A Long Island-based psychotherapist who blogs quotes Wallace Stevens out of context — as self-help gloop. Renders the partly regular iambic blank-verse couplet into hyperlineated bloggy mush and even chooses a so-you-can't-miss-it mustard font color for the key phrase but (at least by implication) seems to get it right. What does mind-body psychotherapy and meditation have to do with the poem “Man Carrying Thing”? What does that poem, a gradually intensifying wintry all-nighter pulled by the poet, have to do with any of the good doctor Crew's other entries: always shop from a list, he urges us; how to stretch your hamstring; have a clear conscience and feel good? Well, not much, but that this man would be attracted to these particular Stevensean lines did, surprsingly, get me thinking freshly about the poem, so I suppose trawling the blogosphere for 21st-century Stevens has its occasional rewards.
In the morning, we suddenly see what we had not been able to see before: “A horror of thoughts that suddenly are real.”
We must endure our thoughts all night, until The bright obvious stands motionless in cold.
See freely beyond (or, really: after) the sight-obscuring blizzard of uncertainties, as the uncertainties themselves have kept hidden from us the terror of truth; thus see that that enactment is inescapable. This is his turn from the torment of difficulty toward lucidity. Description is revelation, yes, but better still is the poem that describes the process through which the writer can get (in the clear light of day) to the point of being able to describe with some confidence.
One day, on the street, Bruce Andrews found several thousands of pages of scripts from the soap opera, As the World Turns. He then created an untitled piece we might call “This Is the 20th Century” (using its first line). It was apparently written to serve as a preface or blurb for a book by Johanna Drucker (Dark Decade). Andrews uses phrases from the TV scripts and also some language from Drucker. He read this stray-ish piece at an Ear Inn reading in 1994. Here is the recording — from PennSound's Bruce Andrews page where this '94 reading has been segmented (thanks to the talented Jenny Lesser). The blurb did not appear on or in Drucker's Dark Decade and remains unpublished.
Below is a statement just now released from the White House. Kenneth Goldsmith, who teaches in the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (CPCW) at the University of Pennsylvania and is a close affiliate of the Kelly Writers House, will be among the poets performing at the May 11 event. And with Michelle Obama, he will lead a poetry workshop for children.
Kenny has been teaching a Creative Writing workshop called “Uncreative Writing” for a number of years at Penn. And every other year (continuing in 2011–12), he teaches an innovative year-long contemporary art/writing seminar that is a collaboration of CPCW and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).
Event Continues Arts Education Series at the White House on May 11th
The President and Mrs. Obama will host a celebration of American poetry and prose by welcoming accomplished poets, musicians and artists as well as students from across the country to the White House next week. Participants include Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Common, Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott who will read, sing, and showcase the impact of poetry on American culture. The President will make opening remarks at this event held in the East Room, which will be pooled press and streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
At Sybil, the English portal of Sibila: Five poems from Willis's Address: "How about," "Address," "Take This Poem," "A Species Is an Idea," "In Strength Sweetness," and "Witches." Address is a stunning book. There is a directness of social address in these poems that is powerful, haunting, ironic, and structurally perspicacious.