This Old Poem #72:
Diane Glancy’s Primer Of The Obsolete
Copyright © by Dan Schneider, 11/7/03
Diane Glancy is another of
Minnesota’s Academic scree. A woman lacking in any real writing talent, she has
scraped together a decent teaching career, nonetheless. & she is a nice
enough woman, BUT why, oh, why does she feel that makes her a writer? Here’s
Diane Glancy was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother of English
and German descent and to a father of Cherokee descent. She has written numerous
works across a wide range of genres, including Brown Wolf Leaves the Res and
Other Poems (1984); Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears (1996);
War Cries, a collection of one- and two-act plays (1997); and The
West Pole, a series of vignettes (1997). Through her writing, Glancy seeks
to recover and preserve her "displaced part-Indian, part-white,
mixed-message heritage." She has received many awards and honors, including
the American Book Award and the Native American Prose Award for her first
collection of essays, Claiming Breath (1992). Diane Glancy received her
Master's degree from Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma and her Master
of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. She is currently
Assistant Professor in the English Department at Macalester College in St. Paul,
Minnesota, where she teaches courses in creative writing and Native American
Jut a word
into the silence
hardly anyone notices
the corner room
a blue piece of wall
the sausage on a plate
as if looking for an airport.
It was not the same sound running over us
heard until we could not think.
My wife (meal maker for me) a-g(w')-s-ta'-yv-hv-s-gi'
sweet potatoes se'lu ga'-du
pumpkin pie nu:-n(a)-ni'nu-hi'd(a).
It was a wave sort.
A nothing at the rim.
A something at the core.
A switch from being watched.
What is this poem about? ‘Self-discovery’- I am unique! All those
wonderful platitudes that are so intellectually unchallenging that they lay dead
on the plate for any PC Elitist to chew on until mushy. At least half a dozen
clichés- & this time I’m not even underlining them for you. They should
be manifest to your tutored eyes. Then there are the PC clichéd tropes- the
phonetic breakdown of non-English words, the descent into wordliness itself,
& the banal attempts to append some deep idea to it all. What is obsolete?
Nothing definite- or everything. Don’t you love it when bad art flaunts its
lack of meaning as a sign that it can mean anything? Perhaps she is slyly
commenting that this ‘Postmodern’ technique is obsolete? No such luck, for
DG’s verse is far too earnest to be tricky. Where are the markers to support
an assertion like that? There are none.
A blue piece of wall.
Not the same.
running over us.
No, I have not transmogrified this into Leda And The Swan. But the trite narrative is gone, & the poem can be read as lines which reflect the title, or build upon another- a de facto imagistic narrative- 1 which could be playing off the titular word ‘obsolete’. &- oh, no more. I know even this brief toothcombing is deemed damnable to DG & her ilk. Instead, let me leave you with this little edifying snippet from DG’s own pen:
“' Eee ay who tow' is about the jumbled way the world looks to someone who is not familiar with it--or born into it. It's the way I look at the English language. The wonderment of its variety and variables--the exciting 'misreadings' of it. Hosanna, for example, is also rendered, annosoh, sohanna and nasohna. The same is true of ansonal. . . It is simply the misrepresentation of arsenal. . . Words are tied down to their basic structures but free to roam and sometimes transmute to other forms". . . "Yet I am left standing with a kernel of joy in my hand. It is to yodel and inhabit even for a brief moment that space between the octave jump as we are thrown from one sphere to another” (last quote from Glancy's essay "Part II in an Essay in Which There is Really No Part I.")
This is so deep, eh?
Final Score: (1-100):
Diane Glancy’s Primer Of The Obsolete:
TOP’s Primer Of The Obsolete: 62
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