Kendra Steiner Editions

September 29, 2007

new chapbook OBJECTLESS (KSE #71) now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:31 am

Often I challenge myself, when studying an artwork in another medium (painting, sculpture, film, music, etc.), to understand its technique, the logic of its construction, and to find a way to adapt that logic to poetry. My modern retelling of the classical twelve labours of Hercules, TWELVE GATES TO THE CITY, was inspired by my understanding of Jean-Luc Godard’s amazing cinematic adaptation of KING LEAR. Among my recent poetry, LARKSPUR VARIATIONS was inspired by the technique of painter Francis Bacon, and NORWICH UNVEILED was inspired by the technique of painter Edward Hopper. The volumes in our “Creel Pone Sound Study Series” are influenced by the technique and structure of the electronic music compositions (released on the Creel Pone label) on which the particular volumes are based. As a longtime admirer of the ideas and work of Russian-Ukranian painter Kazimir Malevich, I thought about the challenge of creating a literary work that somehow reflected his aesthetic, rooted in color and form and texture, but not in representation, even abstract representation, of things. Of course, Gertrude Stein, Clark Coolidge, early Aram Saroyan, and others have investigated this in great depth in their own literary works, so I don’t claim that this is any original attempt–it’s only original for me, in the sense that I am using it as an aesthetic principle in my work, and my use of any aesthetic principle will create a different result from your use of it or anyone else’s use of it. That’s what makes life interesting!

I created a five-page work, each page with an evocative image (some are close-ups extracted from sections of the Berlin Wall, one is a close-up of a section of a late-night Berlin street during the cold war era, etc.), but not a picture of a discrete “thing.” I then tried to create on each page certain textures and moods, but limited myself by not using any nouns or pronouns (so you’ll know I’m using -ing words as participles, not as gerunds). And of course the way the image and the words are positioned on the page is also meant to function visually. Yet I feel that this work is still full of emotion and on some level it still has a “plot”, rising action, climax and resolution, etc. You be the judge.  Taking a word from Malevich, I call it OBJECTLESS. I hope readers find it interesting and worthwhile.

This will be a small-run edition (twenty-something copies), mostly distributed through Volcanic Tongue. I’ll have a few copies for sale here for the next week or two. I’d guess my copies will be sold out by October 10.

Our three regular releases for October, mentioned in the previous blog entry, are still planned for October 20. I’ll have some entries about those chapbooks over the next week or two, so please check back once or twice a week. As always, thank you for reading Kendra Steiner Editions chapbooks and this blog.

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