Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On Writing #53 : David Dowker

Micropoetics, or the Decoherence of Connectionism
David Dowker

Everything is in the connections, of course, but at the risk of sounding like the middle-class Maoist's Marianne Moore, I will say that I do adhere to many of the tenets of modern Confusionism. Now, I do and do not believe in God (depending upon which side of that category-concept mistake I drag my hypothetical self out of), so I have to make and unmake meticulously syllabic matrices. I love montage and décolletage. I even like rhythm, assonance and all that stuff. You just pluck your nerves and sing. If someone's ripping your clothes off at the podium, you don't grab the microphone. (You don't say. That's for the writing thing.) As for the reception of said writing thing, suppose that you're in love and you do and do not believe in love and the object of your affection does not even know that you exist. Is this not about as close to God as you can get? Let the differences fall where they may.

I'm not saying that I have the most inciteful ideas of anyone writing today, but who is anyone to be critical? As I sit in my loft of relative luxury, sipping my coagulated coffee, aimlessly browsing the web, I begin to think of aetheric entities with fleshly enhancements . . . and that's when the screen freezes.

Ah, the micropoetics of the situation!

But does anyone ever get it, or get what it would mean to get it, and how could it ever be determined? Too many poets act like some middle-aged crazy trying to explain the sapling with asymptotic legs apprehended in the shower playing with his rainstick. Who doesn't like the movies, though? After all, the rushes from this life, day after day, would drive (he said) anyone to poetry. As for the measure of other lovers, their technical expertise is incomparable to the pleasure of another. It's simply a matter of not making sense. If the cloud-server catches you with your trousers down, remember: there's nothing physical about it.

Poetry is an abstraction. Abstraction (as poetry, as painting, is) is a fact of life (or perception, at least). I think it appears most acutely in those memetic particulars where decision is unnecessary. For instance, the collapse of the state vector explained as interactive decoherence implies an innate aptitude of composition. Micropoetics, an autonomous 'pataphysical assemblage recently coded for flowing and which only certain hypothetical machine entities yet know about, obviously interests me immensely, being so integrated with the pragmatics of the situation within this earthly regime of signs.

Micropoetics has nothing to do with metaphysics – it's only art. It does not have to do with philosophy or spirituality, far from it! To give you an approximate correspondence, one of its primary aspects is a certain "focussed uncertainty" (Nick Piombino) with the implicit necessity to address that attribute in no uncertain terms, thus evoking overtones of involvement which stimulate a kind of linguistic intensity while maintaining a participatory distance. That's micropoetics for you. It was discovered after a dream in which Hilda Doolittle and I were having lunch by the Nile, swatting flies and discussing August 27, 2012, a day on which my love was with someone else. I woke up and wrote a poem entitled Beeline. While I was writing I realized that this was the answer to the question I had forgotten to ask H.D. The message was the poem, the poem was the massage. Then, my love came home and the hard drive crashed. So micropoetics was born. It's an easily excitable movement which will undoubtedly confuse lots of would-be adherents. It puts the poem roundly in its place (which is the centre of a circle whose circumference is nowhere). The poem at last is everywhere. With all modesty, I must confess that this may be the living end of literature (as always never seen before, and coming to a theatre near you soon). Poetry being a special case of prose, it is only obviously appropriate that poetry assimilate the distinction. For a time it was thought that language(-centred) poetry had accomplished this, but actually, for all their diffusion, these w*r*i*t*i*n*g*s are more an interpolation than interface.

What can we expect of micropoetics? Nothing, but we won't get it. (This is getting ridiculous, isn't it?) It is too much of a sum over histories to do anything but decohere. The propagandists of the future had better watch their backs. Something might be againing on them.

            with apologies to the ghost of Frank O'Hara

David Dowker was born in Kingston, Ontario but has lived most of his life in Toronto. He was the editor of The Alterran Poetry Assemblage (which can be accessed at Library and Archives Canada) and has published two books with BookThug: MachineLanguage in 2010 and Virtualis:Topologies of the Unreal (with Christine Stewart) in 2013. The possibility remains that his extremely intermittent posts to the Time-Sensitive Material blog may become slightly more frequent.

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