Poesia secondo istruzioni, a cura di Guy Bennett #2
[Pubblicherò in cinque episodi su NI del materiale legato a un progetto promosso da Guy Bennett, poeta statunitense. Si tratta di un’opera collettiva di poesia generativa che ha coinvolto 60 poeti, artisti e designer per un totale di 140 testi prodotti. Non vi è un’unica lingua di riferimento, anche se la maggioranza dei testi è stata scritta in inglese e in francese. Dopo aver ricevuto tutti i testi, Bennett ha inviato a intervalli regolari di tempo dieci “samplers” a tutti i partecipanti, contenenti ognuno 10 poesie. Infine tutti i testi sono stati raccolti in un catalogo digitale con un’introduzione e un ricco apparato paratestuale. A partire da questo secondo episodio presenterò una campionatura di sette testi per episodio composti da altrettanti autori/autrici, che hanno seguito una delle 99 istruzioni elaborate da Bennett. Il primo episodio -che include: progetto + intervista al curatore + 99 istruzioni trilingue – qui.
Sean Pessin, Untitled (Instruction 34)
Joachim Sené, Acclamatoire (Instruction 1)
Ian Monk, Untitled (Instruction 25)
Judah Abendsonne, Nachmittags Vogelschweigen (Instruction 48)
François Le Lionnais, Dix minutes de vacances (Instruction 17)
Deborah Meadows, Untitled (Instruction 37)
Lewis Carroll, Facts (Instruction 31)
⇓ • ⇓
34: A poem imagined but never written down.
- Sean Pessin
In a poem never written down,
There is a metaphor for dreams themselves
And with meters that measure the same
by any regional tongue, no matter how it’s licked.
With sirens in every one of the poem’s syllables,
every period is a cannon volley.
Containing a word that rhymes with orange,
There is nothing trite about its wartime observations.
This poem makes you lonely for loneliness.
Your veins retract with your chortle when someone gets to that part.
In every other poem, there is a reference to this one,
Unless there isn’t, but the lack is audible.
No one has to issue an apology for reading its loveliness
Into loudspeakers at funerals, matriculations, or bachelorette parties.
You memorized this poem once, actually. It’s been rattling around
Since the first metaphor that caught you off guard.
There is only one apology for this poem never written down,
And it is that you are still not writing it down.
34: A poem imagined but never written down.
- Sean Pessin
The poem never written down happens in what is elided by
Takeout order emails sent over a private server
And their incomplete subject lines.
Though it is also possible that the poem is waiting in perfection
As a spam bot sent it straight to your junk mail;
A survey suggests, just as you open up,
“Improve your heart health
“You’re invited to a special screening
“Don’t miss out on our
“Collaborative and collective act of resistance
“Protect yourself from scammers
“Get a load of these
“Annual filing notifications
“Love is all you need
“A new payment method was
“The best compliment
“Your statement is ready
1 : Un poème en une seule unité (lettre / mot / vers / strophe).
- Joachim Séné
ou poème générique & collectif, dédié à toutes celles & ceux que je chéris, que j’admire, que je porte en moi, depuis les grands & grandes de l’Histoire de la Littérature & de l’Art, jusqu’aux ami.e.s avec qui je brocarde & jacasse à tout sujet, à la famille qui m’accompagne & me soutient, à toute personne que je peux croiser ne serait-ce qu’un instant, un seul, & partager, la plus petite unité de temps & d’humanité qui puisse être (un signe de tête, un bonjour de loin, un coup de klaxon agacé, une dispute au sujet du dernier Prix Goncourt), à toutes & tous, ce poème : Acclamatoire.
25: A 100-line poem in which the words “peony,” “nightingale” and “firefly” appear only once.
- Ian Monk
The words peony, nightingale and firefly
will appear only once in this poem
despite its focus on several promising themes
such as the varieties of herbaceous perennials
which include this flower among others
for example mint and potatoes
surprisingly combining in this way
the uselessness of beauty and dinner
or else ferns and grasses forming
the lawn you sit in front of having
a well-earned drink before your
meat and potatoes, carrots and peas
covered by succulent home-made gravy
followed perhaps by apple pie and cream
all washed down by a rather tannin-
steeped bottle of Côtes du Rhone red
first and then white with the dessert
before being rounded off by a cup
of the most excellent Italian espresso
and why not while we’re at it
a generous shot of a good grappa
though eschewing the once inevitable
cigar which you find quite frankly
baffling and have never known
how to smoke finding the urge
to inhale practically impossible to resist
and so failing to see the point of it all
compared quite simply to a cigarette
anyway where were we oh yes
finishing dinner and staring once more
out of the window this time across
the now barely visible lawn glistening
slightly in the moon- and starlight
it’s just the sort of evening which
seems to invite the writing of an ode
or some such romantic form
the kind of thing poets like Keats
wrote during Autumn or when
gazing at the patterns sculpted
on a Grecian urn or else at times
of indolence just like this slightly
alcoholised moment on a spring evening
which incites a vague feeling of
melancholy despite all the clichés
concerning this particular season
of the year especially in the city
of Paris where this season is put
on a distinctly undeserved pedestal
let’s go for the psyche then especially
in the absence of any birdsong for
example which, if there were any,
would be drowned out by the constant
hum of the cars as well as
the clanging of the passing trams
and so what is my psyche or
in other words the totality of my
conscious and unconscious mind
doing right now? nothing much
apparently although that inner
voice of course never shuts up
for a single second spouting as
it does any amount of bullshit
when it doesn’t have anything
concrete to bite on so to speak
or to fall onto to put it another way
that voice which starts up according
to research around the age of six
and then never stops until you
croak (and maybe not even then
who knows? well, we all will
find out some day sooner or later)
while younger kids and animals
spend large amounts of time
thinking quite literally about nothing
just like any random insect crawling
across the floor that ant there
for instance, or outside, adding
to the moon- and starlight
but above all urban glow, the slight
glimmer of some beast or other
lightning bugs maybe, after all
you’re no entomologist far from it
but one thing you do know is that
these lighting effects are not there
to look pretty nature has no objective
use for such a thing as aesthetics
but instead are what is called
an “honest warning signal” like
the bright red colour of the granular
poison frog to warn predators
that the beast in question is either
venomous or quite simply disgusting
even for the hardiest of palates possessed
by all those ravenous creatures out there
and so the evening dims into night,
time for languishing before the non-ending
of a cancelled series on TV maybe
or else the actual end of something
so confusing that it lost you long ago
as thoroughly as it did its protagonists
48: A poem in which the speaker doesn’t speak.
- Judah Abendsonne
Dix minutes DE VACANCES
17 : Un poème qui cherche à donner l’impression de la couleur jaune.
- François Le Lionnais
Vers le milieu des vacances je pense au jaune
L’instant où le jaune apparut dans l’univers
La quantité totale de jaune contenue dans l’espace
(Cas particulier : à l’intérieur de mon corps)
Le jaune et certains nombres remarquables
Le jaune et les bronzes Chang
Le jaune et quelques boulons dépareillés
Le jaune et le problème de l’existence du néant
Le jaune et l’attaque des pions perdants
Le jaune au-dessous du Zéro absolu
Le jaune : internationalisme ou cosmopolitisme ?
Le jaune et le renouvellement du roman policier
Le jaune et les sensations viscérales
Le jaune et elle
Le jaune du point de vue de Sirius
Le jaune d’un point de vue plus humain
Le jaune dans du jaune.
Un peu de repos
Et je me penche sur une autre question.*
* Ce poème anticipa son instruction.
37: Plans for a poem.
- Deborah Meadows
Out of hibernation, rabbit brush (common name: Chamisa) now formed a yellow-lined road against blue sky at this altitude, our altitude. It marks opening of the school year, but not all are ready to let go of summer, descend from mountains. Were this in the haiku tradition, all would know the reference to season, that the rabbit brush bloom and opening of the school year coincide. So, it could be reduced to:
Rabbit brush: yellow
road against blue altitude;
summer’s end, descend.
FACTS (from Useful and Instructive Poetry)
31: A poem-telescope.
- Lewis Carroll
WERE I to take an iron gun,
And fire it off towards the sun;
I grant ’twould reach its mark at last,
But not till many years had passed.
But should that bullet change its force,
And to the planets take its course,
’Twould never reach the nearest star,
Because it is so very far.*
* This poem was written in anticipation of its instruction