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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)

⇓   •   ⇓

UNTITLED

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.

*

UNTITLED

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,

“Security alert

“Improve your heart health

“Limited-time only

“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

“Action required

“A new payment method was

“The best compliment

“Your statement is ready

 

ACCLAMATOIRE

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 jadmire, que je porte en moi, depuis les grands & grandes de lHistoire de la Littérature & de lArt, jusquaux ami.e.s avec qui je brocarde & jacasse à tout sujet, à la famille qui maccompagne & me soutient, à toute personne que je peux croiser ne serait-ce quun instant, un seul, & partager, la plus petite unité de temps & dhumanité 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.

 

Ô !

 

Untitled

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

 

 

Nachmittags Vogelschweigen

48: A poem in which the speaker doesnt speak.

  • Judah Abendsonne

 

 

Dix minutes DE VACANCES

17 : Un poème qui cherche à donner limpression 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.

 

 

 

UNTITLED

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

 

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