Thursday, October 16, 2008

McClure's Rich Silence

It was really something to hear Michael McClure read his work the other night at Columbia College here in Chicago. I'd never heard him read before, although I'd spent a few hours with him at his home years ago, which is a great memory. Reading from Plum Stones and other books, McClure used his voice to really awaken a sense of wonder in the audience by offering rich silence in equal measure to the words themselves. Each was like a Calder mobile-sculpture that hung in the air until McClure moved along bringing the audience with him--marvelous to hear his "beast-language" poems too. There was something expressed therein that is inexpressible with poems that rely on a literal meaning. Peering inside each poem presented by McClure was a real gift.

Here's a link to an interesting renku and some of McClure's haiku followed by a few of mine.

coven of leaves
how hot is the breath of
tomorrow’s fires

jet insect above
make thick trails of smoke
of our hasty goodbyes

drop of honey
sweet golden lightshow
drown on my tongue