The soon to be knighted Sir Rumble braught Lisa Jarnot to my intro to poetry class yesterday. The class was standing room only (word got around) and most of the students were a tad shy. Lisa was friendly and intimate. She contextualized her work by talking about influences such as Bob Dylan and the Objectivist nexus (Creeley, Duncan etc.). It was interesting to hear her talk about Getrude Stein. It seems a lot of critics compare her work to Getrude Stein and she acknowledged the Steinian elements, but she went on to discuss how her work is different than Stein in terms of line and musicality. She read a few poems and one of my autodidact students mentioned how Jarnot's "Brooklyn Anchorage" has a similar narrative structure to Frank O'Hara's "The Day Lady Died" and wanted to know if her poem was a writing through/with this poem. We have not read Frank O' Hara in class so I was happy to see she had ventured out on her own. Lisa said she was well aware of the poem but did not consciously think about it while writing Brooklyn Anchorage (which she said was one of those rare poems compared in one go). But it is an interesting comparison (right down to the shock of the newspaper at the end of both poems). After hearing Lisa talk about Berrigan, Bob Dylan, Frank O'Hara, and Allen Ginsberg I am ready to rebegin my love affair with the beats and NY School.
Anyway, it was re-energizing to hear a great poet talk passionately about influences. I am very excited to hear her read in the Desert City Series this evening. I can honestly say I enjoyed all of her books (Black Dog Songs, Ring of Fire, and Some Other Kind of Mission). It is interesting to note her connection to concrete/visual poetics in Some Other Kind of Mission and Dumb Duke Death (a collaboration with her visual artist sister and dedicated to Dick Cheney). I am really interesting in exploring some more concrete poetry. Maybe those Brazilian folks and Bob Cobbing would be a good place to start.