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« Patricia Carlin presents a poem by Lyn Hejinian | Main | Michael O'Keefe, Guest Blogger December 19-25 »

December 20, 2009


My first thought when looking at your pictures is "wow, I've been inside houses that look like this." There's something about collecting--or, rather, not throwing away that appeals to people. Especially those who are going senile. But, on second thought, I remember Hannah Arendt's introduction to Benjamin's Illuminations, and how she talks about Benjamin's use of quotation--really his ideal work as nothing but quotations. And this is what's more terrifying than cleaning out your great-aunt's house after she passes, leaving it filled to the gills with much of the same stuff pictured above. Maybe the problem is not so much originality but abundance. In the face of it, what more is needed? Not so much what's left that hasn't been said, but is there room for anything more? "Literature" is founded on immortality--the work lives on, and whatnot--but that inevitably leads to more than can be consumed, in a way. So what do we do? Do we just recycle? Or press on ahead and keep adding? Do we pick one really good thing and leave well enough alone, like Harold Bloom treats Shakespeare? I don't know, but I do think abundance is probably better than scarecity, even if it is more work to sort through it.

there's a house made out of junk in Cambria, CA called "Nit-Wit Ridge" - but The Junk Cathedral takes the cake by far!! i wanna go there...

Jessica: Here's a very short poem I wrote and never published. Some of the lines(not all) are taken right out of a materials science textbook. I also wrote a piece last Feb. on this blog called "History and the Poem: Part 2" that talks about these things...


new materials
may be roughly divided
into two types

those made by combining elements
never before combined

and those made by modifying existing elements

are we not
all guilty

of materials science
mixing particles

making paint
printing stories

Awesome, Amy! Science make good literature, no?

Absolutely, Aristotle and so on...

Like your "Travelogue" posts----

Thanks so much. I loved writing them. (And the traveling I had to do for inspiration...)

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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