Sunday, August 8, 2010
Panorama: Lake and Clouds by K. Iuppa
Went to Just Poets' first meeting of the 2010-2011 season. David Tilley presented on"taking the ego out of poetry." David, practicing Buddhist, artist and poet, has been involved in several successful collaborations over the past few years, which practiced his process of using "random choice."
Here are some ideas that I thought were intriguing ( and if anyone is actually reading my blog and wants to add to or clarify my interpretation, please do):
Concept rooted in Buddhism: "root of all pain is habit." "Habit" demonstrates the repetition of same words, actions, and situations. Ego driven poetry relies on what it knows exactly-- authorial control of images, using stock images and narrative to convey meaning to reader.
Hazard: poetry that is stuck in its habit. (this is significant, and it depends on the poet to recognize his/her habit, and how to break out of same old, same old ways).
David 's presentation gave us ideas on how to "loosen our grip."
He read three different poems. First one was purely random choice text selected and orchestrated by set parameters. The syntax was rough in this. The set parameters are determined by author. Much like creating word spills, with use of certain words or phrases.
The second poem used the random choice, but allowed author manipulation of text. This poem
had a fluency, and allowed the narrative to evolve in its connections to images, ideas.
The third poem (my favorite) random choice in a poetic mash up with his interest in dream and shamanic journey work. This poem demonstrated active imagination and altered state of consciousness, but it was also lucid and felt primal ( could be a clash of sacred and profane) when listening to it.
David uses a variety of "poetic machines" to create his random choice. He defines a machine as something that does repetitive things.
He suggests these possibilities to create random number generators:
I Ching, Tarot, Astrology, Runes-- all create open interpretations and are linked to their particular mythologies/cultural histories, so the poet can riff of them and create something new.
(Do you hear Pound's outcry, to make it new?) Also, these poetic machines are random number generators, so that's how you would get your parameters using which ever (I Ching, Tarot, and on) repetition or pattern of numbers.
Our Discussion: I liked the notion that the ego wasn't to be eliminated but redirected. It is the ego that makes sense of the poem, or stops the world's chaos in order to make order, which could be linked to the random choice infused with the poet's interpretation.