I have almost finished reading Gabe Gudding’s Rhode Island Notebook. Gabe’s book has opened up possibilities. Specifically place and history, including personal history. It is an expansive book with lots of boxes within boxes. A journey of consciousness and the practice of awareness. Of being awake. There is a rhythm to traveling. Rhode Island Notebook and Ken Edward’s Nostalgia for Unknown Cities deal with place in very different ways.

Nostalgia for Unknown Cities uses disjunctive narrative and works at the sentence level. I am ware of each word, each verb tense etc. It opened me up to language and preciseness. Tight. Gorgeous. Highly imaginative.

Rhode Island Notebook is Hermes. fleet. builds. like I said expansive. Lots of details about mileage and things on the road notes and small essays on bums etc. Most everything goes in. Writing as practice in the best sense.

One of many tensions in my own work is the small esoteric lyric and the expansive disjunctive narrative. I am also finding ways into the self. The selves. A less limited exploration of the personal. Not confessional in its limited sense. In how it is mostly manifest in mainstream poetry in both the UK and US. Most mainstream poems in the US and UK rely on limited notions of the self. And limited notions of form. For me, good innnovative poetics expands notions of form (both ancient and modern) and expands consciousness. Poetry daily (the website) provides plenty of examples of poetry that expands nothing. Reinforces what we are already told or think we know (birds are beautiful, life is hard etc.) It is not theme. Themes are perhaps limited. It is form. yes the old Creeley thing. Form/content.

I mean I love frames. Whether it is narrative or conceptual. For example. Clark Coolidge’s Alien Tatters, ALice Notley’s In the Pines, Tim Atkins Horace, Geraldine Monk’s Sonnets, Ron Silliman’s The Alphabet.

Ok so that is what I mean.

so what is frame?

that is my life work

Published by Marcus Slease

Born in Portadown, Northern Ireland, Marcus Slease has made his home in such places as Turkey, Poland, Italy, South Korea, the United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom – experiences that inform his nomadic surrealist writing. His latest book is Never Mind the Beasts (Dostoyevsky Wannabe 2020).

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