Another update with current reflections on unpoetry from 2022. This results from research into “Disjunctive Poetics: From Gertrude Stein and Louis Zukofsky to Susan Howe” by Peter Quartermain, and several works on the objectivist poets.
This meditation concerns itself with “language as object.” Alienation from the English language, or, in my opinion, any language at all, creates a certain relationship between the poet and the words in his or her poetry. Syntax can become difficult, and meaning, impossible.
Words are used like pigments in an abstract expressionist or cubist painting, in which a bunch of objects are juxtaposed together in a seemingly random (though sometimes, but sometimes not, with carefully chosen placement) and detached manner. Whether it is a flick of the brush, a dumping of a can of paint, or just a very barbaric collection of images that shocks or confuses.
This is unpoetry, folks! It’s the same thing, just done with language. Word as object, in a collage, or maybe a series of nonsensical statements. Absurdity abounds. An alienation from reality that results in an alienation from society, and an alienation in a failed attempt, over and over again, to communicate.