Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rupert M. Loydell, POETRY IS RADAR

                                              Radar, image by Rupert M. Loydell 

for A.C. Evans

Poetry is radar and I am off the map.
History was a stretch of wall running from
source to estuary, crossing the boundaries
between public and private spheres,
the restricted vectors of media outlets.

The inhabitants of the square erupted
in applause at images of bombs dropping
into the airshaft, destroying the archaeology
of knowledge along with the newspaper stand.
Former meaning went silent and cold.

Panoptic spaces work best in panoptic time,
they affect the whole system, whether
you like it or not. The interesting questions
are these: Are there new ways of playing
the role of the engaged intellectual poet?

Is refusal a turning away from our strange
fascination with watching and listening to stories?
Contradictory answers or refusal to respond
might be classed as insolence or insubordination.
Let us linger in the cold embrace of computers

and the dazzle of freely improvised fictions,
before travelling to ambiguity and vacillation
in the application of narrative law, bursting forth
with a flood of posters, meetings and publications.
Geography is virtual, literature is dead, poetry

is radar and that does not permit a simple
juxtaposition of interests or independence
of the working class. Do poets work? I hope
not. The enchanted world of literature, text
and storytelling exists despite itself. We name,

define, index and narrate, try to interfere
with the flow of information, gaze into mirrors
at a false and dangerous image of ourselves.
A hundred flowers bloomed, a thousand lovers
sighed; we lost our identities in the process

and critical information in the mix. Confronted
by questions and small green blips on the screen
we must follow the flow of information and power.
Perhaps it is time to construct a discourse,
time to experiment and be held responsible?

Readers uninterested in abstract or speculative
modes of writing about the event may want
to skip this poem and meet me later in the pub.
The logistics of perception exist only to present
the sublime, come with a built in point-of-view

and a small instruction manual; poetry and stories
exist only to render human what has become
inhuman. Whilst we cannot grasp the unknown,
we can connect to the sudden guest appearances
of language in our world, the autodestruction

of faith as it is replaced with a positive feedback
loop that will propel us through our own limits
into life’s muddy depths. We must no longer seek
equilibrium, must improvise out of time and space,
learn to embrace the everyday logic of events.

© Rupert M Loydell