Well, I checked into Ron’s blog to get Pierre’s url and noted that he’s reviewed the Zinc reading.

The only problem with a positive review from Ron is that it inevitably leads factions of people to hate me or to simply think things about me that aren’t true. Read my book, or sit down and have a conversation with me in person, then judge.


About Jessica Smith

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17 Responses to Zinc

  1. Mark says:

    I guess Ron had left before I took off my Cloak of Invisibility.

  2. Jessica Smith says:

    You scampered off rather quickly. The rest of us went out for food and drink.

  3. Mark says:

    Dinner and drinks with poets was a hard sell on Rachel’s birthday.

  4. Jessica Smith says:

    aha. i didn’t process that part. happy birthday to rachel–

  5. editor galaxy says:

    Oh Jessica Smith, Fairy Godmother, I’m so pleased Ron wrote about your reading as he did. He clearly, honestly, admires your work. As for the jackasses who commented not on the review but the photo… they reveal only themselves… to be jackasses.

    Talking with my co-editor about you yesterday, in a little town called Lee, about how our little anthology won’t be complete with out work from you.

    Today I’ll see if I can’t finish “Riff.” (Isn’t Alix writing “She”?)

  6. Jessica Smith says:

    Alix is writing SHE, and there is also a SHE RIFF. So RIFF is left. I think I will publish them together in a single volume, since there are unequal numbers of SHE, RIFF and SHERIFF strips.

    Yes… work. Yes. Ok. I’ll get to work. Did you receive stuff from a.raw?

    You’re so awesome–

  7. Steven Fama says:

    I commented on both the photo and the review. Maybe that means I’m a jackass in part.

  8. Jessica Smith says:

    I think you did a good job, Steve. For one thing, you’re accurate. For another, skin is much more interesting than body parts. So much more Deleuzean, can be reterritorialized. “Boobs” are about the most territorialized thing I can imagine, except maybe “phallus.”

  9. Simon says:

    I think people are really misreading Jessica’s photo. I think one really needs to get with the curvilinear syntax of the form. I think the photograph really pushes the limits of the classical “top down” reading modality and demands of the — ideal — reader that she become a participant in the poetics of space: one must inhabit, rather than envelop, the image.

    Thank you. I’ll be here all week. Because I have no friends.

  10. François says:

    Hum, yeah … But when are you coming to read in San Francisco?

  11. Jessica Smith says:

    Great Simon. Gong.

    Francois, next time I can afford it.

  12. Jessica Smith says:

    But Simon, thanks for saving your punning for the safety of my blog and writing something rather more legit at Ron’s.

  13. Simon says:

    Yeah, I was serious about my Ron comment. I’ve tried to read OFC lots, and it’s just a totally different (ahem) modality then what I myself know/create.

    In terms of “beyond the line”, I do the “fugal” patterns, which come out best in poems meant for the linear speaking voice; I mean I get what OFC is doing, which is something more, I don’t know, symphonic? — it’s just that I don’t know how to read it beyond an intellectual level.

  14. Jessica Smith says:

    I think I understand your trouble, though I’m not sure how to solve it. Maybe listen to a work like John Cage’s Roaratorio… that was the only CD i had in my car for about 2 years… it certainly has an effect on the way I hear my own poems in my head. Like silences are never silent to me, the blank page of each poem carries significance and sound, sometimes static or background noise, sometimes merely the phonemic echoes of the space between words.

  15. Steven Fama says:

    From a book review you can easily find on-line, of a book that unfortunately is not easy to find:

    Picard, Max. The World of Silence (Chicago: Regnery, 1989 –U.S. ed., English translation)

    This classic work is so filled with aphoristic passages that it is easy to lose sight of the larger premise. That premise, that silence is not the absence of noise, the absence of something, but is a phenomenon in itself, was startlingly clear only when this work first appeared in 1948.

  16. Jessica Smith says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Steve.

  17. andy gricevich says:

    Simon’s last comment, and Jessica’s subsequent one, made me think of this as an appropriate jumble of thoughts and questions:

    When I first came across the term “vispo,” it seemed to imply a pictorial focus, something like concrete poetry, but maybe with less necessary self-referentiality. I still haven’t done any major research into work that gets named by that term, but reading Jessica’s work certainly didn’t confirm the initial impression. It’s really a complex cognitive experience, one of maintaining multiple strands, speeds and behaviors of thought simultaneously, seeing different possible (and so actual) connections at work between parts.

    Now it seems to me that “vispo” designates a difference between writing that assumes a non-vocalized reading as its basic state of reception and writing that assumes an audible voice (which seems to be an assumption Simon generally makes, if I’m reading his comment about his reading correctly).

    If that’s correct, then I understand my confusion: I’ve always thought of poetry as primarily “on the page,” not read aloud, and it seems more and more evident that I’m in the minority there. So “vispo” is confusing to me because it just refers to a “supercharged” version of the way writing (according to my own basic assumption) works.

    The idea of silence Jessica talks about is, for me, very much linked to this way of thinking. There’s a kind of “noisy” silence that I think can only happen between the page and single readers.

    The most familiar example I can think of is the end of Frank O’Hara’s “Lana Turner” poem (“oh Lana Turner we love you get up”). Read in silence, the lack of punctuation at the end of that final line has (for me) a force akin to, but greater than, the force of an exclamation point. More importantly, the “sound” of that “silence” (no Paul Simon reference intended) can’t be vocalized. I can’t imagine a way to read that poem aloud that would convey the effect of the “silence” on the page–a kind of energetic discharge that goes out into the silence and echoes there, or dissipates in its own particular way. Linebreaks often work the same way for me–how could oration capture the effect of simultaneous stoppage and continuation the break often conveys on the page?

    (I can’t imagine, Jessica, how you read the spaces in OFC; timed silence seems like a “translation” of them, rather than a direct performance).

    Does anyone else not think of sound as the primary mode of poetry?

    Pardon the sentence lengths; I just finished a 15-hour drive, and am a bit frazzled…

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