… it signifies a break that emphasises its most important quality: that there is a break at all. In its very appearance, it suggests the idea of something else. The double “s” shape taps all the symbolic contexts in which it is used in “Instance of the Letter” as the formulation “S/s”; it leaves on the page the shadow of the chain.
Is at first, and most obviously, in the present tense. The writing is what happens now.
Yet it also carries the connotation of the future: the writing’s completion. That is, if we take “being” as “existing,” it exists as already written. (Even if we don’t twist “being” in such a way [for there are other verbs we could use], the “written” is a future state.)
But even then, it carries a connotation of the past: its second half being past tense, after all. Lets us view the writing as though it’s already been done.
[Claim I would make about the overall tense existing or trying to exist in three tenses at once]
Learning about the Baby’s Day Out remake named James Bond has shattered my already fragile emotional and mental states. I’m feeling fucked up from it all. I just don’t know what to do or how I can go on.
Exercises in Style is “unaware” of its repetition, as a mere volume—yet something more must be there. (For how else can it repeat? Or how else can it refrain from repeating its styles?) The parts of A Void that don’t suggest the missing e (via the mystery at the heart of the story) are still blatantly “presenting” it/its absence/it in its absence.
Yes, they are alive and can have those colors, But I, in my soul, am alive too. I feel I must sing and dance, to tell Of this in a way, that knowing you may be drawn to me.
And I sing amid despair and isolation Of the chance to know you, to sing of me Which are you. You see, You hold me up to the light in a way
I should never have expected, or suspected, perhaps Because you always tell me I am you, And right. The great spruces loom. I am yours to die with, to desire.
I cannot ever think of me, I desire you For a room in which the chairs ever Have their backs turned to the light Inflicted on the stone and paths, the real trees
That seem to shine at me through a lattice toward you. If the wild light of this January day is true I pledge me to be truthful unto you Whom I cannot ever stop remembering.
Remembering to forgive. Remember to pass beyond you into the day On the wings of the secret you will never know. Taking me from myself, in the path Which the pastel girth of the day has assigned to me.
I prefer “you” in the plural, I want “you,” You must come to me, all golden and pale Like the dew and the air. And then I start getting this feeling of exaltation.
Read "This Room" a few times this afternoon. It’s a brief but mystifying one.
"The room I entered was a dream of this room." With the word "dream," Ashbery sets the tone of the poem: dreamlike. It also gives an effect of I want to say doubling (influenced by the use of "room" twice), but it’s hard to say what precisely doubles. Present location, compared to a past location. Present location compared to a dream. One location compared to itself: "the room" and "this room" are the same. Entering it, he feels as though in a dream, or experiences the room it in a dreamlike form or state, or he feels the room as only the idea of a room. And so on.
"Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine. / The oval portrait / of a dog was me at an early age." As though things identified in the dream must relate to the self (like in a reading of a dream: "this must be me," "this must be what the dream says"). So any figures must be him. The many feet on the sofa also has the impression of multiple instances crammed together. As I said, with the first line, there are a few ways (I suggested three) to take it as a doubling effect (I’m not entirely comfortable with calling it that when only the third example was double, oh well). So the versions of this room are all put together. For example, a bunch of transparencies placed on top of each other, each with a slightly different version of the one scene. He identifies all the feet on the sofa as his, because they are always his in each transparency.
"Something shimmers, something is hushed up." Perhaps that’s what influenced me to use transparencies as an example, for the shimmering. It also suits the dream effect, with things not staying quite clear, and sounds not quite being themselves. It even suggests the real world coming through to the dream. Shimmers: the dreamer doesn’t see what’s in front of them, but perhaps light comes through. Hushed: the dreamer doesn’t hear the sounds of the real world properly, but dull noises may break through.
Overall, the poem’s reference to dreams pervades the poem itself. It’s not exactly straightforward. Things come to the reader as though under a glaze. “We had macaroni for lunch every day / except Sunday, when a small quail was induced / to be served to us.” Well I got no damn idea. But it does suit the tone, brings up memories as a dream might. And “a small quail was induced” may play on “quail” as a noun and verb. As a verb, with suggestions of fear or giving way, it suits the use of “induced.” For otherwise, “induced” itself is an odd choice with regard to servings of food. It does, however, seem appropriate with the dream state: as in, drug-induced, panic-induced (link to quailing again), induced sleep, etc.
"Why do I tell you these things? / You are not even here." That’s true. The poem is privately written, the dream is privately dreamed. We readers come to it way later than the fact. His dreaming, entering (room), thinking, writing, etc. predates our experience with the book. We receive it second-hand. That is, of course, to take the address as one to the reader. It may not be. The dismissive ending also shows awareness that dreams tend to be interesting to one person alone (two if you include an analyst, sure). No-one gives a shit about what happened in your dream.
Hell, we may even receive the poem at another removal. Conflating the poem with an actual dream, it is then the speaker who receives it second-hand, and the reader third-hand. That’s almost how I see it all now. Like the poem itself is the dream text (aware of the Freudian implication of that term, not intended in quite the same sense), and its brevity (or the way it cuts off) is because, as I said, the dream is for one person. There’s no point going on with it, no point continuing the dream/text/text of the dream.
My copy of Life Studies, rather than saying anything about the poems or poet, just tells the reader on the blurb that its previous edition had not included Part II. The previous edition preceded the American one, which had had Part II. In this case, the edition I hold (Faber) now has Part II in full. That is what the blurb has been used for: to tell us that.
The guys get kicked out of their house because Big Triece urinated in Jennifer Love Hewitt’s yard, and have to find a new place. Lil Wyte comes out to Hollywood to go on a showcase for Warner Bros. Records. Meanwhile, Big Triece and Computer mess with Lil Wyte and try to pitch songs to DJ Paul and Juicy J, so they can become rappers; both DJ Paul and Juicy J hate their songs.