- The dream
of continuation - of a self-sustained going on - is nothing if not utopian.
Rooted in groundlessness itself, that most abject of American tropes,
continuation presents us with the possibility of locating the impossible
within a horizon constantly remade by the autotelic energy of the poem.
Continuation envisions the triumph of eros over history - the radiant
body of the poem rising over the corpse of teleology.
rooted in groundlessness starts with the recognition of a central impoverishment.
On this absent foundation the poem builds the word that utters emptiness.
becomes God when creation says God," says Meister Eckhart, outlining
a circulatory and specular poetics of lallation, of the originating
and fulfilling utterance of song. Through autopoesis, the word nominates
the world and the world incarnates the word. At the same time, though,
the pronouncing of such an infinite name is the act that erases that
name. Therefore, it is never said, can never be said. The poem is the
stutter of the infinite, the infinite stutter.
- The crisis
of the poem, then, is how to continue - how to go on in
language against the pressure the past exerts on the moment? The field
of continuation must be thought of as the space where past and present,
saying and silence, come together as the possibility of relation, even
if that relation is discontinuous.
- By presence
to mean not totality, but something more elusive - a hovering on the
margins and a seepage into the body - that will bring us a step closer
to the startling curvature of our telemetry, that is, our continuation.
understands that "beauty" belongs to a very vexed category
of description. The challenge is how to locate in this procedure anyway
the thing we always return to language for - liberation.
- The poem
is the impossible utopian site where saying overcomes itself and the
dead speak again. The anxiety of influence will give way to the emancipation
of permission, and the poet will openly embrace the always already multivalent
movement of the word as such. Not as ambassador of the dead,
but their collaborator. The aporia of originality dissolves in the poetics
that ongoing self-morphing of the poem, where form both defines and
resists boundaries, endlessly dissolving and reshaping in the recursive
movement of its enfolding. The continual poem is the result of the poet's
collaboration with the polyphonic forces of language.
- To continue
by means of a protean swarming: energized poetic quanta colliding and
recombining inside the electric field of the poem itself. A plethora
of poetic forms, styles and voices will run rampant, the multiplicity
of their registers continually full of surprise, and running through
them all, like a rhizome of tissued fire, the single polycantic hymn
a joyous spilling over - form freed from stasis, form as ek-stasis.
In a poetics of shape-shifting jouissance, each poem's avatar
is steeped in disobedience - that sovereign sense of transgression
which is the statement of the most profound obedience possible: to the
with language, an acute sensitivity to its betrayals, will be coupled
with the irrepressible longing of the poem to attain not some final
arbiter of representation, but the ongoing availability of radical contingency.
is what will always exceed itself. A yearning for the other side of
its boundary, where loss is reinscribed "as otherwise than loss."
What continuation longs for most is its own continuation, the joyous
articulation of itself.
- To continue
is to repeat, but each time in a different key. The task of the poem
of continuation is the question of how to go on to infinity. Not the
claustral infinity of the theologians, but the vertiginous infinity
of loss and replenishment and loss and replenishment. The poem is nothing
but this: a momentary localization of the infinity of and. It
is the call of itself to itself in anticipation of the impossible gift
of a reply.
language folds over on itself, turns itself inside out, producing a
headlong momentum of self-resembling replication. Making, canceling,
remaking. Repetition acts as a fractal integer, the secret number of
the poem that is divisible by everything it is not. Split open, it yields
a mise en abyme, an infinite regress of the same two figures
- the multiplication of itself and the Other - across a landscape of
- The poem
is that linguistic object that stages the impossibility of its own saying
as the necessary condition for its articulation. Enacting the perpetual
negotiation of the primal dialogy between sign and thing, song and sung,
presence and absence, fullness and emptiness, being and death.
- In the
poem, origin and departure are continually affirmed, continually re-posited,
in order to re-write the unwritable. Language folds back on itself recursively
to inscribe the uninscribable, that is nothing other than the moment
of the present, that elusive here-now-and-already-gone flicker-and-fade
- The white
space of the page performs a negative devotional inscription, confirmation
that the longing of language continually leads, not to the ontological
asphyxiation of closed form, but into the Field of the Open, where the
lyric dissolves totalizing discourses through one discontinuous gesture
- The exhaustion
of language comes as a response to the impossibility of staging an expression
of the catastrophic. Which is only another word for "living."
But the end of signifying does not represent a defeat for language.
On the contrary, the impossibility of thinking the beyond of language
only acts as an incitement to further language, to its radical indefatigableness.
The unresolved tension of the poem is the registering of the disparate
obliquity of the world and the longing to align this obliquity by saying
alone. Then language may be understood as an extravagant staging of
- At the
center of the poem, acting as its original impulsion, is the crisis
of the kenotic fissure - the realization that words fail, that all utterance
is trumped by silence and by death. Yet the idea of speech - and speech
as a kind of destiny or fulfillment of the human - only makes sense
when understood in terms of death.
is also the enumeration of loss - the signal flare above the dying body.
What it spells out is a new form of belonging to an order of being whose
orthography is still illegible.
may be thought of as both a founding anterior site for writing and the
interior place where the limits of self-invention are marked solely
by the limits of tropological resourcefulness.
to affirm the freedom of the human voice. By a continual chain of relays
without arrivals, signifying themselves alone. And though the dream
of each relay is to transcend itself, to cross over (trans) and so rise
(ascend) to the occasion of its speaking, that occasion is already marked
as the event of its own erasure. Nevertheless, to have spoken at all
will have been to have testified, even if only for the one moment and
not for all time. And that will have been enough.
- The continual
poem will be an act of ebullitio: a boiling over from primordial
fullness, that is also primal emptiness. Which is simply to mean that
the saying of the world may only be accomplished under the shadow of
its evacuation. The poem is this perpetual desire to name the unnamable.
as poetic practice is the site where flux equals radical inhabitation.
For if to be "no where" is to also to be "now here,"
then the converse must also hold. The utopian caesura is the place/not-place
where the grammar of instantiation is generated by the enunciation of
continual dissolution: what splits and rejoins the unitive and the multiple,
the centripetal and the centrifugal. The true site of belonging is the
luminous body of the transmorphing poem itself.
- To think
utopia not as site, but as liberating practice.
- In the
impossible space of the white page. Language gives us to language. To
the deeper strangenesses of ourselves.
where we always are, at the horizon of speech.