Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Well Read Poem Sheds Against Its Own Voice

Frank Sherlock, poet, reading at NonSite, San Francisco, 9.12.2009 
There are ways in which a well read poem will shed against its own voice. Which is say one is never hearing the poem as a tightly closed, logically constructed narrative. Or, if it is such, the poet reading that poem gives an opportunity with which an audience is soon bored!  Much better and more challenging is a poem with several interior trunks combined with several contrary seeming branches. Even more so  – inhabiting the spaces within and between those solid seeming forms - are the marks of diverse rhythms, both smooth and rugged jags of light and dark whose presence momentarily hovers to claim the air/ear before disappearing.  In that manner the live poet puts us on alert; with those strokes of language so unpredictable and various no longer is the listener secure in an abstract sky-box, but back in this world, an electrified witness, both mind and senses taking and living inside the poem’s measure. 

{Back in 2011, when my work was exhibited in may show, Poetry by Other Means, at the Jack Hanley Gallery in New York, I and the Gallery were really pleased to find most every 'art calendar' publication reproduced this haptic drawing.

[Tap cursor over the drawing to enlarge].

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