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).

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

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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.

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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.