: THE PURSUIT OF MONSTR, [Flame Lit, a new ‘rature]
In the drama there is truth. We combat the WORLD and, needing shelter, enter a stressless house.
We have our fires lit by the drama of life and yet this struggle is only to be observed to be at all. Not only do these flames spawn in themselves from delinquencies and hurts outside; the within tests itself also, its fortitude.
In other words a test of the within by without is as much a gauge as the assiduity indicated by the within, someplace unable to navigate nor map, yet indeed an individual 'periplum’ as Ezra Pound would call it, a map of our soul’s delicate history. We test our souls with hints though, that very place in us barters them for our facing our Inner Mistakes and forgiving their presence. Perhaps as the sylvan wash of bush and tree with snow do we distinguish just as much the organic, dirt-quality of the flaws we are born possessing. The proper build of our strength of mind, heart, is acceptance of the body itself as our container of parts so magnificently chaotic and wondrous that to complicate it further such a body of flame in shedding body would gash the very atom of fact into explosive doubt. Our natural bodies, you see, are somewhat the particle accelerator, or the impressive vacuum of space holding in the errant patches of supernova with a safe distance from our own, dreaming planet of mapped and unmapped spaces, selves.
What is seen within as communion is what is outside of reigning, funny enough; likewise for the fire lit in a person, inherited by troubles and torments as much to do with that as a nightmare to reality.
Poetry is the result of crisis, mostly; or the estrangement of one and another vision and subsequent antipodal responses. And thereon a sort of 'agon’ in which the poetic self is revealed in fighting; it gets waged between one answer and another.
All the result of conspiring times and more to say about them. All always will change perhaps beside what we observe in characteristic 'negative capability’ or poetry-as-disinterested-mode. The mountains after all speak only with their height and their cacophonic silence.
This 'agon’ itself clashes with the need to write oneself out of a personal crisis however. I feel greatly that besides the harmony of permanence of this natural planet itself, this sylvan kind of place for us to welter in and out of, we should know and -observe too- that we are always contained in this nature despite our fleeting senses and bodies. Infinity, of course, is always to be found, infinity by which I mean The Natural, The Organic, The swell-damned-time nobody misses.
I wish we all could find a way to keep going with this because it is such that would lead us out of our own scarred views, clean views. I would say along with Harold Bloom [his words in that clever and immortal pamphlet The Anxiety of Influence] that a poet reaches a Gnosis or a poetic turning through the process of askesis and kenosis [the latter refers to the divine energies Christ relinquished so as to become human; the former as known in the context of the ascetic discipline and rigor, though can also refer to a sort of 'curtailing’ of one’s own creative energies [i.e the fire lit, i.e afflatus]. We may yet inspire. We may yet desire the explosives, the glycerin of soul, and of self also.
I suppose being alone with oneself can be the crisis! For some people. Solitude is indeed the mother of invention. And not even the extra time to go about it. Time to yourself, that silent time you speak of is a great means to free oneself from diversions that would keep you placated and more importantly [or a result of that] drawn away from a look inward. I do not argue that Silence is essential to focusing on deeper, naughtier, brillianter parts of a person.
In my own individual experience, all I can say is: I approach poetry like a long mathematical equation. The mistakes I make are the discoveries that spur me on to make something better. Thoughts append one another. They collude to deceive us first and only then in deep with the obsession reward us with a glaucous, shimmering gem. My wrong footing in creating something, in this way, is my crisis. To solve a problem you need a problem. That problem can be an outside event or an event of the mind.
So yes … I come to see now that 'makars’ as us build to make the lofty rhyme [Milton sic] precisely for the reason that we have that silence. We have silence, solitude, distance, so as too look with an unabashed eye at who we are within, as you said, our inward monologues, and strengthen ourselves where we are weak, solve a problem about who we are. And this can mean an intellectual crisis or a crisis of self-acceptance. I should have made it clearer.
I should have made it clearer. By 'Crisis’ I mean inwardly, not the world nor other people in it; though perhaps questioning and dissecting oneself alone [a great art in itself] can snowball into thoughts as grand as god, morality, the universe, metaphysics. All things, really, inside or out. But like, I see that the silence needed to focus on one’s qualities, seen or unseen, is only really provoked to itself need external descriptions when once one discovers a problem, fork-i-the-road, decision to be made as to a state of being, reconciliation, or irreconcilable thing of self.
That crucial, lonely, airless arena, fighting renegade and possessed of ourselves, is the absolutely necessary place to dig up ourselves and find a part of us we are anxious to accept, remove or strengthen, sometimes all at the same time, and this anticipation to act on such things using language, a thing completely unseen [of the heart, really] is what I mean specifically by the word crisis.
Like a belief in GOD, existence or non- is the matter of less importance, I feel; but, the belief, the way one believes in what is form, how. The schematics-proper to imbue with one’s faith they are committing to the term. That’s the ticket. Nietzsche stresses 'belief in a motive’ and I agree. His universe was rashly impure struggling possessed for pure. So then pure motive would be to no purpose since the purpose is the purity and motive a maculate hangers-on. I put trust in an approximate delineation between why I act and what I do. I put trust in a motive that makes sense. But as always my own purity is nonlinear, chaotic, humane, dumb, bleak, fantastical, nonsensical.
So what is the motivation, then, objectively, when one sets out to write vers libre … when one commits to formalism?
Might as well argue for all the damn price of rice, every grain in the world … shit man.
It is senseless to define these seeming-definitive terms outside of a motive from within, say I!
You might grab the truism that is “I want meter, I want rhyme” but with this in mind write something footless. Consider 'Preludes’ by TS Eliot : :
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.
The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.
You tossed a blanket from the bed,
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed’s edge, where
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.
His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o’clock;
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.
I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.
Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.
: : Ok. Like Coleridge’s 'Cristabel’ to give another example frivolously [lol] -meter and foot are thrown aside for rhythm. The syllable 'count’ is replaced with focus on the stressing of syllable, assonance, caesura, a respect for the down-beat. Now. There is always the music found in foot and meter, but only when you do not or rarely notice any hitches therein. When one confines to form in this way, we can tell it is unnaturally, because the thing on the mind is firsthand foot and meter. As well there is obviously the music of chaos, the rhythm of dissonance, ugliness in beauty, and I daresay that is humanity and that is what souls are kind of and that is what leads us to snatch a name for these things so affecting.
As for 'Upper Caste’ of poetry … I, I think it is as much a matter of a soul’s motive. Formalism in the sense of something stiff is stiff only because the soul has not relegated its own piece. Vers Libre is pretentious if the writer is out for an 'effect’. I agree with you yes, but, in terms of innovation, both of these have their sincerity, which I am sure as hell you yourself would agree with.
I am not after the difference between form and the formless when I write. I am after the difference between being true and false. The way of a belief in something higher is highest put in no gain for the belief. Its truth is in that the individual honestly sees it as it makes sense to her and wants to share this sanity so as to help others be sane. To prove or disprove the higher being is meaningless but to construct a possibility, mythos, phenomenology, on the basis of what oneself thinks true IS the true. There are innovations, self-conscious shapes. Hybrids. Traditional mixed with The New. But these all come as one writes more and gets in touch with their honesty. So when I am asked what is the difference between form and free verse, I try not to prove anything at all that would shift them apart. Yes, yes. Free verse is its own form, and meter etc. can be sloppy. But more, I see -ONLY- form, shape; or dishonesty, insincerity. I would write a sonnet five million lines and call it a sonnet because of its sonnet-like components -questions of selfhood, an exploration, a reaching, and a summing up, or the use of wit- and say that its form in terms of meter, rules, is secondary, as seems to be the general agreement with all of us. Where I deviate is that form itself is primary, and that beauty is a result of whatever you are trying to 'mean’.