Poetry is embodied speech, language brought close to ordinary conversation and then spun wildly around it. Embodied, embodied, not simply collected, collated, sorted through mandarin effete distortion-filters... thus these readings/performances last night offer a kind of test - a sort of partial & preliminary measure (& not the only one, by far) - of the poetry's substance, reality... (the real test residing in the hidden performance, maybe never actually heard out loud, of the poem's composition).

Mikhail Aizenberg an architect by profession, and you see in his critical writings this constant tension between poetry and rhetoric, between poetry and mechanical, learned, imitation-discourse (the "Leningrad School" his emblem for the false turn toward the latter) - poetry having some kind of inner form, the creative/intellectual/emotional/sensible gesture - a shape, an architecture, in-forming the language.

(Thus the interest in Vvedensky & the OBERIU poets' demolition of everyday speech & literary language etc. Maybe that all goes back to the Byzantine theological crisis-complex, the tense ambivalence between iconophilia & iconoclasm, between the symbol (word) and what it represents.)

"The body is the temple of the Spirit."

For Aizenberg, it seems, ordinary speech & ordinary experience offer the paradoxical, counter-intuitive substance or acid test for the authenticity of the inner unspoken architecture of the gesture... this shared communal language-space being the place where all the human motives for composition are integrated & achieve actuality.

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