Artie Gold & George Bowering
AG: The Naked Prose of my Heart
I can show you that 10 / is 15, and this is not my paradox. Distributed like the naked vernacular that composes cities, I am asleep with the sense of being awake. Now / there is contra- diction. Now / perhaps the middle skin examined. And light. Light is accident. Mowers in a field. Mechanical decomposers. I am reduced physically; therefore, these must be my simpler elements. O take me to reduced consciousness. Wrap my dry skin in hot Vic Tanny oblivion. To get away is neither to live nor to die, but to be comfortable. It's only when I add a third ball, then I am the juggler. This / is the prose of my equally naked disposition. Which, curdling itself last week or so, and lifting, / only revealed itself. Beneath one thing are small pieces of that thing, gnostic and absurdly available to Parmedines. Beneath scepticism, you want to say, is doubt, but / how do you know? Whoever claims against you is in possession of fenced goods and throws the towel in––but the absurdity of the situation––well, son, I would like to be able to claim you as a non-dependent (said my father / like the caterpillar in Alice––but you exist . . . you are a fact!
GB: My Heart's Naked Prose
Morality is no one's business. But perhaps we all have need of it. I can show you that 10 is 15, and this is not my paradox. It belongs to poetry and therefore not my heart. I am asleep and dreaming of being awake, though dreams are told as if they were prose, so people who have to hear are bored. Even Freud suspected that dreams were boring, even though he thought poets were people who never grew up. Freud pounded his fist and Asked H.D. what the hell women wanted when he should have remembered that she was a very tall poet. Lying down on a couch nearby, now could one not become bored? Not to get away is neither to live nor to die, but only to be comfortable. If I had been Sigmund Freud I would have had my analysands stand up for fifty minutes. H.D. mentioned that Freud had miniature statues all over his office. I have only a few, including a little Parmenides I received from a famous grown up poet. Ever since it came to me it has existed, and I talk to it when I have a thought to. I tell it that 10 is 15 and it speaks into my hearing aids: "If you speak of something it must be." I believe that he was telling me something about my poor injured heart's ordinary prose.
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
In Spring of 2023 NeWest Press will publish George Bowering’s anthology of English language poets from Wyatt to Avison, with one-page essays on each of the poets, Good Morning Poems.
Montreal poet Artie Gold (1947-2007) published numerous books throughout the 1970s. His selected poems, The Beautiful Chemical Waltz (1992), appeared with an introduction by George Bowering. Talonbooks published The Collected Books of Artie Gold in 2010.
This is George Bowering’s sixth above/ground press title, after STANZAS #12 (“BLONDES ON BIKES: 1-20,” April 1997), A, You’re Adorable (as “Ellen Field,” October, 1998; reissued October 2004), Tocking Heads (ALBERTA SERIES #2, October, 2007), That Toddlin’ Town / Baby, don’ ya wanna go? (2016) and Hotels (2021).
Artie Gold’s above/ground press chapbook, THE HOTEL VICTORIA POEMS, appeared in 2003.
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