Thursday, August 30, 2007



The Book of Ocean by Maryrose Larkin
(i.e. press, Los Angeles, 2007)

Her and the of of Her: A Lineaged Clarity

HD: I thought my thought might spoil your thought.
MRL: I don’t want to fall. I want to remain discrete…
HD: When you are a cup…

Going back to H.D., discretion in her work. The personal sits up, is not set up. This is notable as an idea of discretion that Larkin shares. Separating personal thought from private setting, the difficulty of translating discretion. That a personal thought does not have to retain the appearance of its original setting. That it can remain personal and take a discrete form. Detaching the diary and scratching person as a genre. Grammar of anticipation.

MRL: what is an asked division
RJ: when the mingled frame of mind
MRL: compulsively light without seam or axis
HD: where each, with its particular attribute, may be invoked
RJ: Linkings, inklings
MRL: texture truant chronicles verge
RJ: externity in gauged antiphony
MRL: everything in pieces

Come in, Ronald Johnson. Externity as a way of describing H.D., her detached diary, and Mary Rose Larkin’s Book of Ocean. Larkin’s Ocean verging with Johnson’s ARK, at strategic points. Happy fragment in history, shards presently. Diary, detached and also “truant,” wandering from its appointed place, requiring as Larkin calls it, “a detective of tangents.”

HD: I feel the meaning that words hide…
MRL: words less tocsin than costume
HD: …little boxes conditioned to hatch butterflies
RJ: It is as if you yourself were your own onlooker

One shoot of disembodiment. A certain discretion leaning towards privacy and its effects on self-imaging (making one’s little discreet boxes). Calling oneself, as Larkin does, “an interval at a party.” That is, externity.

MRL: What is a required division
HD: I want to minimize thought…
MRL: my garden spun from absence
RJ: New hushes through the polyhedral push and crux
HD: …concentrate on it till I shrink, dematerialize, and am drawn into it
MRL: a woman inhabited is an interior apart, flying

Breaking off hidden space and calling it whatever: Absence, says Larkin; Hushes, says Johnson; Dematerialized, says Doolittle. The severe influence of geometries on these descriptions. Gems in HD’s The Flowering of the Rod. The spires of Johnson’s ARK. And of course, Larkin’s prisms.

RJ: Line eye us.
HD: A new sensation is not granted to everyone
RJ: artifact rather than argument
MRL: yes what does not meld yes
RJ: sustained sequentially as to insistence
MRL: trying to make what doesn’t exist veering past clarity

The outcomes of their poetics. Treating the precedent self, grammatically, etc. Slipping is more than a problem of hierarchies, classifications. “Have I forgotten to occur,” Larkin asks. Less reminder, more pointer. Within her question, ultimately, lapse. Idea complicating faiths. Here, the discreet ones.


Paul Klinger sometimes advertises for the University of Arizona Poetry Center, which has a new building that is really something. If you are ever in Tucson and you like poems, come check out the library at the Poetry Center, now located at 1508 E. Helen Street.


At 6:41 PM, Blogger EILEEN said...

Another view is offered by Judith Roitman in GR #8 at:


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