Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Massey's Lucid Zen Kicks Ass 

We're already suffocated by words by sounds and images that have no reason to exist, that emerge from the void and return to the void. Any man worthy to be called an artist should swear an oath: dedication to silence.
Guido Anselmi (Mastroianni) in Fellini's 8/12


From the rain you come
to stand here in silence
and find it all out.

from Joe Massey's chapbook Center of a Room

When Joe appeared at La Tazza in November* it was perfect. He read beautifully despite he could barely stand at the mic without folding on himself. Why not.

the margins---
it's all said

(from Light's Drawn Through)

Rather than by erasure or allusion he creates with negative space. Gestural? His selections perfectly direct silence.

Been saddened by the lack of listening (key to everything) everywhere. We're frantic to op-ed, perpetually threatened with insignificance in the Info Age. Rather than opt out occasionally. Don't know how many times I've griped about persistent disrespect of silence in every freaking nook of the human world. I'm not whining any more, grateful for these (also mindful of the irony of this post). I've wondered if my delight with his work is mostly reactive to commercialism & mind-numbing mediocrity or if it would be as appealing to me if I were ignorant of these &/or pop culture. I suspect the latter, mostly because it's not the simplicity alone of the work that captivates but its intimacy, music, keen perception...

On the floor
your black sweater.
Already autumn.

(from Center of a Room)

Exactly an oasis. Though I guess some would slap labels Imagism, Minimalism or even Orientalism etc. yet I don't want to mention it any more than this because these ideas/references are useless & diminish the experience. (While I might hear echoes of rock ballads in my head, if I ever obnoxiously respond to an intimate word by referring to similar expressions in poetry song experience or etc. I'm begging lop off my head without delay.) There're those terms, quick reflex, & then it's only his careful poems in my hands/eyes.

Sparrow's song
tangled in
church bells.

Been thinking of frustrated Artaud again lately & how sadly ineffective his efforts (but who am I to say). How many profess a social or artistic desire to wake up humanity but are grossly counter-productive. Anais Nin said of Artaud, "He wanted to make people aware that they were dying, to force them into a poetic state."
I wonder that Massey, on the other hand, makes us aware we are living, to force us into a poetic state.








(from Minima St.)


If u want any of Joe's delicious chaps u can probably get them via derbadumdoo@sbcglobal.net

*Joe read with Cori Copp, whose work was also a delight

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