A good, straight, clear, honest question this morning from one of our company. You keep praising, he said, approximately, work that’s weird, kooky, associative, fragmented, with no clear story or theme or argument to make. But what’s the difference between doing that and just spreading random garbage on the page?
And one came up after with another version of that question. You keep encouraging us, she said, to make big crazy associative leaps, but you wrote on my exercise, What’s the arc, where’s the through line? What gives with that? Which is it you want?
Just the questions I want to stir in them. I hope they know they’re doing great. Not sure how robust my answers in the moment were, so am thinking it through a bit more, here.
Will invite them to, and hope they feel moved to, read on.
A first thought. Three images, or words, or sentence fragments, say, can be at a great distance from each other and still make a pattern. In the same way that three stars, 10s or 1,000,000s of light years apart, can still belong to a constellation. In fact, they can’t not make a pattern—
—a triangle. In other words, even three bits of garbage, set out mindfully, make a shape. Could be slogan to the blog.
The triangle is from one vantage the perfect form. The number of points of contact by which a stool cannot not be steady.
And constellations are, besides, maps of human mind, not stars “in themselves.” Epsilon Pegasi has no sense of being part of a horsey.
An essay contrasting perfections of the circle (singular Platonic transcendental annihilatory) and the triangle (multiple immanent ecological). This from Creeley’s “Numbers,” in Pieces—
This time, this
As of a stick,
fixed it has
a head, walks,
Here forms have possibility.
triangle, of form,
lonely occasion I
yet a birth.
His priority always the forms the multiple takes. The circle as not singular perfection of the point but rather multiplication to infinitude of the triangle. Creeley as Pythagorean shaman.
But I digress.
Oh yes I do. Not much here yet of use to my students I fear. But must turn to work on a job letter. So, to be continued, and in the continuance, I hope, these.
First words of Tender Buttons. Disjunction as narrative fatigue. As provocation & alarm. As faith in essential wholeness. And probly, cuz I’m going on my nerve, lots I ain’t thought of, yet, now, here.