Spahrkling Diamond

In Juliana Spahr's "spiderwasp or literary criticism," she looks at three specific contemporary poets whose work "joins" various and varied poetic schools of thought and aesthetic, and she does this primarily as a response to the classification-based forms of literary criticism that reduce fields of vision rather than clarifying them. It is Spahr's assertion (which she locates as being in dialogue with several other critics) that categorization of poetic "schools" and such restricts the ability of those poets to transcend themselves. (I think)

What stands out to me most is the poem that reads three ways: Joan Retallack's "THE BLUE STARES" is fashioned out of italicized snippets of Barbara Guest's "lost" (out of print) poem "The Blue Stairs", the capitalized words "THE BLUE STARES" and some lowercase notebook entries by the poet. I'm so interested in this sort of collaging of work: and truly I have experimented with creating a coming out narrative from disjointed Madonna lyrics. (Yes, really.) But like the novel House of Leaves (Mark Z. Danielewski), meaning seems to come from the coexistence and collision of the disparate elements.

House of Leaves, by the way, is freaking genius.


  1. Have you read David Trinidad? He writes poems which incorporate pop elements like song titles and movie-related stuff...

  2. I read several of his books this summer: Plasticville, Answer Song, and portions of Hand Over Heart. Because of him, I also checked out Tim Dlugos's work, whose collected Trinidad edited.

    But yeah--thanks for the heads up! I found his work to be really clever, creative, and moving, especially in terms of the pastiche.