The Radiant Geometry Of Scribble

December 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm | Posted in memoirs, writing | 18 Comments

I have dozens of notebooks, journals, manilla folders, even old-school photocopies stapled together and given away in the mid-80’s when post-punk was its own language. I’m writing this in a notebook grabbed randomly on which the facing page is the word Tao in a circle and an arrow pointing to the old man with the hat on engaged in an elegant swirl around his cane, Sir Ian, and then through to Mr Ponderous who delineates and pontificates to the n’th degree of resolution.

It all became so self-referential. I couldn’t write a novel about one scene. It had been done Robbe-Grillet style and undone when F. appeared and declared that there is no honour in victory only in struggle. The effect is revolution. Turn over, my darling.

Picasso was an immaculate draughtsman before he was a Cubist so I practiced my grammar, recapitalising the ‘I’ and using ‘one’ as in one may assume? Explored your consent to my manipulations of the roots of language and gloried in my power.

Found at the centre Matsuo Basho, giggling over a still pond thinking about frogs and the sound they make when they land, haha, kerplunk, each moment eternal.

Sketched you in Morocco
standing naked hips tilted,
at the window in the morning
thinking about breakfast.


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  1. me too, old sketchbooks, grids & graphologies. lovely tone i guess is a good way of saying it-halfway or so through something struck me funny, laughed but not sure why ha ha evn tho i dont know what the R-G style might be
    it doesnt matter (much i hope) since this is a lovely poem or rather experience in reading w or w/o
    but it must be cool w – i wasnt gonna google it but maybe…nah
    you do such beautiful work, thanks
    Your welcome, Tipota. Here is why Alain Robbe-Grillet,
    “His writing style has been described as “realist” or “phenomenological” (in the Heideggerian sense) or “a theory of pure surface.” Methodical, geometric, and often repetitive descriptions of objects replace the psychology and interiority of the character. Instead, one slowly pieces together the story and the emotional experience in the repetition of descriptions, the attention to odd details, and the breaks in repetitions. Ironically, this method resembles the experience of psychoanalysis in which the deeper unconscious meanings are contained in the flow and disruptions of free associations. Timelines and plots are fractured and the resulting novel resembles the literary equivalent of a cubist painting. Yet his work is ultimately characterised by its ability to mean many things to many different people.” (from the mighty Wiki.)

  2. I remember your scrawl from QED when you first blogged it… if I remember correctly, there were some sums and a phone number or two littered about. These pages though, I would very much like to see. Does every poet doodle? I doodle and many do at the corner where we meet, so maybe it’s all part and parcel? Hmmmm… I love every word of this and the little insight within the big picture. It is beautiful.

  3. Brilliant writing. Did you know that Picasso also wrote poetry, and considered himself a failed poet? I’ll see if I can find any and post a link but his writing style was very similar to his fragmented cubism.

  4. i doodle on the bindings of my journals and manillas. and then later on i’ll come back and make something out of the abstract doodles. i’ll suddently see a whale in the scribbles or a mermaid. funny they are always sea creatures it seems. you are a fascinating writer and i’m always scratching at the surface of your puzzles.

  5. So many profound reflections ending with the concreteness of a described Haiku and then an actual Squires-Haiku, so beautiful in its sensual specificity, the curve of the hip. You don’t need to write a novel of one scene. You write prose poems each containing infinite scenes. Ah, the notebooks. I’ve been meaning to get to those.

  6. fascinating (rhythm da dah dee da dah

  7. “turn over, my darling”

    the page of course

    i have never been able to doodle or scribble just harsh hash marks at times jagged marks of time

    or swirls…elaborate doubling back

    that was when i was restricted from reading…yes that’s right, they took away my books i wasn’t allowed to read or write except what was required by school

  8. What a picture to go with down the road. I’m off to visit family, but figured on one more stop around my neighborhood and bam…

    …blown away by the wind caressing a beautiful woman in the desert as the sun rises… blasted in the eye by a sketch with more dimensions that lines.

    I’m on my way but this will hang with me all day. I’ll smoke one in your honor when I get to my sister’s house.

    Peace out, sir. Have a great holiday season.

  9. Just a quick driveby, Paul, to wish you and yours a very joyfilled holiday! PEACE on earth…and to all the earthlings 😉

  10. i just stopped by to second grace, paul – have a great holiday and i hope that whatever libations you prefer are in ample supply. cheers!

  11. I suppose it takes a while to develop your own style.
    And I gues you have to understand the principles of rules before you write your own.

  12. One may wish for one’s loved ‘one’ to have a delicious breakfast, and then another may find fun in leaving behind a puzzle of clues leading to some much needed nourishment. Of course, the more exciting the puzzle, the more fun they might have. But then the whole concept becomes a balance between how hungry the other person really is, and depending upon that, a comic element very rapidly converges into a tragedy.

  13. And, of course, I third Grace!

    May this holiday season bring a new light for everyone’s alighted darknesses.

  14. I am not much of a doodler but I do like to gaze into ponds and imagine frogs – or princes who are frogs! Have a great New Year!!!

  15. this is gorgeous … and then a picture painting a thousand words type pause (on account of there being no ends)

    i love that revolution line as well … i took it as turning self over … r/evolve …

    the connection between Basho and the image that is your poem is superbly done and made my heart smile hugely … beauty is as is as is ….

  16. window, morning
    (The two words are visually reflective.)

  17. Lovely, I’m in the kitchen drinking coffee now…lots of space for the reader. I’m enjoying finding poetry on the web that’s as wonderful as any I’ve read in the nicely bound books on my shelves…the muses with their hair unbound.

    Thank you,

  18. i too have an inexplicable preference to victory in struggle, for notebooks and books, for words, written and held, but it is becoming the old way now 😦

    beautifully rendition of where do you want to be and how long…

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