poetry, the go in the between, liminal, press

Sunday, August 5, 2007

mallarme

the last few days in the city before heading into the deep south. nyc has a lot of bridges...george washington towards new jersey, brooklyn and manhattan bridges, the bridge to long island, and a bridge that connects manhattan to queens. a friend says that i am going thru my honeymoon period with new york. the city just makes sense to me, this way of being. living amongst a place of so many contradictions: progressive political attitudes to uptight, privileged attitudes; conservative writing to some of the most courageous and experimental writing; the coolness and flexibility of evolved culture to the entrenched social hierarchy of wealth, academia, writing; the laidback and real attitudes of friends to narrow lifestyles formed from enclaved communities. but the beauty of this city is that all of this conglomeration exists within this given space, this given radius, this given...

a friend drove us into the city from park slope this morning, and looking out to see a picture-perfect image of the brooklyn bridge mirroring the manhattan bridge, i said - 'i can't believe how huge this city is.' but physically speaking, it isn't too big...it's expansiveness is its in its occupation, its civilization. for that, i'd like to move here...at least for a few years.

the studio architecture program @ columbia made me excited about writing again...i have a better sense/grasp of what open field poetics is because i worked so much with the physical parameters of paper. in some ways, i can understand the gist of concrete poetry more since i had to study form/structure from a more formal/technical perspective.

marllarme wrote a concise description of what i think is something like visual grid poetry. also justifies printing in a compelling way...

* * *

A page is printed in signature sheets, the most common one being in multiples of four; signatures are then
folded to page size, the largest signature being a folio. Pages appear as verso and recto. Hence, a page is a
fixed framework which delimits the amount of words and lines which it can support. A page may be said to
represent a unity of space, the place for the confrontation of printed elements, but the writer does not own at
any time a whole page because of the dictum of printer space. Printer space is space owned by the printer, not
the writer, to wit the first verso after a title is generally unprinted and each page is surrounded by dead, unus-
able space or printer’s margin. The margin frames or encloses the printed elements. Center margin or gutters
further compromise the integrity of the page and create a columnar effect; as a result, the vertical always
dominates the horizontal although the horizontal does not actually oppose the vertical, but is harmonious in its
subordination to it. The restraints of a page impose spatial ordering. Every page in a given printed work begins
and ends with a predetermined line length, a length further dictated by type selection and margin space, which
is a function of line length.24

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