Syd Staiti’s novel The Undying Present opens with a somewhat startling brief scene wherein the narrator smashes their watch on their desk, ripping off its hands, before entering out into the world and its “present and continuous catastrophe” (11). What — outside of crisis — thrusts us into the pure present other than an escape from — or rebellion against — (modern, capitalist) time?
Time is the cousin of punishment — Syd Staiti, The Undying Present
Note: Tripwire is a journal of radical poetics and politics founded in 1998 by Yedda Morrison and David Buuck. After it halted publication in 2002 (a brief supplement appeared in 2004), the journal was relaunched by Buuck in 2014.
“[I]t is precisely a special way of writing that realism requires,” writes Lyn Hejinian in her essay, “Two Stein Talks.”Site Cite City is a book of realism, in the sense Hejinian uses it: realism is the product of a method, of a “special way of writing.” The realism of Site Cite City is directed less at the “pure products of America” than at the infrastructure in which they interact.
“[I]t is precisely a special way of writing that realism requires,” writes Lyn Hejinian in her essay, “Two Stein Talks.”Site Cite City is a book of realism, in the sense Hejinian uses it: realism is the product of a method, of a “special way of writing.” The realism of
Inexpert investigation in poetry opens a space: what is left open is left open. “The highly rewarded entrepreneurial strategy of forging ahead with an air of mastery no-matter-what spawns impatience for the point or gist,” Joan Retallack writes in The Poethical Wager. What get lost are “values that encourage the necessarily inefficient, methodically haphazard inquiry characteristic of actually living with ideas” (51).
Enter inexpert investigation. A poet can bring fanciful fortitude to her investigation without commandeering it. After all, the poem need not serve as the final word, but rather, as an opening up for others to engage. A poet might be attuned to unlikely connections. Situational rhymes. An alchemy of juxtapositions.
This inexpertise involves responsibility—via responding. Listening.