Friday, October 29, 2004

Ron Silliman today:

From my perspective, the most important moment in a prose poem is that which occurs between the period of one sentence & the capital letter that initiates the next. No two blank spaces are alike & there are moments when I think of the sentences primarily as a way of setting those spaces up & as if it were the spaces that were the true strokes of the painting. I can, when I am really in the zone, when I’m writing & sometimes when I’m in a reading as well, literally hear those spaces just as I do the softer ones between words, let alone the half-hidden ones you can find within words if you just listen closely. Silence is so much a part of noise yet we so seldom give it heed....

Sound is very much a liquid. We’re immersed in it, bathed in its waves. Even if you’re in an anechoic chamber--and I’ve been in a few of them lately--it’s never silent. One’s body hums right along, synapses chime, the clatter of bloodflow is as loud as the subway. Yet that is the closest I will ever get to “pure” silence. I’ve approached it only once in the real world, so-called, on a cold February morning in 1978 near Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. It’s like trying to see the night sky without the light pollution of cities--you have to go a long way to do it.

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