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R’s Boat

R’s Boat

Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 96
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  • Book Info
    R’s Boat
    Book Description:

    I wanted narrative to be a picture of distances ringed in purple. Then I wanted it to be electronic fields exempt from sentiment. Then I wanted it to be the patient elaboration of my senses. The boldly original Canadian poet Lisa Robertson has received high praise for the uncompromising intelligence and style of her poetry. In R's Boat, she brings us to the crossroads of poetry, theory, the body, and cultural criticism. These poems bring fresh vehemence to Robertson's ongoing examination of the changing shape of feminism, the male-dominated philosophical tradition, the daily forms of discourse, and the possibilities of language itself. Praise for Lisa Robertson'sThe Men:"InThe Men, as in much of her work, Robertson makes intellect seductive; only her poetry could turn swooning into a critical gesture."-Village Voice"Robertson writes both from within and against the tradition-splitting, seeding, and suturing the cracks in each ideational edifice. . . . Her occupations with past forms lead not to a backward-looking poetry but forward to a fresh field of inquiry, an imaginatively created utopia."-Boston Review

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94616-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vii])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [viii]-[ix])
  3. FACE
    (pp. 1-14)

    A man’s muteness runs through this riot that is my sentence.

    I am concerned here with the face and hands and snout.

    All surfaces stream dark circumstance of utterance.

    What can I escape?

    Am I also trying to return?

    Not the private bucket, not the 7,000 griefs in the bucket of each cold clammy word.

    But just as strongly I willed myself towards this neutrality.

    I have not loved enough or worked.

    What I want to do here is infiltrate sincerity.

    I must speak of what actually happens.

    Could it be terrible then?

    I find abstraction in monotony, only an...

    (pp. 15-24)

    The women is itself not a content

    It is an unwavering faith in the fictional

    Because they don’t exist

    This work was made under the auspices of opulence

    In incandescent occidental forest

    In soft pale-green medium-sized notebook

    (titled Many Notes Towards an Essay on Girls, Girlhood)

    In the coolness descending from trees at night

    Mainly I wanted to traverse a failure

    Then I wanted the phoneme to spread around me like a sea

    I walked beside the absence of

    Then one had encountered oneself by leaving

    And this posed the basis of a rhythm

    As for the theology of certainty...

    (pp. 25-34)

    You step from the bus into a sequencing tool that is moist and carries the scent of quince

    You move among the eight banner-like elements and continue to the edges of either an object or a convention

    And in Cascadia also

    As in the first line of a nursery rhyme

    Against cyclic hum of the heating apparatus

    You’re resinous with falsity

    It’s autumn

    Which might be tent-scented or plank-scented

    Their lands and goods, their budgets and gastronomy quicken

    You want to enter into the humility of limitations

    Coupled with exquisite excess

    You walk in the green park at twilight


  6. A CUFF
    (pp. 35-48)

    It is always the wrong linguistic moment

    So how can I speak of sex?

    One’s own places realism in doubt

    But now I want only the discretion of realism

    I can’t say it any more clearly than this

    Philosophers taught me a conversion narrative

    How the 4 elements change into each other by flattering

    I think of them or meet with them in reading

    On Oct. 2 showing their vanity and falsehood

    With the frontispiece of him in laurel-crown

    The room runs to swags

    And popular flower pornography

    The house amplifies the trembling as if its inhabitants are lodged in...

    (pp. 49-68)

    In the Spring of 1979

    Some images have meanings, and some have a change in soul, sex or century.

    Rain buckles into my mouth.

    If pressed to account for strangeness and resistance, I can’t.

    I’m speaking here for dogs and rusting ducts venting steam into rain.

    I wanted to study the ground, the soft ruins of paper and the rusting things.

    I discover a tenuous utopia made from steel, wooden chairs, glass, stone, metal bed frames, tapestry, bones, prosthetic legs, hair, shirt cuffs, nylon, plaster figurines, perfume bottles and keys.

    I am confusing art and decay.

    Elsewhere, fiction is an...

    (pp. 69-87)

    Though my object is history, not neutrality

    I am prepared to adhere to neither extreme

    That which can no longer be assumed in consciousness becomes insolvent

    Because it doesn’t finish I can be present

    So I decide to speak of myself, having witnessed sound go out

    Fear is not harmful, but illuminates the mouth

    I am not qualified to comment on the origins of the shapes

    The archive pivots on a complicity neither denial nor analysis can efface

    It is not true, it shines from your face

    Against the hot sun that hits us, nothing’s peace

    And pairs that cannot...

  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 88-88)