Leslie Scalapino's reading

Both Giscombe and the second speaker of the evening of January 31, Scalapino, have been publishing for decades and the world being the unpredictably variable size it is, they had not seen each other in 22 years before they encountered each other again as co-readers at The Poetry Project.

Scalapino has published around 30 books of poetry, plays and literary criticisms. She likes to deconstruct understanding as well as syntax to see the underlying ways we construct meaning. It gives something of a Picasso effect to syntax.

Scalapino was profiled in depth by the online journal How2, with a focus on the “spirit of inquiry into modernist and contemporary innovative writing practices by women”. Critical Feature on Leslie Scalapino, including reviews, interviews and her on her own poem, Cat is night. To get a sense of how the work flows together that would be the best bet.

She read from excepts of her work that is forthcoming, Day Ocean State of Stars’ Night. She preambled by saying picked non-sequential excerpts to go beside each other to see if they would interact and bounce new concepts out by their being near each other. I suppose I amplify that process by having written so illegibly that there are gaps and shovings together that she didn’t have.

It is a much dense poetry to be in the air as opposed to the page. She spoke to the Iraq war and night and conscience, Creeley and how one is actively engaged in making meaning or else accepting premade meanings imposed on you. You have to be actively aware, engaged to step outside the dialogue that comes pre-canned and think critically.

night sky would
dualistic in
night crushing language
sky reversing language
yet the dawn also
future is sound
ones motions
without extension now
a man’s trunk can
a man is a
repeats just space
oppression is the social
[…] action isn’t vertical
or horizontal the gap
between sleep
and not dreaming[…]

on the mere allegation
of their terror
ism dead
their decom
position acceptance
as if that we the being

Scalapino’s recent book, The Public World/Syntactically Impermanence of poetics and poetry criticism has already had a couple titles past it. She’s a prodigious writer with some some political and poetical fire.

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