Saturday, March 20, 2010

All sides now: a correspondence with Lisa Robertson

LR: I’ve always been completely seduced by sentences, certainly. I think I’m a sentence-lover before I’m a writer. Much of my earlier work has been testing the internal structure of sentences as wildly psycho-sexual-social units. But here I wanted to find a way to include extremely banal, flat, overwrought and bad sentences, by devising a sequencing movement that could include anything. My thought was not to judge, but to float the disparity of the units in a continuum. I think what happens is that the caesura, the space between, becomes extremely active, more active than the sentences themselves are. This has the effect of making any sentence semantically legible in several registers– the meta-textual, as you point out, may be one of them.

All sides now: a correspondence with Lisa Robertson

1 comment:

Desmond Swords said...

Gaz placed reflexivity over rigidity, comfortably adopting an adaptable approach, which means he extemporised and possessed the moment to moment of poetry – instead of disguising any lack of vision and true self behind a cloak of the-book socio-psycholgical carry-on of integument... off


Geddes had this reflexive humanity, in spades and seamlessly segueing from introduction to poem with effortless élan that never sounded rehearsed or stilted, he dared reveal his humanity first and experience allowed him the luxury of being unconcerned about the odd stumble or hiccup as he read; book in hand – to prompt him as he looked out off-page into the audience – performing his book ’self’ more from memory than script, and with the academic firmly, second to the man.

On the ball, he had the most truly self-depricating introduction gambit. Telling us a Ginsberg story of the poet’s slim volume launched into a world, much as the feather is released from a ledge-top of the Grand Canyon, a collection dropped and the poet waiting, confident, onward and anticipating keen thousands, hoping to hear the echo our feather returns.

I’d not heard this tale before. I’d heard a lot about ‘Al’ – alright – the man behind some bardic mask, in Galway at the source of it, tripping through High streets and low, low highs lowing with a hey ho a nonny nonny yes.

Yeah, i knew speaking with Gary after the reading, in the pub, with the rest of the audience, this guy made Todd Swift and virtually every mid-forties poet in Canada – through him – the master anthologist, lives in what echo sourced within Geddes, is the one we see when a real Canadian
laureate gets gassing.

Like Derek Hines.

Derek Hines who wrote the finest book of poetry I have read to come out of Britian in the last decade. Hines book-poem affected me the most – his composition a take – and tenth dimensional translation of some truth-wrought Cuneiform script many consider the most ancient in recorded myth: Gilgamesh.

Hines is not only one of the finest in Britian, but the best read, recited and recorded in Cornwall, by the publisher Tony Lamb.

‘Fill the sky to choking
with a reedbed

..a blind of shafts
..the very air woven by

his merest gesture to fable…
the crush of gravity’s paint

..till void reabsorbs

..a smash and grab of years
..a protector, got drunk,

stayed drunk

..back flip…the map
marking time

..Washed up as far south
as man or god can go the madam who ran a roadhouse

..our lady of time’s edge
..we find him there

pushed to the worlds prow,
barely more than a beat
in the days narrative’

This linear – minor – mash-up from the beginning of a book-poem that flows and flew unlike anything else I have read.

On first reading Hines, I felt as ‘deeply serious’ students you are familiar with, wanting only to present to someone who could understand this – for me – a most incredibly exciting ‘event’ of writing impacting on my whole creative being, that I’d experienced since seeing Noel Sweeney first in the basement of Brogans.

Keep up the good work.