no sign before had good feedback. Didn't expect such a +ve reaction but it's nice to know that some of the things I was trying out were effective, particularly an understated approach to deal with the insidiousness of our common dilemma (eg education) and the human tragedy involved.
This whole biz of romanticising suffering, as if we have no right to pain unless we wear it on our sleeves (as if no death lurks in sugar and spice), disgusts me.
I was interested in exploring how our imaginative faculties could themselves be subverted by prevailing ideology or convention. How we fold ourselves neatly in.
I guess at some level I'm refusing to abdicate our right to be understood as human creatures, with a rich inner life in all its complexity and shades of feeling and meaning. Even children.
On a broader level, that's a resistance I feel most deeply for and can relate to.
Oooo, gorgeous one. Liked especially the line 'language of defeat' rather than (I was pre-empting it) language of surrender', because it suggests some sinister active force working wormily behind the inscrutable facades of memorabilia (for whose memory, now?)--defeat does imply that there had been a struggle preceding the act.
And the details like the pink gerberias (brought to mind Elizabeth Bishop's 'hirsute begonia' in her poem about the filling station), scattered motes, eggshell-white. Elegant, loaded, elliptical, says as much as a blank note a suicidee would leave behind.
Great stuff Alvin. Nice to read this during my stressful morning!
oh god, what a poem..alvin...this is incredible
Very striking and affecting (for me) turns of phrases: "dissembled linen"--not "disarrayed", as expected, catching the reader unaware, like the deed itself.
"Unperturable mounds"--suggestive of the enigma of the dead, the ominous weight of the school system. "Our error is confounding loss"--marvellous line, out of many marvels.