Sunday, October 08, 2006

On Punning

Having reviewed, oh so briefly, Mullen's Recyclopedia for the University of Arizona Poetry Center's newsletter, I felt compelled to dip back into my old notebooks where I came across these jottings (some of them cited, some of them not) on the pun:

An ambidexterity. An excess of extra-intentionality. Meaning too, not meaning to. Ashbery’s notion of “ventilation” in response to what Michael Palmer calls “the fragility of signification.” Leaps of de-concentration. Begressions. Besemblances. The wrong that is more than right. Unsureity. A way to “live against" the diachronic. A coming alive in finitude. A "flowing focus." Hejinian–“an endless radiating of denotation into relation.” McHugh–“the glowing through.” Gaps, leaps, glances, flirtations askance. Torques. A way and away. A part and apart. In-stances. A whelter of slippages. Slidings. McHugh, again: “All is less and all is more, than is can say.” Predication. Postdication. Indication. Outdication. Again: “At a distance, something intimate (outimate) is being done. Over and over, inside a single human head, something far-reaching occurs. Something begins by ending, or ends. . .” Again and a gain. Re-expressions. Obstreporousness. Clandestiny. The play of surface (ahh, oh, um, uh-huh) over and against depth (love, self, world, body). McHugh again: “ . . . an enegery outbounding its visible materials, and referring through every -struction (in-, con-, de-, and decon-) to the uncontainable, that intuited spirit or gist or Geist we sense as living’s ungraspable essential.” Historection. Historindirection. Undecidability which is not indecision. At-onceness. Neither-nor-ness.

1 comment:

sue carnahan said...

Morgan, a quick read of your notes on puns reminded me of a time I was simultaneously fascinated and troubled by their use in poems. (Something harsh or cruel, something leering?) I want to revisit that reaction (I think I was reading Silliman, Bernstein, Scalapino), after I read your post more closely.