Saturday, March 22, 2014

Analysis of "I used to think everything was part of a larger conversation" by Weston Cutter

Original poem reprinted online here:  "I used to think everything was part of a larger conversation" by Weston Cutter
Originally read: August 28, 2013
More information about the Poet:  Weston Cutter



The line alignment and the content of the poem creates metaphors, general and personal, about disconnect.  But the poem is not only about disconnect and what's disconnected, the poem comes off also as an experiment to list as many disconnects as possible while, somewhat, staying on topic.

"but maybe there's only the boats / susurrating to the buoys + shore"  The first images go with the idea of boats and shore (as connected with the plus sign) and the distance is where the speaker can tell, "you're either from a where I now, a place / which kisses some lake too much / to call anything other than great,"  note the hard allusion to "great" as in "Great Lakes" which I'm not 100% positive that the allusion goes to, but my mind goes there versus, "or you're / hollow and hankering to be filled / in" Note here the personal is a continuing idea in both either/or ideals; however, with this there's the expectation of the other to "be filled" or to "be called."  And in a sense connect.

Then the ideas shifts (as the ideas of connectivity with: 

          how thing the myth of connectivity re 
     mains despite facebookery + www. 
          whatever.com yr even now telling yrself
     u won't waste such hours browsing.

Here's the funny things about these lines.  Sure, they could reference the language of the internet: short, condense, grammatically incorrect, but still understood, but look at techniques like, "yr" and "yrself" as though to hinder the idea of you just like the language of Robert Creeley and the Black Mountain School poets.  Why?  I don't know this as well, but I do note the decay of language structure could also be an homage to language structure -- much oh how this poem operates of both noticing the disconnect, but bringing something new to it.

The lines, though, continue on with the idea of being filled, "We all want to be filled in, all / hope we're the choicest blank form / yet devised."  Once again the allusion to technique, but also the self.

The second last use of the "+" sign occurs at this line, "Let's find fire + stand honest before it: at the Chinese diner where yes / terday"  the lines break off to start a narrative in which the speaker, "waited by the door / a box mark Lost and Founded" which plays with the language.  The disconnect here is a bit more subtle or very obvious.  I haven't decided yet.  Here the line break has a sense a play, but the key to me is "founded."  Obvious in a sense that there's a change here, but note the play between the past and the current based on expectation.  Lost and Found is both present.  Lost and Founded is both past.

Which is a phrase that continues on with, "lost and/or founded:"  and the colon indicating definition, "I used  / to think I knew what drinks to order / all my friends"  now we're going into the personal of the speaker, "what stories to tell to tug / them from the murk we all occasionally sink into, lately all I know is salt,"  here's the poem edges on sentimentality but when the speaker refers to the self understanding salt, not only does the speaker go inward, the content does as well.

"how sweat / can find a reservoir in any elbow, how tears / end wherever they've spent their viscosity."  Founded lines -- knowing where things go.

"let's build satisfied tongues with whatever's been / left here + let's say what we can."  The last "+" sign is used here and it seems almost desperate.  Here I would want to say is the "lost" couplet because there's less certainty here and more wanting something to happen.

It's not necessary to connect, it's more of the idea of acknowledging we're trying to conect.  

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