Saturday, May 1, 2010

My poetics

My poems are the record of my process - they are never an end point in themselves.

Writing as feeling my way towards what I want to say, or what wants to be said

There are, it seems to me, certain preconditions for one such as I to write with energy, conviction and productively. These include
having a context
having a community of readers and other creators that I am part of and interact with on a regular basis
being rooted in the concrete details and specific time and place of a particular stories must happen, and be written for, a community that shares in common particular spatial and temporal reference points - be it rosh hashana or diwali, rechov hamelech George (King george Street) in jerusalem or Louis Botha Ave in Johannesburg. Without this, I am trying to be all things to all people and end up being nothing....

Every poet must ask herself: do I want to write for fashion, or for eternity? Do I want to be a journalist of "the world" , or do I want to be an explorer and student of "the self".

Are poets writing in Israel Israeli poets? Are poets writing in Australia Australian poets? Why are poets and writers so ready to surrender their unique one off vision, which is a product of so many intersecting dimensions of their being - their gender, their class, their land, their sexual orientation, their linguistic community, their fear and faith community - to a crude nation-state categorisation which may not tell us much about their concerns and thematics. Or is the nation-state, and land we physically live upon, indeed the most powerful shaper of our preoccupations?

I do not want the hollow cleverness
of figurative language
which leads to nowhere
but to the false self of the ego

People who seem to have a lot of material things that serve no utilitarian function, clothes cars, unecessarily large houses (of course to them the large house IS necessary) could be seen as very poor, if this is the only modality they have to express their uniqueness and value.

The way I write poetry:
a giant invisible finger
flicks thoughts into my awareness
whenever it is convenient for It
and I jot them down

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