Glass Essay Poetry Foundation

Glass Essay Poetry Foundation-9
This is a short talk with a long list inside it, mostly in sentences, not lines, or in sentences that occasionally aspire to lines. Wayne’s acting is infected by a kind of hoboish spirit, sitting back on its haunches doing a bitter-amused counterpoint to the pale, neutral film life around him.Lines and sentences: even now, nonfiction—including nonfiction by poets—is approached by readers, and sometimes by writers, chiefly as information, argument, or anecdote, the formal aspects of language and prose a sort of ornamental afterthought, as though the real action of nonfiction transpired peripherally, perhaps reluctantly, through words. In an Arizona town that is too placid, where the cactus was planted last night and nostalgically cast actors do a generalized drunkenness, cowardice, voraciousness, Wayne is the termite actor focusing only on a tiny present area, nibbling at it with engaging professionalism and a hipster sense of how to sit in a chair leaned against the wall, eye a flogging overactor (Lee Marvin).Perhaps you know my nightmare the first night at Priscilla’s—an enormous Elvis over the pool, Elvis said.

This is a short talk with a long list inside it, mostly in sentences, not lines, or in sentences that occasionally aspire to lines. Wayne’s acting is infected by a kind of hoboish spirit, sitting back on its haunches doing a bitter-amused counterpoint to the pale, neutral film life around him.Lines and sentences: even now, nonfiction—including nonfiction by poets—is approached by readers, and sometimes by writers, chiefly as information, argument, or anecdote, the formal aspects of language and prose a sort of ornamental afterthought, as though the real action of nonfiction transpired peripherally, perhaps reluctantly, through words. In an Arizona town that is too placid, where the cactus was planted last night and nostalgically cast actors do a generalized drunkenness, cowardice, voraciousness, Wayne is the termite actor focusing only on a tiny present area, nibbling at it with engaging professionalism and a hipster sense of how to sit in a chair leaned against the wall, eye a flogging overactor (Lee Marvin).Perhaps you know my nightmare the first night at Priscilla’s—an enormous Elvis over the pool, Elvis said.

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I’ve come to think of these books as dramatizing, even embodying thinking in sentences and lines, at least as Elizabeth Bishop (again) advanced the notion when she wrote that she wanted to write poems that seize the mind “in action” rather than “at rest.” Here, for instance, is a paragraph by film critic and painter Manny Farber from his 1962 essay “White Elephant Art vs. Better Ford films than this have been marred by a phlegmatically solemn Irish personality that goes for rounded declamatory acting, silhouetted riders along the rim of a mountain with a golden sunset behind them, and repetitions in which big bodies are scrambled together in a rhythmically curving Rosa Bonheurish composition.

As Sante continues: “I write prose with a poet’s head. Novels and poems and songs tracking essayistic impulses? —many of these, nearly all of them, steeped in quotations, adaptations, allusions, borrowings, thefts, collaged.

Polito received a National Book Critics Circle Award for Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson.

The founding director of the Graduate Writing Program and the Riggio Honors Program: Writing & Democracy at the New School, he served as President of the Poetry Foundation in Chicago (2013-2015), before returning to New York and the New School.

Perhaps you know I came to see Priscilla was to Elvis as Lisa Marie to me—after Elvis brought her to Memphis, he put Priscilla in Catholic school, Perhaps you know seeing Lisa looking adorable in her wool skirt, white blouse, bobby sox and loafers, I understood Elvis’ feelings.

Perhaps you know in our acting class Priscilla did a love scene, she and her partner went into a long kiss, I knew exactly how Elvis felt, when he caught her.

Perhaps you know Lisa got up from the dinner table to go to the refrigerator, her bare knee brushed my hand.

Perhaps you know I was in a mood for some photos, I dressed Lisa in her mother’s vintage gowns, her eyes and lips replicas of Elvis’.

He will cast prickly epigrams, and his sentences will dazzle through layers of poise and charm, but Farber qua Farber typically arrives at a kind of backdoor poetry: not “lyrical,” or traditionally poetic, but original and startling. More modestly, each of us up here today can suggest some different routes whereby our poems intersect our nonfiction—for me these might involve multiple, self-consuming voices, a search for language and structures that criss-cross or embody a subject, collage, fragmentation, and the open-endedness of multifarious perspectives and divergent points of view.

The poem started, of course, with my reading of Edwards’s strange, inadvertently Nabokovian memoir, but it really started when I wrote a short essay about it for the “Lost and Found” column in years later.

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