Constraint is not silent nor at rest

Reading Larry Eigner's 'Areas Lights Heights' ten years later

Photo of Larry Eigner © Alastair Johnston
Photo of Larry Eigner © Alastair Johnston

Like an audio feed, I read you close, was your feelings tones, breath struggles, how this becomes our body


Too easy to forget, all the lines little deaths, no author knows, typing with their toes


Really though there is no death, just you transmit the trees two feet of dirt around you, this is what it means to live


To not escape into those particulars, to make them universalize the nostalgia for anything not seen out your window, not heard on NPR



Reads the big print, doesn’t have a dominant mode, spacing is signature is spirit, typing leads to more typing like they say “the more you work the more you work”


When I write I wonder who I am, what I inherited from your “differently abled” body


I think of the Hobbesian lie in bodies, how Ed Cohen points out in his book A Body Worth Defending that the person should rather be defined by the environment it is constantly moving through, being more porous than somatic enclosure


Mainly I think what I’ve become I’ve become because of those bodies not my own — that this is poetics


Madeline Gins asks me, “If only our politicians’ purpose were to prolong their life would they be so arrogant?”


Living by poetic means, this joy I mean — Eigner — having not been your body obviously, but having been this desiring tendency to your grammar


What does embodiment mean when we imitate/emulate another writer, take-up their syntax or style?


Patiently we see the clouds trees streets struggling in your struggle, punctuationless made breezy


Some kind of horizon heard, for what were you listening your body alone could hear — the spaces cleaving perception?


Constraint is not silent nor at rest — a radical appropriation of Olson’s projectivism


I often wonder are we still dealing with embodiment if we are no longer dealing with the line, the space of the page extending spaces off the page?