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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nathaniel Mackey's Song of the Andoumboulou 26 (Post 3)

(See below for first two posts.)

As with most of Mackey's poems, this is a poems of motion on the literal (traveling), figurative ("transcendent" planes) and allegorical (the buried narrative as a search for knowledge) level. What we see is that this search for knowledge takes place within fog, within the clamminess near the ocean, within thunderstorms, and in the brittle dryness of a low-branched forest.

It also begins by describing how what seems a valley turns into a precipice. It ends with the fissured earth after an earthquake.

Such is the sight and site of communication, miscommunication, writing and miswriting. The wet book and the burning book. The final fissure is the bass, the foundation, and the shaken frame, what makes possible the weaving in a Dogon loom. It is the instability that makes weaving, and language, possible. (Mackey discusses this in his essays.)

The bass itself is moving. Music works by setting up patterns and altering them.

The earth is moving.

"Stra" for "stratum"; "stra" for "stray."

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