Links and Beginning and Intro to Eyelight the Poem-Project
I have finally worked out how to post links. I am still also sending links to my own Blog and so on. A friend sent a comment re my poem-project Eyelight - briefly here are some of the concepts it is organised around - it derives so speak form my The Infinite Poem of which more (and more!) anon - but I wanted to do a project that took me away from the more "asbtract" poems I was doing - they are not actually abstract (that is term that is open to considerations) -but they wwere basically one page prose poems etc created indeed from knowledge (of literatrue and many other thngs) but not prefigured as such - and from years of reading live at poetry live - I will add a link here later but they meet to read poetry every Tuesday night at Poetry Live here in Auckland (N.Z.) - when they are going - about 7 p.m. - on Ponsonby Road in a place called The Grand Central open mike - I haven't been going as much as in the past but intend to start going a bit more - this somehow develop my craft -but I got to the stage that I could write very quickly - now "eyelight" was inspired by various long poems predicated on always some greater structure and based on some idea of poetics or philosophy or whatever - now I was working sans such preconceptions or structures - or I was concentrating such ideas into kind of semiotic mesh - not mess! Hence my "itch" to 'do' a project...
In reading about Louis Zukofsky I got the idea of predicating this perhaps on Bach (as starting motif perhaps) and also of bringing - however coded - myself and my poetry into Eyelight.
Here are some of the influences happenings in my life and ideas behind or in Eyelight
Light as light the physical phenomena (is the physical 'spirtual' or vica versa?) - but its many symbolic and or mystical and other references.
Various US poets of the NY and other schools and John Ashbery as well as
The "Language Poets". Also - nota bene - various NZ poets - some are listed below.
Becket and Robbe-Grillet and others such as Perec.
Art and the example of Beuys with his various art experiments and happenings (Conceptual Art is very important to me) and in particular -even if it may be apochryphal - his refusal to teach a course unless everyone who enroled in his art course was accepted.
Reading about contempray music of Charles Ives, John Cage, Stockhausen and others. Also New Zealand composers and the support of my friend the poet-composer Bryony Jagger who composed "If red be red" - a work for orchestra based on my poem The Red
The various 'long poems' eg Pounds 'Cantos', Olson's 'Maximus', Zukofsky's "A".
Hearing about the way Bach recyled themes of is music into his B Minor Mass.
Eyelight as the word is from poem in which the line"black veins on eyelight scrawled" is used.
My son Victor lost his eye to police actions in 1990 - it was tragic set of circumstances. I am not saying poor old us or that it was deliberate act as such - he events leading up to the already are complex (for example when he was struck it was getting dark - let us say however - that difficult and tragic questions hover about the incident.)
As well as being in some ways personal this "poem" (or text) is 'about' things such as the ultimate origins whether of the Univers itself or of New Zealand or whatever.
It is about the incredible wonderfulness of being alive.
It is 'about' the enormous strangeness of being. And Being.
It is about death and tragedy but also about life and hope - it asks "what is real" -nothing perhaps new there.
It is set agaisnt an incocievable Universe whose meaning we only we 'see' in flashes or perhaps we see it always - it asks why are we here and so on. Or 'why are we here'. Or why are we here.'
Eyelight is exploratory and processional - it is also for me to learn about things (seriously) -I also want to help others. While I have great interest in literature and some philosophy (I have very wide interests - but Iam not strong on philosophy - I find it very difficult) - I also want to involve these (in my The Infinite Poem) at all levels -but more on that - Eyelight is not as "difficult" or as grandiose as it might sound from this intro.
Lester Kyle's (my friend's who is a poet and lives in Buller) many projects and poetic works.
Scott Hamilton's great intelligence, discernment and support and his introduction to me of many poets and ideas I hadn't encountered at the Auckland University - this is not an attack on academia however!
It is structured from many aspects or kinds of writings (including the use of collage etc)- eg there is book I have with quotes from or comments on Art -call that book A - I also have one called "random" (ideas and quotes or just things I have found so to speak " call that B, things about poetics or related call that C and so on - many ideas. I think I go to M as I included -(potentially) any milieu and I have many visual aspects I cant put on this Blog (at this stage)
What I did is I start with my poem "Eyelight" then I take something from A then from B and so on then I have a page that is a mix of all the pages (A B C D ...M). (Perhaps I will go to Z - thus echoing Ron Silliman's alphabet project? Then I start again with poem. So each cycle or section starts with a poem. It is not prefigured apart from certain methodologies, and there is no "plan" of how this is going to develop -no plan per se - just a structure and these themes - apart from these repeating "beats" (Pound also had something- rather distantly - related to this idea -epihany to the quiotidian and so on.) Pound is also someone whose work is filled with light - or energy . I don't share his politics however.
Each of these cycles constitutes a Room ( a 'canto' was originally a room I think)
Also it is important to add my growing interest in New Zealand poets and New Zealand history a and also Maoritanga. As New Zealander there is of course a large influence from this counrty - R A K Mason, Kendrick Smithyman, Sargeson, Mansfield, Cilla McQueen, Michelle Leggott, Richard von Sturmer, Wystan Curnow, Hone Tuwhare, Micheal Morrissey (in particular his The New Fiction) Robert Sullivan and many others are or have been influential.
To some degree - Eyelight is thus political - or all writing is political in some sense of that term.