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blurg and block and burp

Inspired by the comments of Ken Rumble, I just re-read My Life and read Chris Vitiello's Nouns Swarm A Verb. It was a very interesting experience to read those two books back to back.

I found Nouns Swarm A Verb much more "self-contained" than My Life. What I mean is the gestures (language) are often more intense IN themselves in _Nouns Swarm A Verb_. The "indefinite continuation of the poem" includes words that do intense "repetition, recombination, and permutation."

I feel like I am bumping around in an freight train or an overhead bin. Bin=to be. Bin equals a storage. Bin equals . . . well anyway. Whereas, in My Life, I must be riding a ship.

Density in different ways. The word swarm and the word body.

Hejinian's "I lapse, hypnotized by the flux and reflux of the waves"
Vitiello's "Causality is discovered to be an analogy of allegory."

Nouns Swarm a verb is a "real" war book. A mispro(noun)cement. The stories of dolls(dollars) and eyes. It is unrelenting. It is a much much more intense swarming than Jorie Graham's attempt to Swarm. While reading Nouns Swarm a Verb, I felt communication vital and elusive. I realized the limitations of like. As in: "the words were like a draft of shadows." I questioned the tricks of language only to realize I leave one trick for another. But perhaps multi-tricks enable seeing a little more really. I go back. I rethink.

Yes, I am a train in Nouns Swarm a Verb, but the train isn't really self-contained. That's just another trick of language.

Nouns Swarm A Verb avoids the disease of analysis but begs for it.

WhOOOO. Did I channel a blurb in that last sentence?

A blurb is sketchy because it contains catch phrases. How many catch phrases are above? Let's see, there's no (sit u ate) there's no hm...

A blurb needs a dollar and I am not fishing for dollars so the above can't be a blurb. Maybe blurbs and blogs are from the same kingdom.

I'll have to google that.

Blurbs and blogs and burgs and burps.


Chris Vitiello said…
Insomnia pays off--I get up at 4am and read Marcus writing about my little book.

Nouns Swarm A Verb was really an attack project. Once you see the code behind language's surface, you can't not see the code. What you then look for is a code behind the code, which dissembles into meaningless infinities, but since language can only mean (insomuchas the human brain makes all sensory input mean) then these infinities are meaninglessnessless.

Immediately you become suspicious of phrases like "see the code behind language's surface." Right off I see three fronts on which to attack:

1. Language doesn't have a surface---something abstract is being physicalized here. And what is this abstract "language's surface" anyway? the sum of its aesthetic characteristics? the voice of the writer? the paper and ink? the font and letterforms and linespacing?

2. Code can't be behind language---these two abstract things are being placed in a physical relationship in order to convey their conceptual relationship: it's metaphorical.

3. You can't see this code because it doesn't physically exist. We use the word "see" as a metaphorical stand-in for "understand." Looking at something is not understanding it. And even if it was, what does it mean to look at something abstract, something that can't be looked at? Would that thing be therefore incomprehensible?

Hejinian's My Life is, like my NSV, about language and usage. Hejinian's project is additionally about the implications and results of usage projected across a life.

My favorite thing about Hejinian's book is how she writes questions but uses a period at their end, rather than a question mark. She's not attacking; she's recontextualizing. This is the building block for her project because she is constructing. I'm destroying---in peeling the langauge surface off to get at the code, and then peeling up that code to get at the code's code, I'm wrecking what I peel. I'm not sure my project is good for anything. There's some guilt in this.

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