Found myself going back again to Robert Archambeau's essays on "Contingent Poetics".

Though I think he's talking about a certain stream of poetry, & maybe not even the "main" stream - still, I think there are really valuable & substantial ideas to work with there.

Maybe I should say that over the past couple days I was struck by the notion that the approach he's taking might be very useful for me. For dealing with my own present creative impasse & difficulties. Time will tell.

It occurred to me that three or so different factors might be affecting me:

1) the impact that Pound/Williams/Olson had on my development back in the early 80s. I went to work on the long (history-based) poem with their examples at hand, sensing that here was a way to deal with some themes that obsessed me. And also sensing that I wanted to do it differently.

2) the other factor is a hunch that what impelled Stubborn Grew has to do with something Pound was interested in before he started working on the Cantos : & that is the notion of the poet's voice as being a mask or persona.

I'm starting to think that what might be the catalyst for synthesizing "lyric" & "document", or song & fact, is the persona - the ritual assumption of the mask.

I was doing this in Stubborn Grew. I was channeling Mandelstam, in his late, Voronezh, Chaplinesque mode. I'm starting to think there is more to discover & try here.

3) the third factor is a sense that "contingent poetics", as R. Archambeau is outlining it, might indeed be integrated with my ideas about history.

The Jewish, Christian & Islamic concepts of history - in different ways - are precisely the variant records of interventions or juxtapositions (or misreadings or jumblings) of spiritual reality with historical chronology - documentary fact. The whole premise of Christianity, for its part, is based on the testimony of witnesses to things that actually happened. (I don't want to get into all the ambiguities & ironies of religious historicism here, but there are many interesting implications for a "contingent" poetics.)

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