POETRY MONTH 30/30/30: Inspiration, Community, Tradition :: Overview and DAY 1: Lynne DeSilva-Johnson on Mina/Traver Pam Dick
An introduction to an entirely new voice that speaks to you, as an adult out of these systems, is a rare and potentially life-altering gift… one that Exit Strata’s international creative network has the chance to offer all of us, as we replicate that atmosphere here in the virtual Commons.
I am *very*, shakingly, jumpingupanddown excited for the brilliant and gorgeous poets we have “playing” with us this month. These people stepped right up to the plate with fervor and love, to bring a range of inspiration to our shared table that will blow your minds.
I’m going to kick us off today by totally drooling all over Mina Pam Dick, who ousted my old friend Paul Goodman from this spot when I saw her read for EAOGH at the chapbook festival the other day. (Goodness do I ever love Goodman though, too! we’ll come back to him and why he changed my life another day.)
This week we’ll be hearing from: Pete Reilly, Bill Considine, Tishon Woolcock, Caits Meissner, Gregory Crosby, and Frank Ortega, with many more to come. BOOMTIME!
Mina/Traver Pam Dick (commence drooling) is, per her boiler-bio-plate, “a writer, artist and philosopher living in New York City. She’s a native New Yorker. She received a BA from Yale and an MFA in Painting as well as an MA in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. Her writing has appeared inTantalum, BOMB and The Brooklyn Rail, and is forthcoming in The Portable Boog Reader 4 and Aufgabe#9; her philosophical work has appeared in a collection published by the International Wittgenstein Symposium (Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria).”
Reviews of her first book, Delinquent, are smattered with praise like this apropos nugget: “Like a gender-errant Benjamin, Mina Pam Dick constellates recombinant philosophies, aesthetic forgeries, and the intertextual detritus of the big slithering city. The poems and prose that pack Delinquent’s sucker punch are weighted with the freight of excess baggage, which means they are the very work of today” (—Vanessa Place)
36 Way of writing = way of seeing/being. Seeing as is poetic ontology. It’s no idle speculation; you need to use your hands like this, use words like this, or you can’t breathe. Apolo makes himself yawn before he starts racing.
37 Verse a line or turning. Truth qua spontaneity. It says Rapid Transit on my girl’s medium pink t-shirt with the Plymouth auto on it. Think pilgrim!
38 We don’t know where to go. We know where to go. That’s playing in the café I am lying across. I never heard it before.
39 Nobody at my table.
40 You ran away to the world because you were lonely, afraid of the empty room, wanted to love others, have uninferable experiences. Tomorrow it could be different. Any solution transient.
41 I, Traver, traverse my dicktionary. You could have adventures there, too. Ski over meanings.
42 I already used snow is white, and mountains, and how the typewriter is from Switzerland, when I was Hildebrand and Mina. So forget that. But still there’s skiing across the page like the city or room: expressions roaming. Watch out for the gates, don’t wipe out and break your head. But be crazily close to them, take risks to be fastest.
43 Wound in the head a stapled booklet. The others’ suffering bleeds in like through a fontanel. Or is a transdermal.
44 Søren says, As much sorrow as comedy. He was Scandinavian, probably he wore ski sweaters.
45 No he didn’t. He wore fancy jackets and cravats, even when simply traveling around his room.
46 Traver says, Yeah, pathos/comedy. You cross them or they cross at you. Also awkwardness/artfulness, humility/grandiosity, simplicity/complexity, rigor/looseness, concreteness/abstraction.
47 To transport a new message, communication from one person or God to another. It could be oblique. Yet acute.
48 Eloquence, cunning, theft, invention. The knowledge that’s intuitive, a fleeting perception of the whole. Cf. some German Romantics.
49 Commerce, or trading together, or trading places. Interchange of goods i.e. the good, exchange of views, intellectual or spiritual intercourse, union, communion, sexual intercourse. Fast is slutty.
50 Bastardizations as crushed-out sex with other texts. Riffs on Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, Esther, Cain, Abel, the Prodigal Son, Jephthah’s Daughter. Sophocles. Spinoza, Kant, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, Hölderlin, Trakl, Büchner, Dante, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Kafka.
51 Traver’s monotradition, which also includes Robert Walser, the Brothers Grimm, Rimbaud, Novalis, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Beckett, Bernhard, Bachmann, etc.
52 Transcription, commentary, trans lit. Forgery = transference.
53 But also trans lit could be expanded beyond intertextual adventures.
54 Do trans words here. O.k., check this out: transact transceiver transcend transcribe transdermal transducer transect transfer transfigure transfinite transfix transform transfuse transgender transgress transience transient transilient transistor transit transition transitive transitory translate transliterate translocate translucent transmigrate transmission transmit transmogrify transmute transparent transpersonal transpire transponder transport transpose transsexual transubstantiate transvalue transverse transvestite.
55 A poem cross-dressed as prose!
56 I put on his book jacket, it was too tight, philosophers are puny. Dick’s course or method: scrap, fragment, splinter, shred, remark, aphorism, meditation, confession, description of painting, parable, fairy tale, demo, incident, figment, prophecy, wordplay, soundplay. And list.
57 All linked in a longer form that’s shifty.
For each of our writers, we have invited that they share a poem, perhaps one indicating the influence of the poet they’ve chosen to share.
Many of these poets are already participating in the annual NAPOWRIMO challenge, as I am, as well — what I give you here is, I’m sure, influenced by Pam Dick as well as by the many poets and publishers I had the distinct and glorious pleasure to spend so much time with this week.