NOTES

SESSION ONE

Writing Practice
Free writing practice
Focused writing practice: “The Brain, within it’s Groove . . .”
Focused writing practice: the splinter in poetry is . . .

Workshop overview: Olson’s typos/ tropos/ topos.

Sharing of exercises/ experiments.

Reading: Kerouac’s 230th chorus, “spontaneous bop prosody,” “alluvials”

Here is Jack Kerouac on “alluvials” (a technique Michael McClure passed on to his Naropa students):

“Add alluvials to the end of your line when all is exhausted but something has to be said for some specified irrational reason, since reason can never win out, because poetry is NOT a science. The rhythm of how you ‘rush’ yr statement determines the rhythm of the poem, whether it is a poem in verse-separated lines, or an endless one-line poem called prose . . .”

(“Statement on Poetics” for The New American Poetry)

Discussion: Spicer’s Vancouver Lecture , the Practice of Outside

Here is a clip from Orphée, by Jean Cocteau, the famous radio scene that inspired Spicer’s talk about the poet as radio taking dictation from Martians.

In the title poem of his sequence, Spicer writes, “Poetry ends like a rope.” Washing “alluvials” out of Spicer’s endings is one way to attend to how his poems, which often end so emphatically, also emphatically lead into one another, in serial fashion. (Spicer spoke of single poems as “one night stands.” In his later work, he strove to write “books” of poetry.) So we begin with endings.

Reading and writing through A Book of Music.

Sanders: “Creativity and the Fully Developed Bard,” the “creativity zone” and the “sesh.” Writing with and through materials.

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