Friday, March 20, 2009

Tim Fletcher's "Icons fastened"

This is from the Great Works site:

Icons fastened

icons fastened
in our shadows
are alienated
collapse and re-configure

bodies broken on rocks
emit flights of diaphanous wings

armoured plating beaten into tectonic mirrors
cannot encase the ferment
that rips seeps out
melting steel into new reflections

we have wilfully honed and marshalled
have hunted desolation to slip from venerable strictures

but we are captivated by the iniquity
of labelling the inconstant so that we can enter the eternal

there is much exaltation in the purity of the self-contained
but opulence escapes without the perception and reverie
of the magician's crucible

organic gestalt or schizoid meltdown
both entwine in infinite venom and mutuality

I assume I am my own
therefore I am

from out of my damnation flows iconic hubris


Two reviews, just to show I have an open, albeit cloudy, mind:

1) I don't know how icons can be tied to "shadows". I know that poetic license is like crack to one with floating mind flotsam, but I can't draw any parallels here. I can't even "transcend" metaphor to see this as deeper identification. And what about that "our", those "we"s. Perhaps my biggest peeve in current verse is this phony-holy group profundity, the first person plural presumption, elevating banalities into universal experience by bogus "I can relate to that!" authority.

Can anyone see anything here? Four concrete nouns I counted, on a reread. They're thrown in as general objects in an abstract gumbo. Context? Your guess is as good as mine, or as good as the next person, or anyone. Something dark and IMPORTANT, though, no doubt, since "we" have those reverent words: "iniquity", "eternal", "exaltation", "purity", "gestalt", "captivated", "diaphanous". Speaking of diaphanous, "flights of diaphanous wings" seems both redundant and cliched, and the cliche can't be excused by irony since, whatever the tone imparted, irony isn't among the top options.

2) This brave poem fearlessly rips through the self-deceptions we all experience, and compassionately presents us the "diaphanous wings" of our best hopes and wishes. The author acknowledges our failures, but reassures us that "venom and mutuality" coexist, and can only be faced, equally, with precision and lucidity, in order to free us of unearned paradise on our one hand of the Father, or spiralling furnace-stokerdom on the Debbill's horn of dilemma-dipping frenzy.


"Iconic hubris", did the man say?

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