Some quotes from Andrew Joron’s book The Cry at Zero. He came to speak and read at CCA, my art college, and I loved his intriguing mixture of scientific exploration and poetic language. Rather, his scientific exploration of the cultural usage and possibilities of language.
“Language is a social construct, yet it was fashioned by no one in particular. Language continues to be haunted by this ‘no one.’”
And I was quite excited to find this in his prose: “Within the complex system of language, a word’s meaning is ‘edged’—and chaotically conditioned—by the meanings of all other words.” I find this essential in my poetry because it applies to my poetics in that I strive for every poem (or page) I write to be conditioned by the writing surrounding it. It seems that I’m uninterested in writing poems that stand on their own.
Why? Is it because I just can’t get out everything in one poem? Is it because I have a hard time writing one striking thought, that I need my thoughts to become more striking as they line up together? Or is it because I’m constantly changing my mind about things, and therefore my poems are constantly changing their minds? Sometimes as soon as I write something, (the more definitive it is) I want to negate it.