Sound is the pure coercive force of Art, the medium which desires to change forms. It is very important not only to the structure and nature of McSweeney´s work but to the nature of art itself.
The translated poem is a new song, reflecting Di Giorgio’s angels: they come in and out of the foreground as a buzzing hologram. Sometimes they can be seen as half-imagined dreams. Other times they are seen as vibrantly as the living are seen. Sometimes they die and litter the earth.
Now that you’re drunk, read the poem as if you were lecturing the president. Add an arpeggiator. What the fuck does that sound like? Read it as if you don’t know half the words. Deeply, then falsetto. Try to fit the poem into Gucci Mane’s flow. Stop listening to hip-hop if you start thinking too much about earnestness and self-parody, minstrel shows.
What I’m drawn to is not only the beauty of rhythmic language, but the pacing itself. In my own work, I’m always stealing from the work of other writers, from their diaries, from newspapers, and from bits of conversation that I overhear. Most of what I’m stealing relates to sound: rhythm, rhyme, tone and word choice.
My other friend, Andrew, says that the dictionary does not define words, our sensibilities as poets do. Which is sort of why I think it’s important to mispronounce quay and forte because if you don’t, well, confusion will ensue. But what’s wrong with that. Do with meaning what you do with sound. Alter it slightly.
Some poets communicate that we have to filter the emotions we feel in extremity through what often feels to me like a guise of cynicism, or apathy, or self-deprecation, or glitter and lipstick (which is actually super operatic!), or the general messy hysteria of the 20-something’s world. We often can’t be operatic in the ways traditional opera is, though our feelings are often that way. When did poetry move away from the operatic, or has it? In what new ways are we operatic?