Archive for the ‘Chris Banks’ Tag

“…where lives the virtue of poetry…”

Yesterday, Canada’s Chris Banks baldly posed the question to his Facebook friends “What is authentic poetry?”. I (mis)remembered, after my own initial contributions to winding or snarling the ensuing thread, I had written a poem that addressed at least “the virtue of all authentic thinking” (and I’m hardly the first to imagine or suggest that poetry can be a kind of thinking). I post that poem, below.

It was written at the same time as the poem that opens Ladonian Magnitudes, “topos tropos typos’ (a confession”, itself composed before even my first trade edition, Grand Gnostic Central. It’s title is a quotation from Charles Olson. Whether it is possessed of any qualities that might be construed as “authentic” I leave to the judgement of the reader. For my part, I cite again, as I did first in yesterday’s thread, Novalis, from his Fragments and Studies 1799-1800, #671:  Schwer schon ist zu entscheiden, doch einzig mögliche Entscheidung, ob etwas Poesie sei oder nicht”:  It’s already difficult to decide, but it’s the only decision possible, whether something is poetry or not.


“Unreal, that is, to the real itself”


where lives the virtue of poetry

and all thinking free

of the tyranny of the real


in perceiving the real

flow, elementally

fluid, hence watery


form forms


seen in Winter


as slippery

hard and cold

as ice to the head



as the sea, unfathomable

God as Melville says


from the masthead


a shriek above

the water


a shriek

above the water


the same