Poetry from early on showed me that there are systems, sub-systems, elements, molecules, and particles more primal, more vital than ideas, rather the experience of things themselves, as in Wallace Stevens’ ‘the plain sense of things’; that this experience is one of freeing words, language itself from how thinly we use it, for merely meaning, into bursts of being, imagination-swerves in and out of muddy bells, mystery, Theodore Roethke’s Woodlawn, Lorine Niedecker’s lifepoetry waterflowing by condensing, Cid Corman’s silence(s), Adrienne Rich, john martone’s skull harmonies, Clayton Eshleman’s cavedepth being(s), John Bloomberg-Rissman’s Zeitgeist Spam, CAConrad’s necessary Frank, Jonathan Skinner’s ecopoetics, Tim Trace Peterson’s “Violet Speech”, Brenda Iijima’s economies, Scott Watson’s versionings, Amy King’s bluntforcetraumen “Opera of Peace”, Jared Stanley’s weeds, Noelle Kocot’s bigger world, Bhanu Kapil’s immanent monster, Lew Welch’s turkey buzzard, Tyrone McDonald’s haiku confluence, Charlie Mehrhoff’s elkfrost inhabitations of our human animal comminglings through oneanothersothers, Blakean, Bhaktian, poetry– compass, test tube, cup, water droplet, cancer, salts, stem, claw, fruits, volcano, song, fricative, diphthong, and so much more than lists can do; of the many younger poets urging it on. This open form of writing poems supplanted most all other forms. So I surprised my self with a need to dig into Asian-derived forms, mostly tanka, haiku, and haibun, almost exclusively, for many years. Language and poetry being core elements in this life we liveindieinliveindiein is so much more than any binary-like pass / fail. My poetry practice in the open form now depends upon the haibun, which in turn, involves the haiku, sometimes struck-thru or semicolonized by eco-, geo-, and bio-poetics spawn.
It’s a rich, exciting time to publish because there are so many excellent choices in print and online. It takes time for poets and editors to find one another, more so for those not fluidly associated with academic institutions and the invaluable sources they offer. Like Chaucer, I don’t offer advice because authority interferes with experience. I trust the inherent capacity of the poetry mammal to adapt new technologies and methodologies, being wholly alive, after all.
One book I do return to again and again is French philosopher and semiologist Roland Barthes’s “A Lover’s Discourse, Fragments” because my interrelations feel to be pilgrimages, set out for in the dark, cold rain of Spring begun, near to Barthes’s figuration: “To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive and impoverished.”
– Donna Fleischer
A Short Bio
Hartford, CT native Donna Fleischer is author of three poetry chapbooks: Twinkle, Twinkle (Longhouse Publishers, 2010), indra’s net, (bottle rockets press, 2003, out of print and free to read at Scribd.), and Intimate Boundaries (self-produced, 1991). She writes in open and Asian-derived forms appearing or forthcoming in journals and anthologies worldwide: Bones, Contemporary Haibun Online, EOAGH, Esque, Exit Strata, Fiera Lingue, Kō, Jupiter 88, Lilliput Review, Naugatuck River Review, Otoliths, Poets for Living Waters, Solitary Plover, and South by Southeast. Donna posts primarily contemporary poems and articles on poetics, Depth Ecology, Permaculture, and Feminism, at her curatorial content blog word pond. Her author’s bio is available at Poets & Writers.