Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Explaining The Inexplicable

Don't even try. If you did it would be like reading a box score instead of going to the ballgame with its crowd noise, green grass and smell of hot dogs The inexplicable is an honorable state. Take my shirt, for instance,...please. Or that cauliflower soufflé I had on Thanksgiving. They can be described but not explained.

Or more importantly music from Mozart to Thelonious Monk or a Pollock painting, even a Hopper. If we look for the recognizable we are lost. If Nijinsky or Astaire were reduced to words they would be lame on arrival.

Likewise a poem. Poetry's palette is, of course, words but it breaks them free of the dictionary. Eliot called a poem a raid on the inarticulate. Words fly. The right words in the best order provide flight and may drop you in the Rubicon where you can gurgle and flail trying to figure out what it all means or float to the other shore on its lift.

I think of the character in Mel Brooks', High Anxiety when he says, I got it, I got it, I got it. I don't got it. Any attempt to extrude the meaning, rationally, only diminishes the experience of the work.

Naturally there is a place for the rational. We become our best critics and that voice gets integrated into the creative process. It steers us away from missteps, weighs words and filters redundancies. But the work itself is enriched by leaps, inconsistencies and unexpected, unaccountable turns.

Page, canvas or in the ether, Art takes us to another country in which we have no fluency other than the terms of its own language. If a poem could be explicated in prose it should have remained a paragraph such as this one.

Too many of us read poetry the way we listen to the 6 o'clock news. The only news it offers is that, without which. people die miserably every day.

If we let the words wash over us like Wallace Stevens'late coffee and oranges on a sunny chair or Peggy's wandering shoes reform the alphabet or …lines drive water through the rock to opal, the sounds and images are transport enough.

Peggy's poetry doesn't tell. It suggests, offers a glimpse through ellipsis and withholding. Their portals do not always open easily but they are worth the effort and you are made richer for it. Eventually the analytical mind yields the floor. As one door closes, another opens. After the final No there is a Yes. (W.S.) I don't got it, I don't got, I don't got it. I got it.

1 comment:

  1. What is inexplicable? Here's whats Inexplicable.

    Are steroids only found inside the increased hatband of Barry Bonds; in Mark McGuire's Fruit of the looms?
    Sure and it's easy to see but where steroids hide and need someone with Sherlockian talents to root out hidden human growth genomes - they can be found if one digs deeply enough.

    Case in point: Norm's Blogs. In 2008 Levine was still in the minors sharpening his skills and learning the blog game's ins and outs. He came up to the majors for a quick cup of coffee but quickly returned for more tutelage. Now here is where the hidden steroids kicked in, namely 2009. Levine won Rookie of the year by hitting 53 blogs in 52 weeks, a record for rookie bloggers and being in the majors now found him in a place for even more "smart, clever, witty injections" and he came roaring back in 2010 belting out 123 blogs.

    In careful studies it was noted that Levine was typing almost twice as fast as he had in 2009. It was difficult to carry on a conversation with him - when not in deep thought with his fingers twitching, all that one could get out of him verbally was "Blogging has been good to me, you know."

    The frightening thing is what's in store for us in 2011 from the ever increasing blogability in Morm's Norms? 800 blogs, a thousand, three thousand? Do we have to quit our jobs, hobbies and sex lives in order to be always available to read the ever increasing hits by Levine? It is frightening to behold. Should there be a congressional investigation into such a frightening scenario? Who knows . . .

    Hey! Did I just right a blog? If so, I'm retiring.