Thursday, April 24, 2008

I liked Kasey Mohammad's review of Lyn Hejinian/Jack Collom's new collaborative book Situations, Signs. I think that this part has something to do with what I was saying the other day about seriousness in poetry or language or writing:

The dominant mode of Situations, Sings, is comic, but comic in a sense that encompasses a much broader range of effects–and affect–than a great deal of other writing out there that appears under that heading, or for that matter, under other headings. It is comic in its positing of limitless possibilities for form, expression, communication. To imagine a field that various and wide is always to court absurdity, especially when one shuttles from space to space within the field so rapidly and restlessly. From “Questionably,” the first piece in the collection:

Say a woman calls a man “Fuck Face”–aren’t there scenarios in which this comes off as neither angry nor enticing but as calming–neutralizing?
So why not be horrified all the time?
Anode odna o agfuoantoa hv noqa roebn?
I see somebody in your eye. Who is it?

In between the isolated speculations and goofings around and strings of scrambled code, moments of confusion become indistinguishable from moments of clarity. One no longer recognizes oneself in another’s eye, and in that instant, one is borne aloft, beyond mere selfhood, into the current of a collaborative en-musement. We write each other, as they say, and the others that we write into being write us into being in return.

Thanks, Kasey.