Monday, June 6, 2011

Among the books I picked up at the now-defunct Ardea Books & Art last April was Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon by Ray Hsu (Nightwood, 2010), a book of poems divided into two sections ("Plural" and "Singular"), whose titles ("CHORUS," "CITIZEN," "NARRATOR," [OFFSTAGE], "[ONSTAGE]," etc.) suggest a theatrical play.

I have been poking at this book on and off for the past week and am enjoying the passage from scrap to archive; the book's argument over an ordered self versus one resistant to it.

In advance of the book's division, a numbered piece (1-13) called "Ninety-Six Scraps, or,"

Here are numbers "3" and "9":

3. Problem is all this feels outdated. One great big relic. Some we we can't do without. All I see in these material surfaces are anonymous friends. Don't we have data bases for this now? Grids?

9. [Holds poem to the light.] I wrote this one years ago. Literary form. But it got tired. Whatever tied us to the world was the point. Whatever outlined that was a poem.

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