Haptic: Dennis Tedlock, translator, reading from 2000 Years Of Mayan Literature (U.C. Press), Meridian Gallery, for the Poetry Center, San Francisco. 01/29/2010
Easy it is to account someone as a lyric poet. What one most often means by that is that the poem’s words are composed in such a way as to rise and sing as well as share other properties of music. But that description offers little in the way of concrete specifics and their differentiations. It is the same problem when one assumes that folks who make jazz are somehow similar. When what one really wants to hear and register are the ways in which the musicians are different. Similarly, when poets send their poems out into the air, we can listen closely for that; a poem or group of them will give off such different shapes, tones and rhythms, as well as such different senses of color or sometimes the complete absence of such. But more to the point, as a listener, it is to let ones body, ear and eye become unmistakably present. It is to hear the climb and fall of abbreviated or extended lines; the way they thread through resistances to make a tapestry of un-indentured spaces; there where the elements collide, collaborate or just as suddenly disappear; to resolve into a space where the lines or even rhythmic punctuation marks become specific signatures; to follow them across the poem’s field as they expand, multiply and accommodate whatever depth or height. The sensuous acknowledgement of the made space is the haptic one.
[[My apologies to Hal, to Truck et al that I have not been more prolific here! I got implicated and obligated on another project. However, the entries and attention to writing about my 'haptic' drawing process has personally been quite helpful. I am preparing a book, Poetry Reading Haptics, that will incorporate versions of some of these entries. To be published in about a month. Meanwhile, if have interest in my work, my website remains: