Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blogging as a procrastination device

Ok, now that I am writing at least one of my questions, blogging and reading poetry has become a procrastination device. I just picked up Alice Notely. Just plucked The Descent of Alette off the shelf and all of these loose-leaf poems I'd tucked in the paperback. Treasures. I've no idea what book they are from. They are just poems by Alice Notely. Like this, the opening poem from her book-length poem, "The Descent of Alette":

"One day, I awoke" "& found myself on" "a subway, endlessly"
"I didn't know" "how I'd arrived there or" "who was I" "exactly"
"But I knew the train" "knew riding it" "knew the look of"
"those about me" "I gradually became aware--" "thought it seemed

as that happened" "that I'd always" "known it too--" "that there was"
"a tyrant" "a man in charge of" "the fact" "that we were"
"below the ground" "endlessly riding" "our trains, never surfacing"
"A man who" "would make you pay" "so much" "to leave the subway"

"that you don't" "ever ask" "how much it is" "It is, in effect"
"all of you, & more" "Most of which you already" "pay to
live below" "But he would literally" "take your soul" "Which is
what you are" "below the ground" "Your soul""your soul rides

"this subway" "I saw" "on the subway a" "world of souls"

I find her work stunning. (And in direct conversation with Pound's Metro now that I think of it.) And the breath-pause created by the quotations is aurally both hypnotic and abrasive (in a subway car, jerking sort-of-way). Descent, is Notely's epic poem about unearthing her female voice.

Ok, I've got to stop procrastinating...

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