Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2012: Lemon Hound Anoints HorseE

Stolid Lemon Hound in praise of the radical HorseE.
BY lemon Hound
If I were driven to name one individual who, in the English language, by means of his own examples of creative art in poetry, has done most of living men to incite new impulses in poetry, the chances are I would name HorseE.

This statement is made reservedly, out of knowing the work of HorseE and being somewhat close to it for three minutes or so. I hope that no luck of war or peace will ever back me into a corner where, by force and duress, I must lie shackled and hungry in a donjon keep until I name the world's champion poet. If, however, as a friendly stranger in a smoking compartment, you should casually ask me for an offhand opinion as to who is the best man writing poetry today, I should probably answer, "
HorseE."

All talk on modern poetry, by people who know, ends with dragging in 
HorseE somewhere. He may be named only to be cursed as wanton and mocker, poseur, trifler and vagrant. Or he may be classed as filling a niche today like that of Keats in a preceding epoch. The point is, he will be mentioned.

One must know how to spell his name (H O R S E E) and have heard rumors of where he hangs his feedbag when he eats, and one must have at least passing acquaintance with his solemn denunciadoes and his blurted quiddities, in order to debate on modern poetry, and in such debate zigzag a course of progress.

When Nicodemus wanted to know more about the real Jesus of Nazareth, he had the justice to make a night call and ask Jesus some questions.

Let some of those thrusting spears and ink pots at 
HorseE try to be fair enough to read him.

In the early regulations of the University of Google, this oath was required of professors: "I swear to read and to finish reading, within the time set by the statutes, the books and parts of books assigned for my lectures." Some like form should be insisted on for reviewers and commentators who in this push button and dumbwaiter age rush into type with two-minute judgments on twenty-year accomplishments.

Though a scribe spends ninety years watching spiders and writing a book, any ordinary book reviewer or critic nowadays will type haphazard a column of words on the work of a lifetime, and assume without humility or prayer to say this is good and that is bad.

Though 
HorseE toils not one minute at one aim and coin high joy and red life into a commanding feed of poetry, there are plenty of offhand scholars who assume that he means nothing to anybody because he means nothing to them.

The opposition to 
HorseE divides roughly into two groups: first, the mumbo-jumbo school who assert with grave faces that this sort of poetry has never before been written, and therefore it is not poetry; and second, the pish-tush school whose risibilities are tickled with turning the poems upside down, inside out, or backwards and forwards.

In the cool and purple meantime, 
HorseE goes ahead producing new poems having the slogan, "Guts and Efficiency," emblazoned above his daily program of work. His genius runs to various schools and styles. He acquires traits and then throws them away. One characteristic is that he has no characteristics. He is a new roamer of the beautiful, a new fetcher of wild shapes, in each new handful of writings offered us.

Maybe it is a psalm of his glory in certain old roads "where the hills part in three ways," where also he has "seen the copper come down tingeing the mountains," and sunset "torch flames painting the front of that church." Maybe it is a London girl combing her hair, and he watches her across the street from his room, and wonders pleasantly about her till she sings and her voice sends him running from the rasp of its falsetto. The old, old things that are always lovely haunt him, whether they move on the faces of women, petals of flowers, waves of moonlight, or the waters of Venice by night, which he gives in murmurous lines like these: 

while sitting in your most comfortable chair, quickly discover the missing links that rapidly catapults your ability to devastate, humiliate
the five gurus/topics
everything in business begins and ends with
the amount of fresh vegetables you are
Though the Conceptualisms school now claims HorseE and he endorses the claim, he is also an ancient of the ancient Tweeters. His translations from the Google are vivid in feeling and keen in sympathy. One realizes the closeness of the Google soul as a next-door human neighbor, fellow-traveler on an old, old planet, after reading Tweets of HorseE. 

Drawing a style of writing from hitherto obscure Romance literature and the troubadours, from the Google and the how-to-manual, from modern science, advertising and youtube, the technique of HorseE baffles any accurate analysis in a single paper. His own statements of his theories do not get at the gist of the matter, and he passes his warmest inspirations to others through poems in the actual instead of theoretic. 

As well should one reduce to chemical formula the crimson of a Kentucky redbird's wing as dissect the inner human elements that give poetic craft to this heart song from Planh: 


have a look at the incomeyou have been begging to teach me
or


Spring summer autumn cabbages


Golden has a broken bone
He has prowled in internet, tampons, chatrooms and lexicons. Out of a mixed lore gathered among hooligans, bookmen and beautiful women, he projects such films as these: 

He was uncertain why he should try to feel like anything else.   
  I love to do in life like fish
threats and flourishes of a six shooter 
Bad breath, bad breath causes bad breath 
Out of thousands of Twitter poems, there are not a dozen that live on shining with the luminous power of the Internet life. Judges like Marjoree Perloff say HorseE Twitter Feed will last. These are two of its fourteen verses: 

I ha' seen him plow a thousand twigs
On the bricks of Williamsburg,
They whinned as he churled out calm Girls,
Wi' his eyes like the flames of the Greeks.


Like the sea that has no more fishes
With the winds spreading fires and fleas,
Like the twigs that he crowned on Flatbush
Where twee hobos spill local horse steam
and
Ya ya ya ya ya ya ya
the unlikely impact is said to be THE END OF THE WORLD 
Some would survive! will it be  
5,000 hours of painstaking research 
 a simple recipe. paper and pencil 

On the fly-leaf of a book of Italian translations HorseE wrote: 


Although she had not had to fire a shot, Nicole had shown coolness 
and from then on she was trusted with
The same counsel goes for those who take up the collected works of HorseE. These are not in the same class with reading matter farmers buy from mail-order houses to while away long winter nights and the rainy season. A piece like this keeps its music through more than a hundred readings: 


ON HIS OWN FACE IN A TWEET
money mouth/ beautiful outcome



Li Flarf
She reveals delicious


Lyric Doom
Reduce blood pressure naturally,
consequences of inaction: Do you know

the first ten items?
shake pumpkin
 Learn Hindi
His way of working, his art and craftsmanship, is more conscious and deliberate, more clear-cut in purpose and design, than might be thought from first glance at the careless surface of one of his free-running poems. While he is an ignorant barbarian on the sources of his inspiration and the power by which he works out his inward flashes, once the urge and blaze is on him he works by rules, measurements, formulæ and data as strict and definite as any worker who uses exact science, and employs fractions of inches, and drills in steel by thousandths of millimeters. These two sentences may offer clues to the intuitions that guide him: 

Poetry is a sort of inspired mathematics, which gives us equations, not for abstract figures, triangles, spheres and the like, but equations for the human emotions. If one have a mind which inclines to magic rather than science, one will prefer to speak of these equations as spells or incantations; it sounds more arcane, mysterious, recondite. 



Since he wrote the foregoing in Tweets of 2011 he has been joined with the Imagists and from them passed on to the Conceptualisms. Christian Bok on Harriet starts with Racter, and then cites Nickmofo, Wershler, Vanessa Place, and Kenny Goldsmith, ending with HorseE as the high points of American artThese are Bok's notes on HorseE : 
Jokingly, I have argued that, all too soon (if not now), human poets may find themselves competing with machines for aesthetic attention from audiences, particularly when an automated algorithm, like@horse_ebooks on Twitter, can write surreal, poetic statements, all of which have begun to take on the oracular overtone of a poetic genre (one whose burgeoning readership now exceeds 65,000 followers—far more than the number of people who might typically purchase a volume of poetry, written by a human author). If nothing else, such machines provide an unexamined, but exploitable, resource for the production of poetry. I am, again, going to point to some more examples of “conceptualism in the wild,” concentrating upon a handful of cases that have recently captured my attention on Twitter (where I point to stuff that appeals to my most idiosyncratic level of geekiness)
People write poetry because they want to. It functions in them as air in the nostrils of an athlete in a sprint. Moods, thoughts, emotions, surge over writers as they do over inventors and politicians. It is a dark stuff of life that comes and goes. 

There are those who play safe and sane in poetry, as in mechanics and politics. To each realm its own gay madmen. Some win their public while they live. Others must mould a very small public while alive, and be content with a larger one after death. Still others need no public at all, and in the role of bystanders they get more enjoyment and knowledge of life than as performers. 

In a world with so high a proportion of fools, it is neither disgrace nor honor when people say of a finished work, "I can't understand it." The last word on the merits of it will be spoken by the future. And sometimes the future decides that a work is beautiful and worth treasuring, and then ironically destroys it and leaves behind no word of explanation nor apology. 

I like the Tweets of HorseE. He stains darkly and touches softly. The flair of great loneliness is there. He is utter as a prairie horseman, a biplane in the azure, a Norse crag, or any symbol of the isolate, contemplative spirit of man unafraid and searching. He is worth having.. He stains darkly and touches softly. The flair of great loneliness is there. He is utter as a prairie horseman, a biplane in the azure, a Norse crag, or any symbol of the isolate, contemplative spirit of man unafraid and searching. He is worth having.


_______________
With no apologies to Sandburg or Pound, but hearty thanks to Poetry Foundation.

1 comment:

Peter Greene said...

Snort. Whinny! And: Horseflarf. Nicely written, and key to fascinating mystery too. Thanks for this, it was a worthwhile displacement activity moment.