Paratactic Verse and the Poem as Object

Here is an excerpt from Disjunctive Poetics, by Peter Quartermain:

“…Williams and Zukofsky both write paratactic verse — in their syntax there is no subordination, there is rather a stringing out of beads on a string, as Aristotle complained, where everything is of equal importance…

“…the poem is an object…in her 1909 essay on Picasso, Gertrude Stein distinguished between things, things seen, and things known, a distinction that reminds us of the ineluctable and intransigent quality of things: unknown, probably unknowable. The poem as a thing is resistant, and must baffle us, leave us shall we say at a loss?”

“Disjunctive Poetics“ and Objectivist Poetry

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.

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Buried

Stove cook eat necessary live dog doesn’t mice aren’t welcome yard full of grass and dirt trees full of birds and squirrels nothing too strange road is busy sometimes but not often no sidewalks in my neighborhood wires across the yard from poles to houses maybe some are buried