From: "michael helsem" 
Subject: book1
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 10:27:43 PDT
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Following is explain-prose about this poembook entitled "Moon River": One
could argue that the word 'poem' requires in Lojban that an audience for the
poem at least potentially exist. Or else one writes 'word arrangements'.
Likewise with poem-conventions. But i say it is not the case that genres of
poetry arise solely from either prototype-imitation, or the established
genres of an alien tradition. There is something in the relationship of a
language to the situation of its people in time, space, & necessity, that
creates & fulfills genre-potential. One might call it 'specific-image
hunger'. (This & this alone is the succeed-measure for an artist.) And it
will be those who recognize themselves in the mirror of this art, who
constitute the powerful new poetry audience.

"Language-Rose": Once it seemed that Durationness had lost the power of
procreation. Language crept along in a line-group like a onewide road full
of heavy trucks. It seemed like everything had finished being expressed,
even noiselessness. The amount of nation-languages was decreasing, & only
semi-language thrived. Morninglight & the smell of a mountain forest. JCB
asked, 'What do humans need? What is the cause of our troubles?' --No, it
wasn't like that. A child played on the banks of a lion-colored river, while
all around him were living stars fallen from the other-sky. We shall
celebrate the marriage of Strangeness & Clarity, but first there shall be
war in Heaven. Nothing is more strange to the human mind than logic, so the
Trickster gave JCB the spirit of straight lines to preside over his
invention. Nothing could be more needed or desired by the mass of
confused-ones, than clarity, so the Goddess of Understand-Explain gave JCB a
thick pile of explanation-paper. And it was good. And PrometheBob took the
language-fire & gave it to the people. And that was even better. We are
go-climbing out of the pit of Babel. We are singing the cough-song of a
place where the myth-smoke is most dense. We are calling for the joining of
Jokegod & Understand-Strong Goddess, & the only language that is not
perhaps, a Virus from Outer Space.

"The wind of the wing of Lojban-music": One had not yet spoken of the
mountains of Lojbanistan, or of their deep purple shadows. Of the animal
fast-ones & the plant slow-ones. Of the sky a color which no one elsewhere
has perceived. Of the cabbages & of the kings, & of the sorghum & of the
wise-vendors. Of the forgetters or rememberers or those who neither remember
nor forget Middle Lojban. Of the haiku & of the Drottkvaett. Of
word-arrangements & of poems about what is not yet expressed about
Lojbanistan. Of the stars & of star-goddesses. Of the earthquakes & of
butterflies that live forever. About the preceding, regardless of it, one
had not yet spoken about the seas.

"Teardrop Road": Event of neither fate nor the absence of fate, -sub-N.
Dissolver (alienation!). Morning drive of the pertaining-to-'Me Habit'
thing. Street-across shadows are the journey south, intermittently, with new
machine-noises. I weak-understand the emotion of returning to the same place
in the planet-route. Not memory but something more physical. Moment-intense
lightpain in the semi-conscious story-flow. --As-if collide
(fear!)!!(anger!) Utter: 'You God-opponent Driver!' And i resume going.

"Head Ransom": Rejoice! now that the textbook is done, O ye of Lojbanistan,
whether or not you speak the language.

"Blackbird Shadow": The mosquelike poem contains no pictures. The
poisonous-snakelike poem lies in wait. The old-carlike poem sometimes stops
working before the journey's end. The highest-fruitlike poem remains in the
sun. In a coffeehouse imaginary to me, i write & fail to describe it.

"The feeling of being free": In the result-of-removal all-nest, one doesn't
understand another. Green & ironic beverage kind of smell-memory
(familiarity!). (Strangeness:)[That sofa fire was a pseudo-event. Ask
something else of me, dear. Poem-audience tomato. Red, blue & green
soft-floor thingy (very strange!). Not that we are other-sky thingy walkers]
when on the verge of the thingy across-process during which (we) discuss the
Asiatic vegetable-shape, really.

"Y2K & This River": Unclean water whether empty or full. (Effort!) The long
ago me-sad one was like that. She was unhappy when chemical-without (strong
pity!). Or else cruel-powerful when chemical-with (intense-guilt!). For a
long time i would ask what earth-evil she was heir to, in the time before
two jointly-began. The last time (i) saw her was in a break from 'diving'
toward the usual place, & we (fear!) did-the-usual (not-her-anymore!).

"Beggars Can't be Choosers": The superfective leaf, yellow-green or
orange-red or red-brown, with what knowledge ceases to remain; & does this
knowledge bring an answer to the broken-thing in my hands? Or is it only a
stage in the process i already escaped? For the next to the last time, i
promise-utter. Break the broken. Magic-word meaning the end of hoping.

"Book Like I Used to Have": Barely i remember past awe, a 'moon shadow'. Do
you think this Coke left in the car still retains its Coke-ness, after a
couple of heatings to 120-plus?

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