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Erin Mouré. And Poetry/
First Published in Sudden Miracles: Eight Women Poets, ed. Rhea Tregebov. Toronto: Second Storey Press, 1991, pp.209-210.


And Poetry/


AND METHOD? IF ANYTHING, a kind of accretion. Sounds attract feelings and aches, and vice versa. Sounds and words attract each other, and ideas, and worries. And dreams. And the thread of remembrance knitting the self over again, it's preposterous, it's hard to keep up with, do justice to, keep track of. The world is imbued with language and linguistic possibility, with bad and good expression, with hopefulness, with manipulation and trickery as well, with rationalizations and silence and gaps that alter, slowly, the structures of thought in the head. And poetry laughs at all of this at the same time as it confronts it, because poetry is entirely useless and owes no debts. It's a weightless possession, at the same time bearing the weight of responsibility and forgiveness. It's an object that is first a noise, that is still and ever a noise, a resonance of words that alters its noise over and over in the head, breaking through the pale corpse of "the image" and "the self."


I revise a lot, and listen and learn when I am revising. And I try consciously to push words forward and make them tumble, to work through my own perceptual failures, to create a space/duration/marking where differences are possible, articulation that's multifaceted is possible. Break down the construct of the self, the seeing self, the self as unself-conscious observer in the poem, as poetic voice!


As well, to me there's a relationship between physical processes, presence, and voice that is articulated only in relation to, that is constituted only in relation to other beings. Those links we have to each other, so well buried by the social constraints built into our speaking and perception, I'm more interested in the links, the movement of those linkages, than in "objects" or "conclusions" at either end. If you damage or conceal the links (as we do in damaging the earth or in underfunding AIDS hospices and medication), what are the consequences for the individual? I believe they are grave.


The structure of the poem? To me, absolute structure is motion. Structure as motion. Being is always in excess of this structure. Remains while the motion is, already past this place. Shock of that. Here we are. The body requires motion for memory. To explain context. Memory being only a part of the construct of a present context: that is, "the plausible." The brain puts forward plausibilities by selecting neural paths we have previously traveled. At the same time, the paths themselves "murmur," sign to each other. The paths alter themselves. Recontext is new context, then. Never the same. Requires motion. To be attentive outside the inner murmuring. Being is this attention "outside" in the midst of the murmur, attention to what is outer, to outer stimuli. The "identifiable." Speed. Burst of speed. "Furious."


I believe also "poetry is a limitless genre; its borders are only in ourselves and can be moved, in our lifetimes, if we dare to."




Erin Moure's works copyright © to the author.


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