John Kinsella-Graphing The Tremors Of Narrative

John Kinsella

Graphing The Tremors Of Narrative
	a second poem for Lyn Hejinian

most tremors go undetected other than on seismographic equipment
the tremors of speech hesistate, the glottal stop drops beyond  comparatives:
the ruptured narrative sheers the palate & compresses the tongue's surface. 
in the tremor, sound-byte
on graph-paper she writes each letter
to a double millimetre at all angles
the word-plates shifting: words don't tolerate
unless through redefining surface. i.e. the epicentre
lies above the focus & you editing a (recorded)
disaster: word-cutting with tape as hyphen
& this the system. Patronizing, this capturing
of folksy rhythms out in the country, or at the academy

with Ivor Winters & his "dogma that once material
becomes words it is its own best form" for Blackmur's
	nothin' on Frost &
that's the rub (langue & parole)! cutting a word kills
the need for hyphen, and each square within the page's
definition doubles up as tool or meaning: measuring our intention,
our need for language. in the splicing we track down slowly 
perfect point which as it happens will be exact: that in-breath
murmur taking over & you can't even tell it's not how 
you'd spoken or might in future or given the chance again
choose to speak: the in-breath taking over as you illustrate -
the hungry gunman who'll stop at nothing or tattoo guns
never stopping - that keeps the ritual going (a tin-shack
on the city's outskirts, the tremors not even leading
to a jump in syntax & the sentence holding up despite
by-laws - the possessive [which is not the object] objecting,
the subject escaping before the ground opens up in full

sense-around & swallows): on the faultline the gutteral
sounds are mesmeric: the internal dialogue of structures,
the stone columns that hold the surface between utopias.
the magnet is metonymic, though tremors in the field
must be metaphoric. the gunman might shoot you 
& you being there coincidentally at the time might simply
be substitution for a victim that should be the one who refuses
to hand across the money without a fuss, whereas you're
just out to do the shopping or looking dreamily into the window
at something that's taken your fancy. "your" being there is symbolic.
though the media don't speak in metaphors. they need contexture.
the tremors of your dislocated day flow this way with 
	fluidity & resonance.
the fragments of the shattered city (gunshot breaks 
the glass) retain form when (re-) built on graph paper.
each editor has a language to describe the processes of their work.
each tremor is a fragment of production, the re-shaping of an 

	utterance. if you read 
the nineteen eleven edition of Britannica the Thylacine is not 
extinct nor would its editors without knowing the characters
of Tasmanians have guessed that within twenty five years
it would be "it once" or "was": the tense changes within the 
	narrative. ad infinitum.
Yes, I would also like to wonder from which home Patty Hearst
was snatched but cannot pre- or suggest the narrative. the words
hang on the graph's fault lines: within the walk from Wheatlands
to Needlings there are infinite points of potent(ial) stop-over
though we can't stop at all of them. let's highlight splits 
in the land, points where the '69 quake broke free its focus 
& snaked out through the wastelands, shattering salt growths, 
sending showers of hot crystals towards the clouds like luminous
rain, forming gulleys along the path of rupture. these gulleys
	the burst veins 
of all that get in the way of the gunman as he ties

the disparate fragments of the poem together.
as I sell out to your voice & your voice only an electrical storm
suggests there is a link between all natural phenomena. that we
scrutinize the essence of this & label our acceptance of disaster
as a priori. I knew before you this storm-over-the-river
would strike hard & be less specific - you can't guess where
the next fork will strike but certain places are more likely -
conductors are impatient & will attract our attention, just as
goading that gunman will take a future scene to the casualty room 
	or cemetery. indulgent
this graph as it twists on the drums. that you said graphologically
"I perceive the world as vast & overwhelming", somewhere
cadavers {our gunmen's victims} will give-up their organs 
	like libations, the hands 
that take them struck tremulous, removed in sequence. 

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