What do we mean when we say a poem is a machine? Part 7: Dara Wier
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting individual short “essays” from a handful of poets responding to the question “What do we mean when we say a poem is a machine?” The first response is from Dara Wier:
How Can a Poem Be Like a Machine
It would need to be the kind of poem in which cause and effect is this poem’s primary or strongest characteristic.
From its inception: it would tend to be a poem conceived of curiosity as to how something or some things or some things and some ideas or ideas and some things and some weather, water, animals, atmosphere, extraterrestrial everything, more than one human more than one human more than the poet human who is writing the poem———as to how any of this is.
What is the difference between a metaphor and a transformation or a change or a combination—what is the difference between a suspension and a solution, this will help determine what kind of poem this poem will be.
This poem can be diagrammed, a mechanical drawing of this poem can be realized. It can reproduce what it makes up, it can reproduce itself, it can be reproduced in another location but in general it will still be quintessentially itself. (e.g. we humans may all have skeletons, yet since in general skeletons are not walking around without armors of viscera concealing them, individual skeletons are not often recognized except in special skeleton-specific circumstances) (at one time mechanical pencils would have been necessary for the examination of this poem)
Specs for this poem may be written down.
What’s written down is written down or written up and this will create the illusion that this poem has stopped moving, its motion will have been suspended.
But since, this is nothing but an illusion, nothing in existence ever stops moving, ever, moving is the equivalent of all there is, the essential quintessential everything omni all most and this poem is standing near a tiny area of this. Everything else exists so that motion has somewhere to be.