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Orlando


SAY EITHER



  you look               you look
  into the shadow of me  into the shadow of me
  the casting of         the cast of two
  my binary folds        kissing the screen

  my words purl          plain text plain text
  clicking together      stitching time
  i like kissing         you like kissing
  my lips are crazed     my body writes
  parting                with a flourish

  i like tomato          you like tomato
  i like your sweater    you like it so
  i search               your history
  your attic gaze        ferments the text
  your smile             disarms me
  without you            i am nothing



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<reading name="One">
I'm damned sure no reply of mine would "validate" this poem, or any other - but here's how I read it:

It's one of those parallel poems, where you can read across or down, or indeed between: having said that, it's a bit short to get much more than a taste of the echoes and complexities which that process can generate. But there are some nice snappy echoes (i like tomato // you like tomato) and the balanced knitting needles of plain vs purl give it that "commissioned by the list" feel. There's just enough the unexpected ("attic gaze") and the ambiguous to stop it getting too neat and exercise-like, and sustain you through the reading of it - but is it enough to make you re-read it? It's light, any potential tensions of the last lines being dissipated over the structure - but I like light, so I say: publish it.

</reading>


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<reading name="Two">
Ah, to be in vaudeville again, backstage watching the twins do the two-step for the cornpone crowd, lexicons polished in what was that idiom. But they were my sisters and I loved them dearly turning before the mirror, molars gleaming. How to refuse a purl for a purl? Impossible, it seems, an attic gaze would be locked away, like the last and maybe the last two pairs ought to be, those pearls, such wisdom teeth. Floss. But in the discourse of tomatoes scrubbing skin makes water. Plane text plane text. Such sweet simplicity I am all unbuckled, frankly pickled. There was an address: matched. Deviant not to be a ditty's little bitty. Hard to find a thrill on Blueberry Hill when Blueberry Hill is covered with blueberries. I recommend it nevertheless. I recommend it nevertheless.

</reading>


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<reading name="Three">
Title 'say either' and the structure seem to* offer the reader a choice of readings, vertical (first one column then the other) and horizontal (the whole line). Read 'vertically' it is effective, though I feel the two columns need each other and can't stand alone, and furthermore that this is vital. Read 'horizontally' an important tension is created between the two versions, but there are a couple of lines that falter: I like your sweater you like it so, the repeating lines Use of uninitialized value in concatenation (.) or string at E:\listplex\SYSTEM\SCRIPTS\filearea.cgi line 455, line 191. (except for the tomato!)

Seems to me however that it falls short. Things are suggested, but are taken no further: ideas like your history fermenting the text, the clicking of the keys knitting the text, (what does knitting sound like, does it echo here?), the text as garment(?!) could be expanded. They certainly sparked, but I felt afterwards (at the time?) that I was reading too much of myself in. That always happens but I wanted more.

<metacritical>
This pURL project seems important in that it provides for a structured way of commenting on and discussing work, something lacking on the list...though some post work , there is rarely comment. So, I recommend this for publication.

Itīs a mirrorball, flashing in all directions, setting up lots of little echoes.

It would be interesting to hear it read. Any chance of this John?

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<!-- Administrator's reply: Not unless the author supplies the sound -->
<!-- file. If he wants to do this then, yes -- on the Web site.      -->
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</metacritical>

</reading>


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