course, Perrault’s putti, not Giotto’s. Standing over a page with the feathered nub of a putt-putt pencil, ready to write out a line of hackneyed low confession and complain it’s Writing doesn’t suffice.
Meanwhile a woman in Nok Kundi stoops over soil to whistle and scrawl a single word.
By making a thing properly I mean improperly—made-in-mess, always a sculpture aiming to flesh whether mode is additive or subtractive. The Z_Z_Z_Z Finalistszs are much better at hewing tweets for their happy-mournful audience and crafting public appearance than making poems or paragraphs. They have a primarily social and salable interest that cannot bother over labor. Scherezade Siobhan said that—’Where is your labor?’ It’s not much of a labor to make Writing predestined To Go This Far, Sorry.
Have you read Mr Pancake for example. They say he died too early. Too early to get distant, maybe, or altogether too late—apprenticed to the most stupid hand-me-down themes, sexing women, drinking, hunting, common easy-to-access heterosexual male “””troubles.”‘ Applied troubles with a midday zenith, right around lunchtime. We recognize his lean inheritance and application today in penthouse gay guise, hyperexotic / attenuated otherness, co-opted ‘street,’ bourgeois feminism. Incidentally, you could read a glowing review of Mr Pancake in the New Yorker, right under a Johnnie Walker advert.
I think about a building in the constructivist style. There she is, counting her bulging foyer and waving tin roof an anthem-against-sky, not saying ‘What can I do but bulge and wave,’ but ‘What I do is bulge and wave and so fear me, Cirrus.’
I say Writing is the Tarrasque pounding down, I say Writing is rancid teeming churning oil. An ensorcelled vole stinking his emergence from the diamond mine! A crippled mantis making its next pass at being legless altogether!
If you haven’t got an alien throat to inhabit, pipe down about limits—they’re yours. Regrettably, cautiously, contentedly, locally yours.
It’s so easy to love a lean thing, you know. You can put your hand in and touch its hips thumb-to-pointer. You can compass it.