George Quasha: One from Preverbs, with a note on axial poetics

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa On 6:23 AM


THINGS DONE FOR THEMSELVES

for Susan



1

We walk together like a field of fireflies.

It gives the ear back to itself.

Hard to beat being heard.

No word for this thing between us, feeling afield.



Mark the opening eye.

The words I leave out rip me apart.

The mystery is the core violating itself, blurted the absent voice.



Reading poetry suffers it to speak.



2

Things done for themselves are the only things done for all.



Just walking by she multiplies in futures [flash].

I’m the one in the middle longing to be the many.

Put eye inside the empty letter and she looks back at you.

Voyeurism's the illusion I'm not looking at myself.



Exhaust the wisdom impulse before it exhausts paradise.



3

Today's the day I rewrite my biography.

Pen slips on the slopes of sorrow.

I can't help believing in one thing after another.

Sounds good to me sounds true enough.

And then. And then.



4

A blurt's a site of first breath.

This only sounds this way.

We wave through each other to approach.

And flex and flex.



Optimal includes bottom.



The world's singing to itself again through our dog.

The tremor in the voice lets the knower out.

Poetry is the state stating.

Says: Say what keeps saying what it is.



5

You didn't know it but it let you know it.

A form is what knows to take place before you.

It gives the eye back to itself.

Seeing marks.



Let’s meet in the dark where you read through yourself.

Juliet, the verbal scent.



Names get a life to be spoken.

And so I makes my ascent into present.

Poetry says it better than it sounds.

If I don't mean what I say at least it means me back.



The only things done for all are the ones done once for themselves.



6

I barely feel myself hanging together.

She knows to call me by my calling.

It takes a life to be known.

To tone.

Like things fall free alike.



The underline rhythmic is over and out. Over and out.



7

Hearing marks.

Speak in the first person on earth.



She sets my system on merge.

Meanwhile I call from a verge, Don't strand me on the grounds of sound.

I can say nothing I can't hear.



The vision’s the body seeing through itself.

The poem even now is hearing itself.



Frog pond in the dark’s bounding across from here.



*****



A NOTE ON THE PREVERBS AND AXIAL POETICS



[While Quasha’s extended series of poems goes back a number of years now, it has remained an ongoing work into the present. In response to a recent query concerning the posting of the foregoing sampler, he wrote on 12/28/09]:



… In the last year or so I've concentrated on bringing the preverbs to a perhaps final stage, long in coming. And the over 4000 original lines have been not only pruned and often reconceived, reconfigured at every level, and continuously added to, but further "complexed" in what in fact I think of as preverb-complexes (or, simply, poem-complexes)—of which there are at this moment 29 realized, ranging from 14 to around 300 lines each, and a number of others still in process. (At other times I’ve called them “configurations” and “constellations.”) This honors a specific principle of axial organization, which I have literally had to learn over and over again how to engage, and has taken me over 12 years to bring to full articulation. They are "fields," perhaps deeply in Olson's sense but decidedly not projective—except that a line, the defining preverbial unit, may well be considered a discrete micro-projective event. But it's axial, which means that the projective force, beyond the line (or syntactic unit), is not forward but radial, and of course highly variable in reading—a processual ambi-valence. (I retain Olson's sense of field as high-energy construct, but not his sense of a primarily forward-projective dynamic in how it appears to originate or function; yet, indeed, even his compositions were often configured in an atemporal or spatial field dynamic, sometimes as collagist assemblings or, I suppose, as sort of pre-word-processing hypertexts.) Any given “close” reading is a singular event. There is no "same poem" to read twice—and obviously I know that's a play on the Heraclitian, but with a preverbial further twist: you can't step in the same river once.



So, this is a first-level take on axial poetics, which is itself a principle-based poetics with a focus of poetics of the singular. And it's consciously non-literary, where this distinction begins with the view that the poetic is (ontologically as well as historically) prior to the literary. The absence of such a distinction may have caused some to consider me as no longer writing poetry at all. I don't agree, of course, despite the fact that in a provocative mood I might have said things that sound like “this is not poetry.” (I’ve long appreciated Antin’s stance, and for me in a different way the poem comes in under the radar of the “poetic.”) Poetry, in my mind, is intrinsically axial, as "verse" is “turning,” a revving of intensity in verbal transformation by way of variability. And variability is itself variable in that it happens at varying (non-consistent and non-separate) levels: semantic, syntactic, tonal, rhythmic, narratological, rhetorical, etc. There is no consistency of method and no commitment to style. (Takes more energy to read but is accordingly the more intense.) [NB: an early attempt at exploring an axial poetics is available online at http://www.corpse.org/archives/issue_11/manifestos/quasha.html and http://beehive.temporalimage.com/content_apps51/app_g.html]



The unit in the preverbs is the line (open-middle syntactics), modeled originally on "The Proverbs of Hell," but in the end there’s no model, which of course makes it all the more “Blakean” (model as something to parody or transform). (My original title, "The Preverbs of Tell: News Torqued from Undertime,” is no longer foregrounded, and I've settled on "Preverbs."] I'm seeking a balance between the independence of preverbs/lines and a clustering force with forward flow. Each line is a small field of axial possibility; that is, there's a hidden axis that is the structural site of variability. This relates to my work in sculpture, drawing, and video, most obviously the axial stones, where the axis of balance between two stones is not apparent at a glance. [I develop this notion in Axial Stones: An Art of Precarious Balance, Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2006]. (And it relates to the practice of axial drawing in which two hands draw simultaneously from an axis at once in the center of the body and resonantly on the surface of the paper; and axial video, for which: http://vimeo.com/channels/axialvideo.) Axiality in this context may seem to be a function in the exercise of precarious balancing of possible meanings or stones—or lines, either graphic or lexical. On the principle that like attracts like, the preverb-complexes form over time, discovering their components by attraction. (Stones, like words and ideas, come into relationship, after first attracting me, by being brought to reside on my property, and in time they call me to work them to a refined state together; to do this I must be sensitive to their attractions and their “will” to conjoin, always somewhere beyond my understanding.) This includes a “poetics of service”; how we serve by listening, and how this heightens the sense of singular life. (I probably owe this to Cage, to some degree.)



A "how to read" the preverbs would be mostly a how not to read—how not to hold them to what they are not willing to be, e.g., to expect narrative, development, or any other interpretable momentum. Non-expectation instructs me in listening better, and the writing is born there. The lines, the tiny fields, attract each other in a process of continuous refinement until, as with the stones, there's a still point—where they become weightless and levitational and I can feel the intensity of their conjuncture. Then I let them sit, until they call out for more. When the whole large field (the complex, the poem) goes into its silence, I know it's done. Even after years of forming and reforming in these complexes that have been named over a dozen years, this completion process can take days or weeks of reworking, until they settle into place. The "revisioning" process—also a further listening—is always primary composition; lines fail and fall out or change, new ones arise—everything moves about until completion. The process reflects an interdependent animate nature in language, concentrated to the point of willfulness in the axial field.



So reading preverbs involves a relatively “free” (=not fixed, non-programmatic) oscillation of fields—from the line-field to the group-/stanza-field to the titled complex-field. Like a Klein Form there's no definitive “outside,” no inside/outside distinction. It's a mind field. And, to use a word from Somapoetics, gnosemic in aspiration.



I want to be clear that I make no claim on the axial as such—only the fact of focusing on it, intentionally furthering its practice—and I find axial poetics in play in many poetic works, including Rothenberg poetics pretty much all along, and going back to Deep Image. I find it of course in Blake, in G. Stein, in Joyce (esp. the Wake), in Stevens, in Robert Duncan (Structure of Rime), in Mac Low (e.g., Bloomsday), etc. Syntactic becomes synaptic. Robert Kelly has highly axial works as early as Deep Image, but especially at play in a poem like Axon Dendron Tree or Sentence. And Clark Coolidge, Franz Kamin, Charles Stein…. The latter and I have explored axiality, for instance, in Maurice Blanchot [http://www.quasha.com/writing-2/on-poetry-poetics/on-maurice-blanchot] and Gary Hill [An Art of Limina: Gary Hill’s Works and Writings, Barcelona: Ediciones PolĂ­grafa, 2009]. Yet an axial poetics is not subject to full definition because it’s not really conceptual; it’s principle-based, and as such can only be discussed in relation to actual/singular manifestations, which, however, are never definitive.



[NOTE. Artist & poet George Quasha works across mediums to explore principles in common within language, sculpture, drawing, video, sound, installation, & performance. His axial stones & axial drawings have been exhibited at the Baumgartner Gallery & at ZONE Chelsea Center for the Arts in Chelsea (New York City) & elsewhere, & are featured in the recently published book, Axial Stones: An Art of Precarious Balance (Foreword by Carter Ratcliff) (North Atlantic Books: Berkeley). Editor & publisher of Station Hill Books, he has also produced & directed the video series, Art Is, Music Is, Poetry Is, all of which can be accessed at http://www.quasha.com/art-is & other spots on the internet. In the early 1970s he was my co-editor on America a Prophecy: A New Reading of American Poetry from Pre-Columbian Times to the Present & has remained an articulate voice for poetry over the intervening years. (J.R.)]

0 Response to 'George Quasha: One from Preverbs, with a note on axial poetics'

Post a Comment

Tattoos Picture Page 1 Tattoos Picture Page 2 Tattoos Picture Page 3 Tattoos Picture Page 4 Tattoos Picture Page 5 Tattoos Picture Page 6 Tattoos Picture Page 7 Tattoos Picture Page 8 Tattoos Picture Page 9 Tattoos Picture Page 10 Tattoos Picture Page 11 Tattoos Picture Page 12 Tattoos Picture Page 13 Tattoos Picture Page 14 Tattoos Picture Page 15 Tattoos Picture Page 16 Tattoos Picture Page 17 Tattoos Picture Page 18 Tattoos Picture Page 19 Tattoos Picture Page 20 Tattoos Picture Page 21 Tattoos Picture Page 22 Tattoos Picture Page 23 Tattoos Picture Page 24 Tattoos Picture Page 25 Tattoos Picture Page 26 Tattoos Picture Page 27 Tattoos Picture Page 28 Tattoos Picture Page 29 Tattoos Picture Page 30 Tattoos Picture Page 31 Tattoos Picture Page 32 Tattoos Picture Page 33 Tattoos Picture Page 34 Tattoos Picture Page 35 Tattoos Picture Page 36 Tattoos Picture Page 37 Tattoos Picture Page 38 Tattoos Picture Page 39 Tattoos Picture Page 40 Tattoos Picture Page 41 Tattoos Picture Page 42 Tattoos Picture Page 43 Tattoos Picture Page 44 Tattoos Picture Page 45 Tattoos Picture Page 46 Tattoos Picture Page 47 Tattoos Picture Page 48 Tattoos Picture Page 49 Tattoos Picture Page 50 Tattoos Picture Page 51 Tattoos Picture Page 52 Tattoos Picture Page 53 Tattoos Picture Page 54 Tattoos Picture Page 55 Tattoos Picture Page 56 Tattoos Picture Page 57 Tattoos Picture Page 58 Tattoos Picture Page 59 Tattoos Picture Page 60 Tattoos Picture Page 61 Tattoos Picture Page 62 Tattoos Picture Page 63 Tattoos Picture Page 64 Tattoos Picture Page 65 Tattoos Picture Page 66 Tattoos Picture Page 67 Tattoos Picture Page 68 Tattoos Picture Page 69 Tattoos Picture Page 70 Tattoos Picture Page 71 Tattoos Picture Page 72 Tattoos Picture Page 73 Tattoos Picture Page 74 Tattoos Picture Page 75 Tattoos Picture Page 76 Tattoos Picture Page 77 Tattoos Picture Page 78 Tattoos Picture Page 79 Tattoos Picture Page 80 Tattoos Picture Page 81 Tattoos Picture Page 82 Tattoos Picture Page 83 Tattoos Picture Page 84 Tattoos Picture Page 85 Tattoos Picture Page 86 Tattoos Picture Page 87 Tattoos Picture Page 88 Tattoos Picture Page 89 Tattoos Picture Page 90 Tattoos Picture Page 91 Tattoos Picture Page 92 Tattoos Picture Page 93 Tattoos Picture Page 94 Tattoos Picture Page 95 Tattoos Picture Page 96 Tattoos Picture Page 97 Tattoos Picture Page 98 Tattoos Picture Page 99 Tattoos Picture Page 100 Tattoos Picture Page 101 Tattoos Picture Page 102 Tattoos Picture Page 103 Tattoos Picture Page 104 Tattoos Picture Page 105 Tattoos Picture Page 106 Tattoos Picture Page 107 Tattoos Picture Page 108 Tattoos Picture Page 109 Tattoos Picture Page 110 Tattoos Picture Page 111 Tattoos Picture Page 112 Tattoos Picture Page 113 Tattoos Picture Page 114 Tattoos Picture Page 115 Tattoos Picture Page 116 Tattoos Picture Page 117 Tattoos Picture Page 118 Tattoos Picture Page 119 Tattoos Picture Page 120 Luxury Villa and Home Page 1 Luxury Villa and Home Page 2 Luxury Villa and Home Page 3 Luxury Villa and Home Page 4 Luxury Villa and Home Page 5 Luxury Villa and Home Page 6 Luxury Villa and Home Page 7 Luxury Villa and Home Page 8 Luxury Villa and Home Page 9 Luxury Villa and Home Page 10 Luxury Villa and Home Page 11 Luxury Villa and Home Page 12 Luxury Villa and Home Page 13 Luxury Villa and Home Page 14 Luxury Villa and Home Page 15 Luxury Villa and Home Page 16 Luxury Villa and Home Page 17 Luxury Villa and Home Page 18 Luxury Villa and Home Page 19 Luxury Villa and Home Page 20 Luxury Villa and Home Page 21 Luxury Villa and Home Page 22 Luxury Villa and Home Page 23 Luxury Villa and Home Page 24 Luxury Villa and Home Page 25 Luxury Villa and Home Page 26 Luxury Villa and Home Page 27 Luxury Villa and Home Page 28 Luxury Villa and Home Page 29 Luxury Villa and Home Page 30 Luxury Villa and Home Page 31 Luxury Villa and Home Page 32 Luxury Villa and Home Page 33 Luxury Villa and Home Page 34 Luxury Villa and Home Page 35 Luxury Villa and Home Page 36 Luxury Villa and Home Page 37 Luxury Villa and Home Page 38 Luxury Villa and Home Page 39 Luxury Villa and Home Page 40 Luxury Villa and Home Page 41 Luxury Villa and Home Page 42 Luxury Villa and Home Page 43 Luxury Villa and Home Page 44 Luxury Villa and Home Page 45 Luxury Villa and Home Page 46 Luxury Villa and Home Page 47 Luxury Villa and Home Page 48 Luxury Villa and Home Page 49 Luxury Villa and Home Page 50 Luxury Villa and Home Page 51 Luxury Villa and Home Page 52 Luxury Villa and Home Page 53 Luxury Villa and Home Page 54 Luxury Villa and Home Page 55 Luxury Villa and Home Page 56 Luxury Villa and Home Page 57 Luxury Villa and Home Page 58 Luxury Villa and Home Page 59 Luxury Villa and Home Page 60 Luxury Villa and Home Page 61 Luxury Villa and Home Page 62 Luxury Villa and Home Page 63 Luxury Villa and Home Page 64 Luxury Villa and Home Page 65 Luxury Villa and Home Page 66 Luxury Villa and Home Page 67 Luxury Villa and Home Page 68 Luxury Villa and Home Page 69 Luxury Villa and Home Page 70 Luxury Villa and Home Page 71 Luxury Villa and Home Page 72 Luxury Villa and Home Page 73 Luxury Villa and Home Page 74 Luxury Villa and Home Page 75 Luxury Villa and Home Page 76 Luxury Villa and Home Page 77 Luxury Villa and Home Page 78 Luxury Villa and Home Page 79 Luxury Villa and Home Page 80 Luxury Villa and Home Page 81 Luxury Villa and Home Page 82 Luxury Villa and Home Page 83 Luxury Villa and Home Page 84 Luxury Villa and Home Page 85 Luxury Villa and Home Page 86 Luxury Villa and Home Page 87 Luxury Villa and Home Page 88 Luxury Villa and Home Page 89 Luxury Villa and Home Page 90 Luxury Villa and Home Page 91 Luxury Villa and Home Page 92 Luxury Villa and Home Page 93 Luxury Villa and Home Page 94 Luxury Villa and Home Page 95 Luxury Villa and Home Page 96 Luxury Villa and Home Page 97 Luxury Villa and Home Page 98 Luxury Villa and Home Page 99 Famous People Page 1 Famous People Page 2 Famous People Page 3 Famous People Page 4 Famous People Page 5 Famous People Page 6 Famous People Page 7 Famous People Page 8 Famous People Page 9 Famous People Page 10 Famous People Page 11 Famous People Page 12 Famous People Page 13 Famous People Page 14 Famous People Page 15 Famous People Page 16 Famous People Page 17 Famous People Page 18 Famous People Page 19 Famous People Page 20 Famous People Page 21 Famous People Page 22 Famous People Page 23 Famous People Page 24 Famous People Page 25 Famous People Page 26 Famous People Page 27 Famous People Page 28 Famous People Page 29 Famous People Page 30 Famous People Page 31 Famous People Page 32 Famous People Page 33 Famous People Page 34 Famous People Page 35 Famous People Page 36 Famous People Page 37 Famous People Page 38 Famous People Page 39 Famous People Page 40 Famous People Page 41 Famous People Page 42 Famous People Page 43 Famous People Page 44 Famous People Page 45 Famous People Page 46 Famous People Page 47 Famous People Page 48 Famous People Page 49 Famous People Page 50 Famous People Page 51 Famous People Page 52 Famous People Page 53 Famous People Page 54 Famous People Page 55 Famous People Page 56 Famous People Page 57 Famous People Page 58 Famous People Page 59 Famous People Page 60 Famous People Page 61 Famous People Page 62 Famous People Page 63 Famous People Page 64 Famous People Page 65 Famous People Page 66 Famous People Page 67 Famous People Page 68 Famous People Page 69 Famous People Page 70 Famous People Page 71 Famous People Page 72 Famous People Page 73 Famous People Page 74 Famous People Page 75 Famous People Page 76 Famous People Page 77 Famous People Page 78 Famous People Page 79 Famous People Page 80 Famous People Page 81 Famous People Page 82 Famous People Page 83 Famous People Page 84 Famous People Page 85 Famous People Page 86 Famous People Page 87 Famous People Page 88 Famous People Page 89 Famous People Page 90 Famous People Page 91 Famous People Page 92 Famous People Page 93 Famous People Page 94 Famous People Page 95 Famous People Page 96 Famous People Page 97 Famous People Page 98 Famous People Page 99 Famous People Page 100 Famous People Page 101 Famous People Page 102 Famous People Page 103 Famous People Page 104 Famous People Page 105 Famous People Page 106 Famous People Page 107 Famous People Page 108 Famous People Page 109 Famous People Page 110 Famous People Page 111 Famous People Page 112 Famous People Page 113 Famous People Page 114 Famous People Page 115 Famous People Page 116 Famous People Page 117 Famous People Page 118 Famous People Page 119 Famous People Page 120