May 22, 2016

10th line of “Here Everything is Still Floating”

Occupying liminal spaces among the motifs here: the steps, the shower, maybe the bar too, and the asylum (or the mind of the person committed).


Ashbery came to write “Lining of fabricating living from the instantaneous” then found it beyond revision.


What a decisive turn from “making a living”. Could it be that “lining” produces a threshold, as in to draw a line in the sand? Except it seems as intimate as a seam or piping in the cloth, effectively keeping a body from another body. As in Genesis.

An anti-intimacy.


If we take “lining” as a verb, then the line reflexively calls out poetry for all its attempts to make a unified sense from individual moments. This could be seen as a central duty of literature, to bring order to chaos, a preparation of the world for human agency. As in dressing up. As in buttons, before Stein saw to them.

Then come and consider this a violation, the moments plucked from their own magic and woven into “a life”, a “history”, brought in service of a whole. The whole we find either unaware or in denial of its own arbitrariness, its fabrication.

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