David Seymour calls Steve McCaffery's work "a delight" and "pleasurable", and why should this be a surprise?Those are the first qualities of all good poetry. So, then, I was quite prepared, Theories Of Sediment in hand, to bask in the profusion of musical mayhem and mysterious capering unto. And surprise is what I experienced. Here are the sensual gambits revolutionising that carefree centuries-wide highway:
'The Code of System Four
We entered a city consisting of grey thursday mornings. But the verb enter seems partly inappropriate plus appropriate itself seems wrong. So it would be wrong to say the city could be entered though all its thursdays are grey and though grey itself consists entirely of its mornings. Today then is the morning when the verb to enter will seem wrong. Today as the day plus all the inappropriate parts themselves that will seem proper."
And so on ....
Let's micro-deconstruct (only on shy vectors and flat compositional fields, however) this. Who is "we"? Does it matter? Well, actually, no, since, as McCaffery says (and I paraphrase) elsewhere, "the reader is always right, he or she can fill in what they feel, and it's as worthy as the next person's experience". But it matters to ME, therefore here we go into the parallel madness (where's my rabbit's foot in the shape of Joyce?).
I want to know more about this city. The weather is overcast. So far, so good. A mood has been established, though rather crudely. Still, let's not get all "intellectual" and stuff. Intellect just KILLS sensitivity and flexibility, after all, and soon the music will be drowned out by all this useless chatter. So .... back we go to the text. There is now a "verb", and this active-transitive shocker "enters", so we have a verb verbing, as it were, the noun a verb, and the two of those verby carousers vectoring in verbose hectoring madcapping joy.
Still, there's disquiet. Annoyance? No, no. Just a vague unease. I can't put my finger on ..... but ahha! of course, what is the object? Or is that another "theory" of impediment that is beyond my skull and cap? Oh, give it up, give in to the sheer onrushing effluent of sound-orgy. But they (whoever this mysterious "they" is -- oh, Steve, what a teaser) are present tense (and, yes, there is tension, whether in the story or in myself, I don't yet know) yet they still enter ALL thursdays. How can all thursdays be cloudy when they've only entered one? And does this "entering" have a sexual overtone? Do we have an important, perhaps recurring, verbl metaphor here? Oops, McCaffery and clan don't like metaphor. Too Romantic and all. So .... probably not, because I can't read the poem like I'd want to, but only how it fits in with the "theory". Though here's a blunt contradiction. Steve has told us -- directly, for a change -- that the reader creates what he or she wants. Yet I'm wrong to see metaphor, since this is anathema to McCaffery's poetics. Is this then a multilayered false flag, a mischievous random (yet paradoxically placed) dropping to throw the reader off the scent, like the vectoring poet sprinkling ammonia on the lemon tort, waylaying and delaying them from the bigfoot spoors to the left and right?
Well, I haven't even managed to make it through the first paragraph/fieldscape yet, and there're still 200 + pages to go.
And only one life to live.
But there's no doubting the overwhelming delight involved so far.
I trip out over so much bliss, and leave the rest to some lucky naive sojourner to complete.
But I can't leave before quoting, in full, a line that, well .... descriptive words fail:
"The retinue cough in the sentence describing how the word oesophagus resettles to disclose mid-phrase "these ripples are an absolute dominion"."
Quelle macaque! (Or magic?)
I think we are being toyed with here, dear reader. The undefragging sputum-inducing retinue are ... of what quality? Can we say if they enter thursdays, EVERY thursday, just because that besotted calendar arrival is filled with cumulo-nimbus nebulous? The italicized word here -- what music! Handel would have fainted, and set it to his own waterworks. But I know that my nipples dominate the vector of this entry. And I don't mean just one day a week.
One more line before I pass (no double meaning here, on either side of the linear unspooling).
"Autoreferential: (CO)2 ND(I)4t(IO)2N+S3 Pragma" (from page 21).
Sorry if this seems out of context, because context is all, of course.
Happy Thursdays to all.