Notebook dump #2 (Ketjak 2)

Ketjak 2 —— at once soothingly hypnotic & ominously opaque, a sea of language that washes over & envelopes the the mind, the your world, complete w/ ryh ebb & flow, waxing & waning rhythm of sentence length, recurring phrases & motifs (sex, surgery, public transit), those indiscriminate boldfaced words that, whatever unknown-to-me logic may underlie them, certainly create a variegated pattern of light & shade, heavy & dark, that helps make the bulk of the poem feel sublime rather than monotonous.

An exceptional instance of this kind of poetry—& K2 is exceptional, even among the poems in The Alphabet (at least thru K)—raises the challenge of
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how to identify & describe exceptionalness of a poetry w/ so few handholds, so few much local & so little global. What makes poems like this or LH’s My Life great while other, similar productions may be only mediocre? Is it only the quality of the individual sentences—no, the sentences are exceptional in themselves, but if that were the case the power of the poem would be only episodic, ‘as good as its last line,’ which it isn’t—it’s sustained & consistent. So in addition to the individual sentences, there must also be a [illegible strike through] art of orchestration—an ear for juxtapositions that will heighten contrasts yet still satisfyingly cohere; a sixth sense for how often & how frequently to revisit recurring motifs—like a thru-composed, atonal fugue, its not a non-structure but a structure of such fine-grained complexity that the structuredness can only be perceived as in hints, a vague consonance w/ no clear source, or a dissonance that calls cries out for a justifying order. Reading it is much like experiencing life—a barrage of details that aren’t obviously non sequitors yet feel occultly related, groping reveling in the thickness of chaos, yet groping for the order that would bring it to rest.

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12