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Statements - You could have fooled me          [14 July 2007]

- Johan de Wit

 

When a supremacist and a suprematist wear the same badge, the ground switches sides, blocks the entrance to stage, usage and page and if not given chase will return as a radical pathway to block innovation. Clarity in poetics is like dubiousness and snottiness in preparation for target practice: when it occurs the bathwater should be thrown and when it occurs again the baby should be shown. Language’s invisibility might bring the sunset to heel: the healing powers of speech need flowers to sing, skin patches to warm up the hands and conventional odours to grow overnight bags. So much for a co-referent! Fine lives are introduced as smug and smart around the edges. This one is as arduous as commemorating a counterattack. Poets presume language exists without installing a challenger to its relationship with meaning, speech and a rationing of the lips. If you must dance, dance until further notice. Language’s visibility depends on eyesight, not on the materiality of the linguistic process, unless you volunteer to pay inheritance tax. The boundary between language and poetry, drawn in chalk or charcoal, no longer shows any sign of which side it’s on. Words repress as well as represent thought, language, poetry: beyond the page language in motion, beneath the page language in hiding. On the one hand – in the left margin – language is a special object and on the other hand – in the right margin – poetry is the special relationship all writers and readers dream of when pacing up and down the room or tracing a spot of bother. However, poetry still gets written, not fabricated or committed to memory; that means read as far as the eye can see. It also points to what is commonly called battery type hype: people who buy the right context make the right choices. This approach relies on thin air, thick skin and soft tissues, on the embrace of afterwards and on rechargeable resentment as found in initiation rites where the use of language is a test of supreme virility, spontaneity and communality. Poets draw conclusions on a white board made for foam puppets.

 

Johan de Wit

 

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