Added on by admin.

a series of fragments & notes about Chance, Fate, and Context by Dara Wier


Fear of Flowers


from Guillaume Apollinaire’s CALLIGRAMS

Your smile charms me the way

A flower charms me

Snapshot you are the brown mushrooms

~~~~~~~~~and also this line:

I know a sciomantic but I didn’t want him to interview my shadow.


Skeletons in the Closet


On one level we all know this stuff already—-it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables:  the skeleton of every great story.

- David Foster Wallace


echopraxia  (compulsive repetition of actions by someone else)

echolalia (compulsive repetition of words spoken by someone else)


maybe someone else might be yourself in a certain frame of mind

possibly more consideration of mirroring and synchronized behaviors

swimming, dancing, mugging, mirroring, modeling after, staying in synch, some dancing, marching, square dancing, contra-dancing (fear of), in unison, saying out loud the same words with a significant number of other people, congregating, & harmonizing


Errol Morris provides all this: (but I’m breaking it up into pieces)

In “A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive” (1843), John Stuart Mill quotes Thomas Hobbes (from “De Corpore,” 1655).

“A Name,” says Hobbes,

“is a word taken at pleasure to serve for a mark,

which may raise in our mind a thought

like to some thought we had before, and

which being pronounced to others, may be to them a sign

of what thought the speaker had before in his mind.”


…… a name is a mark that allows us to recall a former thought

……what do we do about

the endless beliefs and associations that piggyback on names? What role do they play? What purpose do they serve?


and then there are also those instances when one word blocks another word, one word puts a wall up between you and other words you know are there but you can’t see them or find them until that word that is standing in the way dissolves or disappears or becomes see-through enough to no longer be hiding that other word

whether this is an interference or a fortuitous additional

context, which often is the medium in which tone shows its hand,

will tell


it might be a worthwhile experiment to consider:

never saying and, even more difficult,, trying not to think:  this reminds me of……aiming one’s recognitions elsewhere

or more probably, more likely to be able to be set upon:  only saying and only thinking:  this reminds me of,

this might be another way to consider this human habit, to practice it so fervently it transmogrifies beyond its usual results  (and it will not be always grotesque)


(aside:  Sherwood Anderson’s WINESBURG, OHIO begins with and continues with and ends with some defining characteristics ofgrotesque:  something along the lines of:  when any human chooses to believe one thing and one thing only, what she believes and she herself, become grotesque)


why when one thing later in a poem (or prose) reminds us of something from the same poem, only earlier (a motif is coming into being, either a motif of sound or a motif of words or a motif of associational images and/or ideas…….a sequence of thoughts)


why this kind of action can be a convincing means by which to keep  my attention on what’s inside a poem instead of being reminded of something/anything that is outside the poem, even if the former is not always preferable to the latter

(I know, I know it is funny and odd and speculative to say that a poem has an inside and an outside); let’s say it does in this less than infinitely dimensional way, a pause, a scratch, a missed beat, a skip, a rhythmical stir, another sort of tangent, a tangent of another kind) (a temporary stay, an artificial pretending anything can be stopped) (for the sake of at least a lull in thinking’s continuing)


even if the latter is not always preferable to the former


any instance of something repeated in a poem or prose marks a split second use of our traditional time consciousness register: remembering

when recognition ignites:  anything repeated– memory recalls its appearance

prior to its subsequent appearance, this helps encourage me to feel as if my

mind is engaged with what I’m reading, while working in one of the tens of

thousands of ways minds do, in this case, any mind’s recognition via an act

of memory (or recall)


maybe we couldn’t have a single next thought were we unable to practice acts of recall, maybe music would be unintelligible to us…..

(and we do have an almost sub-sub conscious recall of what any word is saying, it would be a much more sluggish world did we not)


when does a digression cease to be a digression and what sort of chain reaction seems involved in this

(see Fischli & Weiss:  THE WAY THINGS GO)  (in which very little is randomly arranged)


random arrangements?


very popular contemporary use of pivot,

it puts a positive spin on a change in one’s anticipated course of direction, because it is sport derived there is a more gaming strategic hint in its

delivery & reception, direction and suggestion


I’m asked to say something about turns and swerves in poetry.  Pivots will work out with other nuances implied in each case… has to see how things play out, what comes along, who takes up what is up, and to where does she take it


change my mind, and a changing mind’s turning, twists, skips, bumps, pauses, rushes, directions, and course of action




a word that’s offered (by Arthur Koestler by way of  Jeremy Millar), is

bisociated which I guess suggests there can be permutations to that word as needed, trisociated, octosociated, quasociated,  omnisociated, which refer to what happens when a spectator’s mind is understood to be actively, freely, involved:

while his intellect is capable of swiftly oscillating from one matrix to the other and back his emotions are incapable of following these acrobatic turns; they are spilled in the gutters of laughter as soup is spilled on a rocking ship



Dara Wier is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Selected Poems, Remnants of HannahReverse Rapture, and Hat on a Pond. She teaches in the University of Massachusetts MFA Program for Poets and Writers. Her awards include the Poetry Center and Archives Book of the Year Award, a Pushcart Prize, the American Poetry Review’s Jerome Shestack Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She edits Factory Hollow Press. Visit her author page at Wave Books or read an interview.