Carlos Oquendo de Amat, a Lima street kid who published one book, 5 Meters of Poems, on a folded sheet of paper five meters long, then gave up writing to join the Communist Party, and bounced in and out of jails and tuberculosis wards in a half-dozen countries before dying in Spain just before the civil war.
--Eliot Weinberger, "On Omar Caseres" Jacket 3, 1998


Among the poets Eliot Weinberger writes of in his excellent brief essay which makes one hunger in the night, the day, all the time -- for these poems, poets, so far away, and across the mountains of another language, as hardly any of their poems are as yet available in English . . . a few stand out and one is Carlos Oquendo de Amat who stopped writing poetry at age 19 and turned to Marxist politics --

Oquendo de Anat is a living proof of the dictum of Yeats's that "The quarrel with oneself is poetry, and the quarrel with others, politics."

Inspired by wanting to read these poems I began studying Spanish in a slightly more organized way than previously, as much of what I learn is from Visual Poetry and Mail Art calls --

As one may see in the images
here, Five Meters of Poems is created as a book/poem-object in itself, with the folding accordion construction, and with the varying layouts of the lines on each page--

In terms of the layouts and the book as poem-object, the work is related to some of the other modernisms of the time, especially Russian Futurism, although these were probably unknown to the Peruvian poet.

There are also the influences of the cinema and perhaps of the calligraphy inscribed scrolls of Japanese texts, folding and unfolding as a series of screens, with each screen intimately interrelating with the poem just preceding it and the one just following, so that each poem brings with it the energies and directions of those contiguous to it in an interplay and inter-media. This interrelationship among the poems has a connection which may be shortened by folding—in which two poems are “touching each other” at the top of the wave or mountain, and then just as swiftly made much more distant by unfolding the mountain/wave into waves of plains/planes, "folded together shortened or lengthened distances," following of “unfoldings” in which the poems aren’t “separate” but interrelated, inter-media, This interrelationship and Inter-media is also a way in which differing texts may encounter each other –by folding a poem at one end close to one at the distant other end--not in a linear progression, but as one accomplished by linkings as with hypertexts.
Far from the "centers" of art and poetry of the world of the 1920's Amat nonetheless is creating a book-poem-object form stretching out to over three meters (not the five of the title in actuality) of layouts of poetry which is as "advanced" as any writing of the period.  If not more so, in many ways also—as, like the Russian Futurists, Amat is fusing, folding together, avant-garde poetry with avant-garde politics.

Another Peruvian poet, Cesar Vallejo, was also doing this, in a completely different way, this fusing, although unlike Amat he did not hear and follow the call of one vocation at a time, but of both --

Outside of the centers of poetry and art, and outsiders to the writings of their fellow Latin American poets . . . poets like Amat seize convulsively the spirit of the times, the modern spirit, which had been first mapped out by Baudelaire in his essay on "The Painter of Modern Life."  Inventor also of the prose poem, Baudelaire indicates a triangulation of painting, poetry and prose-poetry as a method for presenting words as images not only descriptively but in the Correspondences among Symbols, which Mallarm√© will later turn into radically differing forms of layouts, of font sizes, of types of fonts used and the character of the physical form of the book containing the poems . . .

The conjunction of these writings may be "seen" and "read" simultaneously as contemporary versions of Illuminated Manuscripts such as the Book of Kells, where image word and idea are all intertwined as one, yet that one teeming with a myriad smaller images, ideas, and forms on the verge of being letters. The shifting of the handwritten fonts within one letter or across several words is a much earlier version of today's uses of various fonts, layouts and sizes to create Visual Poetry or lexical poetry which aspires to a kind of visual form without the impulse of the image behind it.

Already in Amat one finds the uses of advertising, brand names, Jazz, autos, slang--all the things which William Carlos Williams in the same years was attempting for the first time in his masterpiece Spring and All. Even with these new methods and lexicons, the lyric impulse remains very much alive and forceful, and so there is a tension among the new structurings of the poem and its maintaining the lyrical impulse as songs of the new vocabularies and sounds of the modern cities . . . or rhythms of the large modern cities as Baudelaire puts it in his famous description of the Prose Poem--

It is often remarked how at many places and via many quite different persons the same or very similar ideas and images may be held simultaneously around the world; so it is that though so isolated geographically and culturally, Amat's work is taking place "outside" and in company , unknowingly, with many other poets of the period addressing many of the same questions, themselves “outsider’ in their own countries and cultures. It is as though birds are gathering in the higher atmospheres where Baudelaire's Albatross lives, --and at the same time, a bursting forth of rockets and satellites orbiting the earth swarming from the distances with their teeming transductions and translations, transposings, of the lexicons of new forms of flight—the airplanes, rockets, blimps . .

While it's difficult to find much in English re Amat, in Spanish one finds that there is also a problem in tracing out more of the outlines of this person, their life, their ideas . . . since Amat stopped writing at age 19 or 20, and his work is not only very small but also made in such an unusual form, and exhibiting as it were an outside connection with the outside world unknown to most of the audience of his area, his book is seemingly for the most part consigned to being a kind of "oddity," or "cult classic of a small band of devotees" without much attention paid to it beyond remarking on its quirks. With time I have begun to find more serious studies, which move beyond the "outsider" factors of the book's "freakish appearance and style," yet on the whole Amat's work has remained obscure and followed it appears to be by primarily the kind of cult-like lovers of the poet and his work who take the time and energy to carve these poems into the mountainsides . . .

Perhaps its the distance between oneself and the poet, the work, which draws one so strongly to an outsider figure--that is, the distances of forms and languages unknown and histories that are part of an other world and time and culture . .. perhaps it is all these distances to overcome what one has recognized in an immediate and uncanny flash of recognition that creates the power of the Outsider figure . . .and of the Outsider’s works to create its devoted followings while never attaining to the popularity of the best selling or more accepted, academic forms of writing . .

In fact, one may even say in Amat’s case, that by leaving poetry after one book, he is refusing to become a “successful professional” poet and theorist.

The Outsider then that draws one to the Outside is the uncanny semblance with the figure of one’s own being, of one's own desires, impulses . . . the uncanny recognitions of one's possible lives, shadows, existences beyond the small circle of the moment--a circle which even as it grows bigger may remain always small until meeting the poet such as an Amat whose obscurity and distances beckon to one far more fiercely than those easily reached, easily read, easily understood and categorized.

The Outsider, and the Poet of the No, of the Refusal to write in favor of being part of revolutionary actions, may also be understood in their refusal of the "easy way, the nearby, the familiar." Instead, the Outsider poet and poet of the No exemplify that shock of recognition which Melville wrote of and Emerson called an event of the uncanny--to find someone and something at once familiar and unknown, to find an immediate affinity with things very distant--and at the same so very near.

In this way, there is a flip side to the SEARCH and DESIRE, the WILL for the "taking possession of" the Outside, the outsider, the No--the flip side is that the Outsider, Outside and No are not only found rather than sought, but that they also are FINDING ONESELF--that is, they find the person in whom they recognize qualities of themselves.

Perhaps because of this mutual call and response, of this finding of the Oustider and the Outside and No finding oneself, it is possible for the “search” with its inherent drive to “capture” the Ouside to be skipped over and that these recognitions ensure that there is always an outside which is recognized and handed on from one Outsider to another--

Amat is one of the figures of the outside and of the No and one feels very much the attraction, the call of an uncanny recognition, which means more work--learning another language--and willingness to climb into the mountains where the poems are carved . . . like those immense chasm-words and letters carved in the obsidian rock Island in Edgar Allan Poe's “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, of Nantucket.” And which Robert Smithson thought of as “literally vast potentials for a critical earthworks writing . . .”

So—back to work as it found one-and one found it --

0 Response to 'David-Baptiste Chirot: An Outsider Poet of the No, Carlos Oquendo de Amat'

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