To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
.......................................again
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

John Bloomberg-Rissman: from No Sounds of My Own Making (opening strophes)

Holding
A long
Rod, he was

Beating
The ground
As he walked.

A
Number of
Unconventional playing techniques

Are
Utilised, perhaps
Most notably in

The
Case of
The piano during

The
Closing bars,
Which requires a

Pencil
Or a
Similar object to

Be
Dropped onto
The strings whilst

They
Are simultaneously
Fanned with a

Wire
Brush, struck
With a timpani

Stick
And plucked
With the fingers.

It
Saturated life.
Accomplished itself. All

The
Things had
Accomplished the impossible …

Like
The first
Time I was

Swallowed
Whole ... some
Japanese gardens include

The
Landscape outside
Their borders ... low

Flock
Of clouds
Before the downpour.

I
Smiled and
Threw money into

The
Paper cup.
Toru used to

Jokingly
Describe the
Style of this

Piece
To me
As “schizo-eclectic”.

Knowing
Its splendour
Is vain, one

Adores
Colour … there
Is no shadow.

From
The silence
Of the womb

A
Child is
Born and the

Insane
Fellow will
Begin to bellow

About
Life floating
Through dangers and

Humanity’s
Fickleness alienated
From its five

Fingers.
Some of
The units are

Characterized
By a
Sense of fragility

And
Some form
Intricate skeins of

Heterophonic
Polyphony. A
Further characterization is

A
Disoriented, deliberately
Naïve and rudimental

Consonant
Tonal simplicity
Which indeed is

A
Feature of
The work as

A
Whole, as
Is the impression

Of
“Memory”, and …
This is what

Must
Be done
Or permitted to

Happen;
And at
The same stroke,

Allow
Us to
Hear just how

Precarious
These delicate
Polychromies are, that

They
Emanate from
A blind void

And
Are going
To return to

Vanish
In it,
Vanishing towards Black.

[NOTE. An extreme example of what I’ve elsewhere called “othering” or, borrowing the phrase from John Cage, “writing through,” Bloomberg-Rissman’s No Sounds of My Own Making is a 200 page work constructed (almost) entirely from words or sounds appropriated from other writers. That this is done without any sacrifice of coherence or feeling or intelligence & in a voice that remains unified & “personal” throughout is a testament to the communal nature of language & thought of which our individualities are a crucial if sometimes questioned part. While Bloomberg-Rissman is not alone in the pursuit of such an outcome, his beautifully wrought & linked three-line stanzas present what may well remain a milestone of a new communal poetics. (J.R.) No Sounds of My Own Making was published in 2007 by Leafe Press of Nottingham, U.K. and Claremont, California.]

1 comment:

The Storialist said...

Wow. I've never read this before...thanks for introducing this to me! Quite delightful.