Opera by Barry Schwabsky PDFHad this in my truck during the work week, and on a hot
new summer day while I was radio surfing I found a station
playing Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. Looking over during a stop-light and seeing Barry Schwabsky's cover for Opera while under the pseudo-admittedly cheesy spell of summer and Kashmir put me in the perfect mood to begin reading it after lunch.
There are any number of things I could comment on within the text, and one thing I can remember that struck me was that I also had Dale Pendell's Walking with Nobby laying there with it, which had actually arrived at the same time, so the line
We / who read with our pens invent / divine unreason
had a special, very Nobbsian and would-be Dionysian resonance with the other book, at least in that line. But like the
cover shows, poetry is a kind of dionysia as nozzle, or perhaps , and I can't remember if it's Duncan or Williams that used the image of a nude as blow-torch, there is a controlled space of uncontrol, a method, to abandon. The erotic nozzling of the hallucinogic smoke somehow becoming
a direct route to the knowledge that Control is a kind of eros and yet Eros is the loss of control as well.. There's an overlapping frame there. And that overlap is precisely where Barry seems to be setting up shop in this book. It's
probably because I first read these poems in a motor vehicle
that I might call this sequence a sort of brake-shoe. This
is from apoem called _Letter O_:
Vibration is fatal,
a direct current passing
down to your hand,
and must not be interrupted.
Your mind is not fresh,
It is waste
that your hands be moist
while you are
so much india rubber.
Well, that feels like something I might think
in my production job at the computer chip factory,
and while it bears the hallmark of a bad trip,
it also bears the mark of 'raw materials'..
And so here we find that eros as control lurking
in the image of manufacturing, the india rubber
becoming like the smoke, or rather, the smoke
becoming tires.. It's still a metaphor to speak
of excess, and waste, even though for so many of us
it is painfully obvious that we are so, and that
is sort of the message of the book, and hence, perhaps,
if the reader will allow me, there is space of interpretation
within the tragic sickness of metaphor, there is no tragic sickness, it goes on, the senses of things blowing their
smoke back and forth.. In a neural network, every label
is a just part of the make up of the raw material of the body. I've forgotten what I wanted to say..
I know this is poorly written, but I thought this was a very thought provoking book, and I have gone back to it several times for further reading. Thanks for putting it out Barry.
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