1. philipparees says:

    A vivid economy! I have much to learn about how to man a flag. Nice.

  2. Joe Linker says:

    Flap about loosely.

  3. Dan Hennessy says:

    I like the way you’ve oranged this post .

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Used to eat oranges on the way to Venice in my VW, throwing the peels on the floor by the passenger seat, where they’d pile up over the week, oranges and peanut shells.

  4. :) A feast of colour. Love the lemon orange. And peculiar, how an orange grown in a local back street can look so enchantingly alien.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Back streets that end with a trail.

  5. johndockus says:

    Hey Joe: Agent Provocateur John here (I’m wearing a black eye-patch. No, come to think of it, I’m wearing two black eye-patches, and an orange clown nose): This may be your most nihilistic post, all the more subversive because of its deceptively pleasant imagery. Concrete poetry undermines language, and probably, if carried out in the strictest sense, should lead to no comments, to the silencing of speech altogether. It would be totally fascinating if there could be created a machine which picked up brain-waves, and translated into comment sections all across the blog world all those thoughts which weren’t expressed, or all those thoughts which strove to find expression, and failed, twisting themselves into knots.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      That’s the pip, John. Speaking of knots, did you ever read R. D. Lang’s “Knots”?

      “They are playing a game. They are playing at not

      playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I

      shall break the rules and they will punish me.

      I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.”

      I don’t know if that’s nihilistic or just negative because it oversimplifies relationships or if the folks in Lang’s world really played games like that or never actually did learn to play games and that’s why they never learned to have any fun or if they ever did have any fun they suddenly awoke to the epiphany that they didn’t enjoy having fun because it made them feel guilty because after all no one else seemed to be having any fun at all.

      But regarding concrete poetry, have you checked out the anthology?

      I watched a video on Langston Hughes this week. I’ve seen it before, but it always inspires me to try to say something more meaningful in a way that more will understand. In the video, the poet Gwendolyn Brooks comments about Langston’s poems, something like: “you come away from the poem thinking, yes, I’ve had that experience also, and often, that is the significance of the poem.” James Baldwin is in the film also, and says something similar, something like: “I knew what he was saying, but it was like he held a mirror up and I saw myself in a way I had not realized before.” Anyway, you can view the film here. It’s about 57 minutes.

      I’m not sure concrete poetry undermines language; it might create a foundation for language to build on.

      1. johndockus says:

        Joe just squeezed me a tall glass of orange juice, and as I expected, it’s fresh and cool and delicious. Thanks, Joe. I was just playing, being deliberately provocative. I think you’re right about Concrete poetry. I get the sense of it and its intention. It’s like unformed clay given, or clay offered up after one has shaped it into an object with the invite to shape it back into something else, or tinker toys, lincoln logs, or colored letter-blocks, or setting up the next move in a game. The pleasure is in that next move. Dan Hennessy appears to be doing something similar in his series of photographs, presented like a hand of a deck of cards in a game, the faces showing, but not all the cards showing, and he’s the cardsharp and dealer. He’s a funny one at that. Or they’re like a Tarot card deck with cards one must interpret, which Rorschach test-like could be revealing. Problem is getting individuals to share more, to play the game. We already live in a world of Concrete Poetry it might be said. It’s everywhere around us. It’s in the arrangement of objects in the corner of my room, and over there I see organized chaos of books and papers; it’s in this chair I’m sitting on at this moment, and in the keys of the keyboard I’m tapping away on like a ragtime pianist.

        Concrete Poetry is ironic in relation to, or within, this so-called world of virtual reality we lose ourselves in, like Alice disappearing down the hole into Wonderland. These are not objects, but reproductions, and reproductions of reproductions, and reproductions of reproductions of reproductions, of objects. The hall of mirrors is still concrete poetry, I grant you: but tossing a stone and shattering the glass is even more concrete. Within a very big box, a slightly smaller one, and within that one a still more smaller one, and so on, and so forth, until one opens the last itty-bitty box, and there’s a die inside with no dots on any side, no snake eye and no holy roller. A sugar cube. Concrete Poetry is maybe a corrective, a way of exclaiming, “Wait a minute! Without me, there are no true relations, and all sense goes out of words. Without me, the world of language turns to complete nonsense, en route to nihilism.”

        1. Joe Linker says:

          I’m not sure nonsense is nihilistic. As you say in yr para. # 1, there are objects or situations or predicaments that suggest a concrete poetic response, found things, that viewed just so, reveal something new. McLuhan might be helpful here. We’ve traded in our ears for eyes. In one way, poetry on a page is already a concrete poem, because it goes beyond the ear straight to the eye, we just see shapes, pictures of sounds, unless you read it aloud, or at least mouth the words. And McLuhan shows how print led to certain rational expectations, linear thinking, for example, so when things go non-linear, our first response is nonsense. For McLuhan, the ear is magic, the eye neutral. While your object discussion sounds like a matryoshka doll, a nesting house, description. Interesting, fascinating to children, for each nest disappears, is no longer real at all, but can be recalled. Or how about this: rational, irrational, non-rational. We do something irrational with certain values (what we want) that are not necessarily good for us (smoking, for example, or driving fast cars). But the non-rational world of the Alice books is something different. She doesn’t encounter the irrational so much as the non-rational. This might be what Lewis Carroll meant when he said, “Everything’s got a moral, if you can just find it.”

          1. johndockus says:

            By Russian author Daniil Kharms (1905 – 1942):

            “Would you like me to tell you a story about the crichen? No, not a crichen, but a chickrichen. Or no, not chickrichen, but chuckroochen. Phooey! Not a chuckroochen, a charckoochen. Of course it’s not a charckoochen but a coochoockrichen. No, that’s not it! Chickyckraten? No, not chickyckraten! Coocheecoockitchen? No, wrong again!
            So I’ve forgotten what this bird’s called. But if I hadn’t forgotten, I would tell you the story about this choockoockurookochen.”

            1. Joe Linker says:

              It might be a nomancreature.

  6. johndockus says:

    Funny, Joe. Point well taken about nonsense. I agree with you. It’s a great pleasure interacting with you, how you keep things open-ended and exploratory, with among other ingredients humor and wit adding flavor and texture. Another area of exploration may be the correlation of writing to cooking, recipes for dishes. This “orange” theme also appeals to my sense of taste.

      1. johndockus says:

        Absolutely delightful poem at the link you’ve here provided, Joe. A twist of lemon, some citrus but not too much. Tasteful poetry doesn’t overdo, but measures out portions, not too much spice, just a dash of pepper or salt, and combines ingredients which go together, bringing out new flavors in the blends. An Epic no doubt would require a longer cooking time; maybe a cooking out under the sky and over an open fire in the context of a ritual. More food for thought!

          1. johndockus says:

            Ha ha! Salad Days before the main course, but some may prefer to start out with soup. That’s an excellent prose poem, Joe. I love it. There’s this connection thing you do, one might call them Linker Links, all over the place at your blog, a complex circuitry with currents running throughout. It’s really fantastic. Like a highway system, side streets, open road, footpaths and trails, a map developing and you’re the cartographer; or the nervous and circulatory and respiratory systems, a complex living system, with a beating heart and a thinking brain and open eyes and hearing ears and sounding mouth and smelling nose and tasting tongue and feeling skin. All these connections linked to connections over which you’re the presiding spirit. Sometimes I think of you as pulling colored yarn from one place to another; and then another to another place, and the whole thing taken in its entirety becoming like some giant God’s eye.

            1. Joe Linker says:

              The little hovel that grows into a city. New aura links. Between naps. On the bus.

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