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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

from 'Poet' (a work in regress)

Poet makes his writing practice material, inventorying every printed book he can see as he sits at his laptop. On the desk. Along the shelf. In the big box behind. A composite self-portrait with no self. Feeds it to Twitter, title by title. Until he sees at last, the most satisfying thing, saved for the final tweet. Neat in its crimson bag, the pristine leather-bound fine-paper notebook that Poet has not dared to write in since buying it a decade before, in Florence. A bibliography of a work he’ll never write.

On Poet's desk:

Tears in the Fence 55
Benjamin’s Illuminations
David Ter-Oganyan

(Uncovering a few more books on his desk:)

Meredith’s Modern Love
Poet’s 2012 diary
Poet’s dictionary (with its gifts of ‘ithyphallus’, ‘mallemaroking’, ‘rounceval’)
Anthony Rudolf's and Colin Wiggins’ Kitaj in the Aura of Cézanne and Other Masters

Looking along the shelf above Poet's desk; (in a pile, top to bottom):

Hans-Peter Feldmann’s Voyeur
Ingrid Schaffner’s The Essential Joseph Cornell
John Seed’s Collected Poems and a single volume of his Pictures from Mayhew
Pete Clarke’s Letters to Language
Paul Evans’ True Grit and Prokofiev’s Concerto

(Then upright, left to right:)

Scott Thurston’s Salt Companion to Geraldine Monk
Monk’s Insubstantial Thoughts on the Transubstantiation of the Text
Michael Hamburger’s The Truth of Poetry
Joan Retallack’s The Poethical Wager
Huntsperger’s Procedural Form in Postmodern American Poetry
Bernstein’s The Politics of Form
Rawes’ Romanticism and Form
Milton’s Paradise Lost. Poem, in Twelve Books. The seventeenth edition, Dublin, Printed for
A. Ewing, W. and W. Smith and P. Wilson, 1765
Wood’s Literature and the Taste of Knowledge
Watten’s The Constructivist Moment
René Van Valckenborch’s Vache
Mousley’s Towards a New Literary Humanism
Denise Riley’s Poets on Writing
Susan Wolfson’s Formal Charges
Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory
Lemon and Reis’ Russian Formalist Criticism
Derek Attridge’s The Singularity of Literature
Joughin and Malpas’ The New Aestheticism
József Attila’s Eszmélet
Angela Leighton’s On Form
Art Matters by Peter de Bolla
Louis Armand’s Avant-Post
Allan Sekula’s Polonia and Other Fables
Language Alive 2
Radnóti Miklós’ Naptár
Peter Barry’s English in Practice
Marcuse’s The Aesthetic Dimension
Hans-Peter Feldmann’s Foto
Ian Davidson’s Into Thick Hair
From: Tracey Traces by Jeff Hilson
Mukařovský’s Aesthetic Function
Christopher Middleton’s Selected Writings
The Plantin-Moretus Museum Visitors’ Guide
Wolfson and Brown’s Reading for Form
Leech’s Linguistic Guide to English Poetry
Christopher Middleton’s Selected Writings

In the big box behind Poet:

Sean Bonney’s Happiness
Chris McCabe’s The Borrowed NotebookShakespeare’s Sonnets
John Goodby’s Illennium
Philip Kuhn’s Boltzmann’s Constant & the Black Body Spectrum
Gareth Farmer’s Mock into the Brazen Day
Matthew Welton’s We needed coffee but we’d got ourselves convinced that the later we left it
the better it would taste, and, as the country grew flatter and the roads became quiet and dusk began to colour the sky, you could guess from the way we retuned the radio and unfolded the map or commented on the view that the tang of determination had overtaken our thoughts, and when, fidgety and untalkative but almost home, we drew up outside the all-night restaurant, it felt like we might just stay in the car, listening to the engine and the gentle sound of the wind
Vahni Capildeo’s No Traveller Returns
Paul Hoover’s Postmodern American Poetry
Jeff Hilson’s In the Assarts
Michael Zand’s Lion
Chris McCabe’s Zeppelins
Louis Armand’s Letters from Ausland
Simon Perrel’s Nitrate
David Markson’s This is Not a Novel
Philip Terry’s Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Peter Gillies and Rupert Loydell’s A Music Box of Snakes
Lucy Harvest Clarke’s Silveronda
Carrie Etter’s Infinite Difference
Scott Thurston’s On Being Circular
Andrea Brady’s Vacation of a Lifetime

plus the notebook described last in the text (not a ‘printed book’ at all, actually). Disturbed by the act of writing, the volumes are no longer configured as they are described here, Poet wants you to know. Tumbling down from the shelves as they’re touched. Re-stacked in reverse order. This portrait already a history.