The Hermit by Lucy Ives

$17.95 The Song Cave

It might be that I am drawn to the subversion of traceable narrative, or to fractured consciousness, or simply to assembled chunks of quirky information and imagery, but The Hermit is my kind of book. Eighty numbered entries comprise a poet’s bedazzled journal—of the gifted primary-school kind—in which the rug is repeatedly whacked in search of artistic, semantic, and personal significance. Is there practical meaning in acute awareness, in dream retention, in isolated conversation, in stray thought? Do they “do work”? These questions are asked implicitly through weaving and winnowing. Ives delivers a deconstructionist’s log, smartly charting the scenarios that can/might lead to future creation (yours or hers), with lists, quotes, fragments, directives, aphorisms, observations, memories, and verse. The Hermit could be breezed through and thoroughly enjoyed for its idiosyncrasies, but it’s more likely the (work)book you carry with you for weeks, to take out and pull apart one passage at a time.

* * *

Desire counterfeits time, is the voice of narration, of narrative (= promised emancipation). I write, inconclusively, “All culminating in the image of a dwelling: It indicates a secret life. Since all of writing is devoted to the question of unremembered pleasure. . .”

Because the question is, generally, what it may mean that this is happening (to someone)—while, for a certain woman I know, it remains, peculiarly, a question of what is happening, by which I mean, what or which thing (indeed, which life) “it” is.

On Sunday, after our interview, sitting with Sam, there isn’t a quality of being with him, rather only of being with oneself (of being oneself) in his presence.

I have always wished to recover from a certain amnesia. It is not exactly my own (does not represent a “loss” in my “personality”), nor is it the same thing as forgetting.

Just as purchased goods can never “turn around” to bestow value on the currency that has communicated them. . .

A poem:

In the garden, the words bowed their heads;
They folded in half, moved
As if I had thrown something from my hand
To the base of the illuminated column,
And it caught there and disappeared below the surface
Like a coin fed back into the earth.

A dream: A night goes on for years. One must make use of public transportation in order to cross it. Then: discomfort of daybreak, though perhaps over the course of months; fatigue of brightness.

Description is just a series of tricks about recognition?

Posted by Alexander