The Steinach Operation

A place of semi-natural vigor.

2.18.2008

Hail to the Chiefs

Thanks to President's Day, I have the day off. It couldn't be drearier here in Cambridge, which is perfect, because I have a luxuriously regimented day planned...all of which takes place indoors. I'm in the writing/procrastination phase of the day. It was preceded by the reading and breakfast phases. They were very successful phases I must say, and the bar has been set pretty high for the rest of the phases. Phases, did you hear that? Yeah you did.

Anyway, I started reading Hejinian's The Language of Inquiry, which reminds me to apologize for my Goodreads behavior...I keep accepting friends w/o posting any books. Perhaps it is more important for me to appear to have friends than it is for me to appear to read a lot. As far as you're concerned I am superior at both having friends and reading voraciously, ok? Good.

Back to Hejinian, in which I came across this sentence:

The air quivers with the qua! qua! of fleeing geese, while the thought of their formation in flight lingers.

I point this our because Sam and Ana both live in towns ending in "qua" (Chappaqua and Massapequa, respectively) and when they get together, they "qua" (like crows rather than Hejinian's geese) as a sort of gang sign, flapping their "wings." Also, Elisa uses the word "qua" more than any poet ever. Seriously, Google it.

This made me think about something I read (all of 15 minutes ago) in Hejinian's intro. She says this of her friends:

For almost thirty years now, I have depended on the friendship and on the challenges they have offered. They have provided a context for my work; they have given it meaning and made the undertaking of it meaningful, at least to me. My gratitude for this is enormous.

This is how I feel about my friends. I think this sort of community building that results from poetry is often confused with nepotism. I used to hate when I could make social connections between the editors of journals/presses and authors in/on those journals/presses. Now I prefer to be published by my friends. The cold, artless anonymity of blind submissions seems like a dangerous lottery of resources. Resources used to reward or create art. Resources for art seem more precious than that, no? For these resources to be given outside the context in which the art was or will be created seems...something...irresponsible?...I don't know. While I'm sure I could easily disprove what I just said (something like art should be judged solely on its merit, etc.), I just wanted to thank my friends for giving my work meaning via context.

4 Comments:

  • At 12:16 PM GMT-5, Blogger Sampson said…

    Qua, in crow-language, as used to communicate between fellow birds and flying things, i.e., Ana and I, means simply: "Love," Qua, Qua, means "I love you more than love," and Qua, Qua, Qua...means NEVER ENDING LOVE. Hence, the beauty of the language: no matter what you say or how you say it, you can only say 3 things, all of which mean, Love. Also, note that Qua is only cawed when in company of friends.

    Qua, Qua, Qua...
    Sam

     
  • At 4:15 PM GMT-5, Blogger Ana Božičević-Bowling said…

    I qua you too, y'all.

     
  • At 4:16 PM GMT-5, Blogger Ana Božičević-Bowling said…

    Actually, I qua qua qua you.

     
  • At 4:56 PM GMT-5, Blogger EKF said…

    I saw Lyn read a week or so ago in Portland. Fucking incredible.

     

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