Friday, April 27, 2012

A Positive Influence Understood Positively

For one of the progenitors, it was a matter of getting started. The twenty sentences. And then it grew (for him) or at least it became a book. That's form, in a sense. But it's also a process, a way of writing, right? Starting. Yet for me it was never that - or it outgrew that - because starting was never really a challenge. Editing - rewriting - was. I mean going back. And then also - possibly related - the idea that one ought to say what they mean without dressing it up. In other words, I read Silliman et al really only as rebels. I defined them in opposition. Negatively. Probably unfairly. Yet that is what this project became - poetry inspired by a limit to its length. And then seeing that - and honestly being a bit bored by it - one asks: now what? Well, you keep going. Writing writing, as Stein said who - unlike the language poets - was always a positive influence, understood positively. Which strikes me at the moment as saying more about me as a reader than anybody else as a writer. But it's always that way I think.

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