(I like Diana’s above artwork as a possible cover for our anthology—rather than spiral staircase. IMHO it captures “cleaving” very nicely don’t you think?)
Notes on cleave lit crit
“On what basis—do
you determine whether
someone is writing LP?”
—Alfred Corn, poetics@
edited by Joel Kuszai,
New York: Roof Books (1992)
This question—posed by Alfred Corn
on the Poetics List—a part of the
Electronic Poetry Center—epc.buffalo.edu
founded and directed—by Loss Glazier
can be posed—as a possible question
for both language—and cleave poetry.
The Poetics List debate—about LP LangPo and/or L Poetry—ensued under the topic of “Marketing Strategies and Web Strategy” with Alfred Corn, Ron Silliman, Alan Golding, Maria Damon, Keith Tuma, David Kellogg, Louis Cabri, Kevin Killian, Mark Wallace, Marjorie Perloff & other inquiring poets.
So after reading—this poetics@ debate
I thought of cleaving—Alfred Corn’s issues
about L poetry—over to C poetry…
First by—paraphrasing Corn’s question:
“On what basis—do you
determine whether someone
is writing Cleave poetry?”
If one can—“cleave” poetry
as we’ve been doing—since Phuoc-Tan
got us going—several months ago…
IMHO—we can just as easily
cleave some—C poetry lit crit as well?
Like Charles Bernstein does—in his essay
“Artifice of Absorption”—in his collection
of LP criticism—Poetics (Harvard, 1992)
Rephrasing somewhat—Corn’s LP issues
The applying the same issues—to cleave poetry
Later on—following up on the
seminal thoughts—discussed by Silliman,
Perloff, Killian—Wallace & others
Counter-arguments—applied to C poetry
discussing how LP—is relevant to cleaving
1. “I begin to wonder—
whether the big division—
between C poetry & the rest
of poetry—is unfamiliar
methodology really useful?”
Using unfamiliar methods—
Is that actually new—in light of derangement?
Doesn’t it go back—to Rimbaud (1870)?
Baudelaire, Mallarme—Dada, Surrealism?
Modernism—and Black Mountain?
Gertrude Stein—up late at night?
Elizabeth Bishop—and Ashbery?
Naropa Institute—Boulder mind-fucks?
There on campus—beneath the Flatirons?
Is cleave writing—nouveau non-representational?
Corn asks a good question:
Is any of Wallace Stevens—representational?
2. “On what basis—can you
say that “disjunction” is the difference?
What could be—more disjunctive than Ashbery?
What about the surrealists?
They were into it a long time ago—
Including automatic writing…
(See Charles Borkhuis, “Writing from Inside Language: Late Surrealism and Textual Poetry in France and the United States,” Telling It Slant: Avant-Garde Poetic of the 1990s, ed. Mark Wallace & Steven Marks, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 2002, 237-254.)
4. Narrative poetry—has always been experimental, representing sensory impressions verbally, providing philosophical/meditative discourse.
5.. Many poets today—fuse 2 techniques. Hejinian’s My Life—autobiography plus narrative? Both representational? What about the cognitive dissonance—the alogical interruptions & transparent narrative?
6. Poetry like music? Fusions such as classical music borrowing from jazz—jazz borrowing from classical music? There’s no Stravinsky without jazz—no Mingus without Stravinsky?
8. Maybe Cleave poetry—isn’t cleave poetry? Just poetry multi-sourced—with no single movement desirable? Why exclusionary? Exclusively C poetry? Why the equal signs between letters (L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E)? Why the C poetry cleaved—into double or triple column plus horizontal narratives? Does cleavage—engender exclusivity?
9. C poetry movement—splintering? Like L poetry—into subgroups?
“Lisa Jarnot’s work is often defined as later generation language poetry, yet she in socially probably more within the East Coast Beat or New York schools. Can possible reading of her book Sea Lyrics is as a bridging of this split between the aesthetic and the social. The book is a single poem composed of composed of long sentences tenth an concerned with liminal states of being and present a narrational “I” whose identification wanders. Sea Lyrics is filled with bridges. Literally, there is a bridge on the cover.” —Juliana Spahr, “spiderwasp or literary criticism,” Telling It Slant: Avant-Garde Poetic of the 1990s, ed. Mark Wallace & Steven Marks, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 2002, 404-428
10. “Sea Lyrics is filled with bridges. Literally, there is a bridge on the cover.”—Juliana Spahr, “spiderwasp or literary criticism,” Telling It Slant: Avant-Garde Poetic of the 1990s, ed. Mark Wallace & Steven Marks, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 2002, 411