Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Dead Man; Contemplations on Marvin Bell's Poems

By accident I discovered the “dead man” poetry series by Marvin Bell. Last few days I have been reading these many verses, admiring how they rely heavily on collective images. —clusters of various scenes all focused on a central, surreal figure of a metaphoric dead man. —who goes about his waking life, alternatively unaware/aware of his symbolic/biological death. These carry a strong alternative motion for the themes attempted in my own work.

Bell’s collection challenges logical assumptions in unexpected fashions. I admire the conversational tone he utilizes in all of them—which relieves the burden of abstraction embedded in the style.

They operate as Zen riddles, individual subtopics falling from the uber-riddle: “Live as if you were already dead.” (Bell himself credits this statement as a Zen admonition.) Words declaring a meditative mantra in a sense; a contemplation.

Can these help me out of my stalled strategies?

20/the bones of an idea scrawled across scraps of paper—

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