Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Other Things Also"

Today was an exciting day! Our new favorite poet has published a new poem! Sarah Palin's latest release finds her expanding her range: she is using longer lines and experimenting more with syntax and enjambment. Whereas, with previous efforts, such as "Challenge to a Cynic" and "On Reporters," her debt to John Ashberry's short collages of disparate, unrelated words was obvious, her newest work sounds more like the free-flowing stream-of-consciousness of Frank O'Hara. O'Hara's influence can also be seen in direct, concrete references, like "the New York Times" and "Barack Obama." But this new directness does not mean she has abandoned her commitment to abstraction. Indeed, the hazy syntactical relationship between her words and any kind of referent is just as present here. Like Emily Dickinson, she uses pronouns like "It" and "they" without a clear antecedent so as to elide any reduction of her work to a single interpretation. She prefers that the reader get lost in the twists and turns of her mysterious, snaking sentences. If there is a connection between all these orphaned clauses, she doesn't want to impose a meaning on it. The very idea of meaning becomes obsolete; reason and logic are abandoned. She aims for, and achieves, an emotional effect that transcends thinking. She is a poet who captures the confusion of our times. Language, she seems to suggest, cannot begin to capture the experience, only suggest, or gesture toward it.

But enough analysis. As Wordsworth said, "We murder to dissect."

Here is the thing itself:

"Other Things Also"

It is pertinent,
it's important
because when you consider
Barack Obama's reaction to
and explanation to
his association
and without him being clear
at all
on what he knew and when he knew it,
that I think
kinda peaks into his ability
to tell us the truth on,
not only on
but perhaps
other things also.

it's relevant,
I believe,
and I brought it up in response
to the New York Times article
having been printed recently,
and I think
it just makes us ask the question that,
if there's not forthrightness there,
with that association
and what was known
and when it was known,
does that lead us to ask,
is there forthrightness
with the plans
Barack Obama has
or say tax cuts,
or spending increases,
makes us question judgment.
And I think
it's fair and relevant.

(October 7, 2008, on a plane from Florida to North Carolina)

(via AS)

1 comment:

Oy Vey said...

pure genius

thank you