Spent some time with Shane McCrae's Mule this morning, and it broke my heart. I'll be writing a review/endorsement of it at greater length, for The Lit Pub later this month. I'll say a few things about it--syntactically, it requires some close listening, but shouldn't all conversations that are worthwhile?
Concerning my own work, I spent all morning watching Sportscenter and thinking about my "Nocturne" manuscript. I've come to a certain limit of understanding about the project. I've come to the realization that the "Camera" prose poems that I had written are not a part of the labyrinth sequence at all. Nor are they a part of the "Dear Empire" series. Rather, they are collaborations with the "Nocturne" series. I've realized this as I've continued to work on more ekphrastic poems dealing with the grotesque and the monstrous.
Pouring over photography books like The Body, A Morning's Work, The Bone House, and a lot of Rosamund Purcell's pieces, I've pieced together some correlation between the earlier war "Nocturnes" and what's taking place in the newer work. And somehow, the "Camera" poems seem to be the transitional scaffolding necessary to make this manuscript "go."
Now, I have to contemplate just how they'll coincide in sequence, which is a whole other narrative. In many ways these poems have been a meditation on control. And what I mean by that is that the ekphrastic writing process can be dominated by the image and so the writer must exert their own control on the work. What captivates me about writing in this mode is my struggle to reiterate the image's action without duplicating the image too faithfully.
My understanding of the ekphrastic is that the written work should never be an imitation of the influence. An attempt at imitation will always result in the written work's failure.
Speaking of homage . . .