What does the KR Blog mean to me–I think I know; I think I can get there. I don’t spend much time with prose, actually. Kinda feel closer in thought to verse. In heart. Call it the fragmented existence or whatever. I’d liken poetic comprehension to a soap bubble: growing until it pops or shrinks, always sliding down porcelain, everlasting seeming, everlasting probably, growing now always. I feel I understand that. I often feel I understand a line better than a sentence. All syntax, in good working order or in frantic torque, confuses me. And so you see I had quite a bit of nervousness about blogging here. Not only is it the Kenyon Fucking Review, a place of such fine and enabling architecture throughout its history, also dedicated to re-burgeoning of freshness and vitality; not only am I actually (or obviously) timid, well, not timid, but of nervousness, if a caffeinated kind; not only all the rest; but, I often feel like when I’m writing prose, even in a flirty email, I’m betraying what truly compels me through a given day–a crave to find more a life of livelihood among daring language; to me, that, I’m most satisfied by, by verse. Well, what I like about what I get to do here most is that often I feel like the games lit-bloggers get to play–however indulgent, though they are, and sometimes rubbish or exclusive, sorry about that–are games that iterate something I find strengthening to voice. Nothing puts the strengthening of voice at sacrifice. Ever. Right?–as long as you’re always writing. But poetry, what makes something a poem? What makes it uniquely poetry? Oh boy, hang with me, I’m not going to try to crack the case or anything. Promise. I’m just looking for a way to understand what I do, understand who you are, and think of ways to love everything I want in all relationships to everyone, is all. I’m thinking a little about Charles Bernstein’s essay, Artifice of Absorption: “The reason it is difficult to talk about the meaning of a poem–in a way that doesn’t seem frustratingly superficial or partial–is that by designating a text a poem, one suggests that its meanings are to be located in some “complex” beyond an accumulation of devices & subject matters. A poetic reading can be given to any piece of writing; a “poem” may be understood as writing specifically designed to absorb, or inflate with, proactive–rather than reactive–styles of reading.” I don’t want to go much further with the topic than this: with the prose I get to create for the KR Blog, I feel like I am creating something that contributes a movement within me more so toward the next, to another ever-vibrating field of self. I’m not so sure that the texts inflate at all, but I’m prepared to let them say what I want: love: I want you to be love: to sing and receive: I want you as both song and mailbox, always, of course. When writing in verse, I get to consider everything I want from it that must solely be fitting for it. The other and most obvious distinction to make between the writing I do “for me” and this here is the notion of audience. But I believe that my audience for everything I write is actually kinda the same, or at least reconciled within me: it’s the most intimate you I can know, that’s what I want. C.P. Cavafy knows a certain audience–the “we the initiated”–those that burst in, trusting a welcome, or having one otherwise; the proactive, Bernstein might say; the most intimate, I would say; this, Cavafy says:
TEMETHOS, ANTIOCHIAN A.D. 400
Lines written by young Temethos, madly in love.
The title: “Emonidis”–the favorite
of Antiochos Epiphanis; a very handsome young man
from Samosata. But if the lines come out
ardent, full of feeling, it is because Emonidis
(belonging to that other, much older time:
the 137th year of the Greek kingdom,
maybe a bit earlier) is in the poem
merely as a name–a suitable one nevertheless.
The poem gives voice to the love Temethos feels,
a beautiful kind of love, worthy of him. We the initiated–
his intimate friends–we the initiated
know about whom those lines were written.
The unsuspecting Antiochians read simply “Emonidis.”