Poetry News

Hold the Blue Orb, Baby: We're Feeling Affinity With Lewis Freedman

By Harriet Staff

Lewis Freedman

We're delighted to read the Elective Affinities of the shimmering, trusty Lewis Freedman: "For the continuity and discontinuity in divided question of experience i’ve been writing thinking about writing as a technology." Thanks to Carlos Soto Roman, who continually provides these brief looks into the reading and thinking of so many great poets working rigorously right now. More from Lewis, who has been publishing and collaborating with Minutes Books and Well-Greased Press--if you hadn't heard--and is well-known on the reading circuit (circus!) for his (spell)ing poems:


. . .Let’s just’ve talked about sex, friends. To live where question mark exactly. If you don’t want to be made wrong, that is, if you want to try and stop making others wrong, you just try shifting within a pattern of its own irregularized interruptions. Worst ethics ever, friends. Since this’s just another container to expand the (already ex-(pony)entially ex-(panda)ed in this way) genre of poetry to admit, reach, and cover any and all signs in our culture. But this my lacking i still can’t seem to make anything appear as the shape over the stretch unless it retains shape of secret… excluder… and it just isn’t.

For the continuity and discontinuity in divided question of experience i’ve been writing thinking about writing as a technology. Writing as a technology with a privileged tie to the emergence of the spaces of subjectivity through the metaphor of its chief technological characteristic: the inscribable surface as possessing an indivisibility between the material of record & replay (let’s write technology of metaphor itself). Literature feels to me (when this’s) as the use of this technology through this tied, wooshing towards and away from the sequence of subject as it emerges or does not in the time of replay & record, sometimes sanctifying it sometimes recombining it to speculate the form of its emergence in the space from which it emerges: those protean structures of void, truth, or culture. This as writing as a technology of surface, of inscribable surface, write say… sometimes i’m looking at my inscribable surfaces, loose page bound page screen facing me screen in hand, refusing a moment to fall by sight my body at and into them, seeing them as unstable portals, dream-texts, shimmering between worlds of archive and anarchy, form and the form of this looking in its dependent conjuring of priorness. This has been for me these last five years, repeated into question of nullification act, an attempt at a poetics of continuity.

(here lie 52 of 223,216 potential responses today) (note: there are the richest and an endless set of affinities with the poetry of my friends but i decided to make lists today of only poets i don’t know… why, i don’t know… perhaps it’s b/c i’d be mortified to have forgotten to mention even any one of you… does that count [all at once] as a kind of remembering?)

On the one hand (there is a finger) (of form & context’s no-gap): Mallarmé’s “Igitur” & “Book as a Spiritual Instrument”; Lezama Lima’s La Fijeza, particularly “Resistance”; Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers; Levinas’s Otherwise than Being; Grenier’s Transpiration / Transpiring & “Notes on Coolidge, Objective, Zukofsky, Romanticism, and &”; Madeline Gins’s Helen Keller or Arakawa, particularly “Birds”; Benjamin’s “Epistemo-Critical Prologue”; Gillespie’s Syntactic Revolution, particularly “Semantics Beggina Canneng” and “Portraits Skulpursune”; Stein’s How to Write; Scalapino’s New Time; Coolidge’s Polaroid; Pritchard’s The Matrix; Day’s The Literal World.

On the one hand (there is another finger) (of the peering gap between worlds in language): Mackey’s Bedouin Hornbook; Jabes’s Book of Questions; Schulz’s Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass; Kafka’s “The Burrow”; Gladman’s Event Factory; Dorn’s Gunslinger; Canetti’s Auto-da-Fe; Ceravolo’s Wildflowers Out of Gas; Brossard’s Mauve Desert; bpNichol’s Translating Translating Apollinaire; R. Waldrop’s Lawn of the Excluded Middle; Blanchot’s A Step Not Beyond & Writing of the Disaster.

Read all of it here, for certain.