Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Judiciary Square is the last stop on the red line today

Still have not yet scanned in the charming photo of Ginsberg and Corso in the buff. They're covering their dicks with their hands (each to their own) in this completely off-hand way (wow, that's an interesting pun--or a stupid one, take your pick) as a gesture (not sincere) toward modesty. With giggly grins on their faces. Kind of like the way we sometimes use "I" in a poem was one of the things I was thinking: covering our essential selves while baring the rest and calling it "modest" or ironizing it or pretending ourselves fully dressed.

I know, I know--"I am not I"--sure, the mask, the persona, the distance from the self. But I'm interested lately in the way the self and the not-self cross paths in the figure or the image or the icon of the "I".

Carson, from whose essay I should quote in more detail, sees this vacillation or complication or 'decreation' (her term for it)--this dissolution of blue in blue, "I" in "I" as an act of erotic displacement: the jealousy of the speaker displaced in the poem directed toward the object of love or desire or the perfection of the art, and the poem arises clear as glass from that--fired from it like glass. Eliot's S&M desire to be broken or demolished in the process of writing I find less appealing, but equally as valid. I'm finding these statements about the self or the "I" to have interesting through-notes, to be interesting comments about process. Process has interested me since grad school, but you have to admit there's an actual author at the heart of the poem in order to take that critical stance, and that was hard to do in the late 80s and early 90s.

Frank O'Hara also has an interesting, if ironized or satirical, statement about losing the self in the process of creating the poem in his brief 'manifesto' on Personism. The poem is sandwiched between two people, Lucky Pierre style (which I take to be a sexual act with which I am unfamiliar)--I think I'm quoting correctly.

Yes, the submersion and emergence, the vacillation between the two of the "I" is what is interesting me now. And that's about all I have to say about it tonight 'cause I'm exhausted what with a bomb scare on the Metro this morning--the kind where the metro train driver tells you that you're pausing longer at every station and this train's final destination will be Judiciary Square because there is an emergency on the main line. Yes, the final stop will be Judgment of a sort. And they don't tell you what the emergency is--and they say it so calmly. And I am thinking, gee, it would be nice to know whether it really is OK to go any further on this train or should I decide to go home, given that 'emergency' could mean any number of horrifying or havoc-wreaking events on the surface or below ground. And in the end, it turns out to be, of course, a 'suspicious package' that turns out to be nothing. Yet I'd rather be inconvenienced than the alternative.

No comments: