from POEM BEGINNING WITH LINES FROM ROBERT DUNCAN


But they are not
in a landscape. They
exist in an obscurity.
Turn it over, hoping
metaphor will catch a
light. All poems describe:
small poems describe what
is plain. Enabling them
to keep it, away
from the fire for
how long? Metonymy orders
where context is imaginable
and tragedy is objective.



But
movement collocates with comedy. They run
together like metaphor until the edges are not clear;
in a
carefully plotted landscape where even on a hill they can't see a way out.
A map still exists as a symbol in need
of hilarious interpretation; even with it each step's
into an obscurity. They
turn from logic - it hangs between
tautology and contradiction: subject and object cross over into hoping; for
         example
this is an apple. Metaphor is like will swinging in the wind.
They catch a train but can't imagine the distance,
travelling light
over flat ground - all objects self-contained, keeping separate       
          with edges (a step toward collage).         
Poems
have to describe the road for it to be noticed -
objectivity and movement make perspective, the relationship between big and
small. Poems
of metonymy. Difficult because it describes what the viewer sees, making him
          not objective but part of objectivity?
Gareth Evans, a boy in my class, is painting plain black lines around each of the
          people he's pictured in a street scene. Later, Braque
did the same with tulips but kept the background dull, enabling them
to keep context while being taken
apart: metaphor lifts it away
from context toward collage. The intention that things do not fit together. As if my
          grandmother had chewed on her jigsaw puzzle before she died
, Jack Spicer wrote,   
          prefixed by Surrealism
- but that's symbolic. The permeable 'is'
makes for survival of the fittest. Fire swallows passion, solidifying subject and
          predicate in itself for ever. Images in surrealist paintings are torn from 
          contexts. With original connotations gone, without new relationships,   
          the artist poses another (often by a coherent surface: unified style and 
          edges blended, shadows cast) - that of sexuality locked in dream. 
          Arranged so, by title and manifesto, the images are saturated in their 
          conclusion before reaching it. They are inscribed with new meaning
          regardless of whether they support it or not, closed to investigation
          (comparison). Similarities are not discovered but contrived, explicable
          by a narrow set of rules: this, though you may not think so to look at it,
          really means that. Facts are doctored. Images are forced from reality
          (what's perceivable), out of their houses and out of their minds, to
          support an overriding abstract idea. The practice is pseudo-scientific;
          there is nothing valid in a surrealist picture.
How long
have present perfect they been continuously travelling?
Language is metonymic; grammar and use make words reach for the sentence
          which orders them.
Where they go after that is a matter of trust thrown into context
journey unknown but the destination is imaginable
and leaves a line back. Tragedy
is patient for the next objective to pull taut.


      Thomas White 2006