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Saturday, December 02, 2006


Note on ROOM 6 I wanted something quite different from the text presented - it actually looks quite good - but is nothing like he image-text I was trying to get - I don't know enough yet about how to get images or texts onto the Blog so that they "follow" what I want - so I will attempt to put an image of what I was doing - I think I have the ability to do these things but not the knowledge or experience - perhaps if I knew HTML (or other languages/methods just as an artist previous to computers needed - and they still do - to know of their materials and media - nowadays the writer or 'textualiser' needs or perhaps doesn't need but it is desirable in many cases to know something of the medium he/she works with - so we we see VISPO and the work say of Alan Sondheim who uses computer and programming jargon in his huge Meditation on the Internet project) or more about imaging and files I would be able to control the output ... (just as I learnt perspective and how to mix colours and much else from my father - who was an artist/architect/engineer - when I was about 8 tor 9 -but haven't 'worked' in that 'area' since - much - so one feels the need to learn a huge amount more -but life is perhaps too short).

[I emphasise again that I feel that the poetry-prose and poetry visual art divisions etc are for me limiting - I dont accept them except in that they are practical realities - limiting in many cases. I don't like to think of myself as writing poems as such but creating texts or processes. I am not interested though in the effect of jazz on poetry per se - if I compare poetry to music I am talking more about a conceptuating - constructive as such -most popular music has no connection to the kind of work I want to do or imagine is "art"...Or I am maybe wrong on that. But I can't connect with Creeley's or (some of the Language poets such as Clark Coolidge - although I love his poetry and work -) enthusiasm for jazz - expect perhaps the improvisatory nature of some jazz.]

But it still shows something of what I was attempting and in fact I "discovered" that I could get colour via Word onto the Blog - now the Blog only allows centering - I cant push text around in the edit mode - at least - I can't do it at my present state of knowledge - that is in fact - in a way - what I am doing - it is learning process (that is this 'project' is not something delineated into separable poems or units it is a continuous process and this Room 6A is part of it) - and nothing is certain - though I wanted to eliminate chance as much or more than anything else I have done previously the irony is that chance has played part in EYELIGHT which attempts to be "about" something and to be a "serious" "project" (and not chance affected, or not as far as I could control) - even if I was off line and preparing a book as such I would be limited by my own skill lack - although I feel I could learn those skills - I seriously thought of doing a course in art and computer art etc etc but this is probably impractical so the EYELIGHT presented so far will have to be limited by the medium I am using - although I am sure ther are relatively simple things I can learn as I go.

One of the reasons I have set myself this "task" is to set limits - quite or almost arbitrarily - or to put a frame work to my 'work' - now this is almost in complete contrast to what I had done preciously when in fact much of my poetry was written for almost immediate reading - by reading I was publishing - and indeed as I could see that time no way to be published - I didn't in say 1989 to even 1992 (when I was reading either at the Albion or the Sakespear pubs every Monday and then at the Masonic once month on a Wednesday night) think I would be published by anyone - I also got big 'lift' out of reading to a live public which is much more difficult now for me to attain via print or on the internet or in non spoken medium) -

And while I started out with poems that were more or less "conventional" this gradually modified as my reading extended and so on. Now I also began to write entire poems with condsiderable rapidity - in many cases not revising - in fact most of the poems that my friends and others seem to like were not revised - eg The Red - it actually came to me first as kind of image of squares or rectangles of concrete - grey or white and red - and kind of 'beating' rhythm and words came into my mind as I was walking near the Sociology/Anthropology Dept to the English Dept of the Auckland University about 1992 when I was studying Gertrude Stein as a a part of paper called "American Poetry" (Stein is a very important poet for me). There are rectangles of concrete there and I was on the stairs linking the two departments. I stopped walking - scrawled a few lines and the rest I did in about 20 minutes at home that night and I read it out a few weeks later when I had a guest spot at The Shakespear - for my reading and - I received a standing ovation (for it and my other poems I hope) - now while I worked carefully when I typed it up* - the revision was mainly done I think by my mind's inherent sense of rhythm etc - as it happens it is almost entirely in iambics - but not pentameter. This was not designed. Any "design" was very rapid - I don't say this to boast but to show a contrasting compositional method - that I kind of "perfected" - I found that with some good exceptions - tinkering and rewriting was not my thing - but after a time I had so many poems and I found writing so easy I felt that I needed to "challenge myself" with a project -with something more formally preconceived - & with restraints etc - I wouldn't go so far as Robert Frost and say that poetry without such restraints or formal metrical arragements is "like playing tennis without the nets" but it is an interesting concept.

This starts leading into the question of what poetry (or indeed what any creative art) is - ontological or epistemlogical questions perhaps - or aesthetical - which lead even (ultimately down certain paths) to politics (at least to philosophy and possibly to ethics).

*The Auckland poet and musician Bryony Jagger has set The Red to music for full orchestra but a lines that I removed - that would appeal to a musician as it is a kind of intermezzo - I deleted to get a "harder edge" on the work - Bryony wanted that part in as it was in when I read the poem the first time - we disagreed (amiably) on the need for its inclusion - so that is an example of 'pruning' I DID do.

The line was - " A fascadassalation of a sheen of green". Too much for me!

I heard the music played by the Leys Institute Orchestra there (at the Leys Institute Library in Ponsonby) in December 1995. It is great music I feel.

Here is the poem The Red -

The Red

The blocks of red on red on red by black around
by black by black by line by line by round. The
red in red of red in red where black by back the
white around. Around the bound about the
white the red more red comes up the red. It
rears its head. The eye the see the sight to see.
The eye the see the light the sight.

And light.

The light not light not bright not dim not sun.
The sun not round not up not down. The blue
not there not green not grey. The grey ungrey
not grey not black . The up not down the down
not up.

And the black not black not black on night. The
light alight but light not light.

The clock is dead.

The clock awake alive like head. The head like
blood like hot is red.

The squares the slabs the reds the blocks are
chops of chunks: the chunks the chunks the bits.
The monks. And the red the red and round the
black. (There is no black).

To you my red my square my thing: I fall
and blubber like a sun-struck king.

The red on red of red the blocks. The orange
the green the blue. The see the sight the
steel the grey. The shape the tall the dark the
great. The high the high. The finger like a finger
on the sky.

The eye the seen.

The green.

O my blocks my reds my reds my blocks: orange
is not is gnomes is gone.

And the red in red. (There is no red)
The square that's not that's never that's there.
If red be red not is not green:
Then red on red of red is you my thing. And
if that is you by blocks by black are red around.

And black is black as black is black.

And red is red is red.


richard lopez said...

yeah! good to see more posts, richard.

Richard Taylor said...

Hi Richard - great to hear from you! thanks have a look at Reading the Maps and the link to Titus books.

Richard said...

I think that the concert where my poem 'The Red' was set to music was played in 2005 at the Leys Institute. A typo there, as not 1995, it was way after that...I read the poem again with Bill Direen's "gig" or event recently.

Richard said...

That comment was now, October 2016.

Richard said...

Good 2