PCGDoes this mean you see the reader as mere voyeur? Is the reader someone to be mistrustful of? Where does the reader stand in your writing process?
JW If you and I were the only persons in my house, and I spoke, it would most likely be to you. It would be unlikely for me to be in your presence and to speak … but not to you. Even if I seemed to be speaking to myself, you would think—correctly—that I’m aware of your presence, and know that you can hear me. People in this society are so oblivious to poetry—to what poetry is—because of just this point. Speech/text, in America, is always presumed to be useful, the result of someone’s intentions. Thus, speech/text is constantly diminished toward personal willfulnesses, and whatever personal willfulnesses choose to obsess over in terms of their progress and/or standing in the social realm, or even the progress of “history,” which seems to concern a great many willfulnesses. But the person doesn’t only use speech/text; the person is capable of bearing witness to where they are. This bearing witness might be defined as, or at the very least triggered by, the ceasing of willfulness.
Willfulness causes you to look at where you are as a tool and/or as a resource. Resource: where you are is yours (you own it!) … to use. Language is obviously useful for you and you wield it, mainly, like a tool, though sometimes it morphs into a weapon. Language, down to the signature, binds your ownership of where you are. But it isn’t like language ceases to exist when you cease to use it. When you are alone, in complete silence, and you unburden yourself of all intentions, you still hear language. It still comes to you. In the realm of language-using, language is always coming to you or from you. When it comes to you, though, it always comes from someone else, and carries with it this other’s intentions (and the manner in which they are entwined with your intentions). When it comes from you, it is the same way—your intentions are expressed, entwined with the understood intentions of your target.
Poetry is when language comes to you, not from someone else, but from you. Or I should say from your abandoning of intention. So, sans intention, it is not so much “you” the language is coming from—it would be fairer to say that the language is coming from that which is not a resource, paid attention (and memory). Your presumed grasp on language—the grasp allowing you to use it—tends to dinsintegrate. Your lonely disorientation causes a new relationship to language. You might speak now by listening; your listening stabs are a stuttering/groping at where you are, at orientation in time, if not space.