Soon June will be here, and so, in advance of its arrival and the freedom it'll bring, I'm posting one of my favorite pieces I've ever written, "After C (3): Tayloriana," from the manuscript with artist (and poet/critic) Chris Stackhouse: Seismosis. We initially collaborated on this project several summers ago, and we both think of it as ongoing. I have since written more little "essays," as I also call them, and not long ago, for a pending publication in the Indiana Review, Chris completed a new drawing. The text below appears in New American Writing (No. 21) and is currently online. (Seismosis itself appeared in a lovely, tiny, limited, letterpress edition from the Center for Book Arts in the fall of 2004, and we've been discussing a larger version with another potential publisher).
As for the poem itself, "drawing like flying open alone"--Cecil and Chris and Adrian and Mendi and Eric and Jerry and Tisa and Kevin and any number of other voices, conversations, dialogues, came into play here. Not academic, but involving "looking as some other thing." Another form of knowledge production, (critical) practice, abstract and phantasmal, but still you can, if you look at the sign hard enough, call "the depth extraordinary." A hopeful copy.
AFTER C (3): TAYLORIANA
I have to find it again, an extreme music. Inspired by voicings: out, but I may lose it again. That I may live it, utterly beautiful in its rendering. The brink of composition, brink of the hand called looking. And open, drawing like flying open alone, broken without having to take me. Musically it was composition of a distant whiteness, where absence too was thrown, by concentration alone, but not in the listening. Drawing. A profound transitional, kaleidoscopic, where the axes of decay were really the depiction. Dark seisms really come to mind, the first death and the last one, each darker, these first, these powerful, arranged as a collection. Arranged, not solo. At that time I was collecting other pieces, hands, the electronic composed as an album. Looking as some other thing. But I may pick another break, piece the track. In concert. I've since thrown it. He called the depth extraordinary. A fearful copy.
Copyright © John Keene, 2004-2005.