What seems an adequate ars poetica (via out-of-context email-exchange-snippet)

“I am aware that people are moved by connections: emotive, soft-focus connections. I am usually more enthralled by the conceptual nature of whatever it is I’m reading or discussing, but abstraction – conceptual stuff – does not make good poetry in my hands. With that in mind, I tend to craft very small-frame narratives that embody the big-picture stuff that I am really calling attention to.”

I might add: as an audience, my most visceral responses to “the arts” have typically been reserved for the visual: meaning paintings and photographs and hallucinations, the way a beautiful body moves into and out of my sight, something the wind does to something in its way; and the sonic: meaning the harmonies of singing voices, the resolution of a heartbreaking minor or diminished chord into its major, the repetitive, intuitive code of birdsong, something the wind does to something in its way – but I have less talent for image- or sound- than for word-based (re)presentation and (re)production. It is a mismatch of aptitudes I long ago accepted as a brilliant challenge: to sing and paint with our most analytic tool, that unfeeling, that calculated, that incisive imprecision, that trail of charcoal on the wall: the word.


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