Monday, August 04, 2014

On Writing #36 : Gil McElroy

Building a Background
Gil McElroy


A normal reading of words offers, at best, timid glances down Newtonian successions of corridors. The cause-and-effect of letters and newspapers following  one upon the other is an idea devoted to reproduction (or to what exclamations really look like).

Handfuls of order are measured in such a way. We want a custodian, a hired perspective, lbs. of absolute and everlasting solidity. (Resilience is indeed considered a perfectly reasonable way to total ruin.)

In a place so organized, the container of traditional questions, answers, and achievements daily exemplified by names comes to seem incontrovertible.

But the membrane of metaphor is permeable. First of all, one must fit.


The present grammar has rocking chair meanings. The little maelstroms of poems wrinkle of conversation and the humpty-dumpty of things. Entire utterances devour the smaller things that move (the mere sensations of language, the unpointed vowels, the asylums of syllables...), swallowing each pregnant bulge of creatures.

This world is new and unalloyed, but in any geometry something is always given.

Here, it is in a diminishing that readers, all with parallax, have the anatomy to attack: a cone, the base of which is given to the more widely used dimensions, the apex a point somewhere sudden and intrusive amongst the very basic clumps correlated outside of the teeth* , letters typically and tightly buttoned by words.


Raw and quivering to the touch, these comparisons (so made) are invented in a manner I can only describe with all the inadequacy that words, sailing down without context, can imply: we write, posturing some arguable ideas; we read, embodying an upright condition.

We have these definitions retained in parallel, but we have the accidental in common (the same water of escape).

A stone can dive no deeper.

*Though the palate brings us their names.

Gil McElroy is a poet, visual artist, independent curator, and critic living in the village of Colborne, Ontario. He provided the introduction to Ground Rules: the best of the second decade of above/ground press, 2003-2013 (2013).

1 comment:

Jan Allen said...

refreshing and inspiring as always, Gil. the structure, the particularity, and the listening body all present here. with just the right mix of conviction and humility before the bigger exercise. thank you