The Cleave Poetry Webzine [ISSN: 1758-9223]

Archive for October 7th, 2008|Daily archive page

Dennis Kelly’s further thoughts on Cleave poetics

In discussion, submission on October 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm

CLEAVE POETICS For Phuoc-Tan, Diana, Laurie and Jennifer


How to write a Cleave poem?

Write the horizontal poem first.

Cleave the poem into 2 vertical poems.

Cleave with hyphens—using your intuition.

The vertical poems are the zen payoff.

They’ll read choppy somewhat but intelligent.

The gestalt one feels is unique because it’s yours.

It’s your horizontal poem to begin with.

But the 2 vertical poems are spontaneous.

Like Mac Low’s diastic impromptu method.

Except the cleave method is quicker.

It’s more spontaneous and otherworldly.

Because it’s you confronting your double.

Your poetic doppelganger in the NOW.

The left hand & right hand poems are one.

They’re not discrete poems.

They’re the surprise Bingo that happens.

The left and right poems aren’t stitched together.

Hunting and picking for combos that fit…

Cleaving one poem into two—that’s the trick.

Not stitching two poems into one.

What I want is surprise, joy and wonder.

My way gives the poet a double-whammy.

Cleave collaboration for me is Translation.

Translating Pound’s Personae, for example.

Pound put his Anthology poems together for a reason.

They were his Imagist Manifesto.

He jump-started the Modernist Movement.

Eliot and Joyce did too. The three of them.

With Personae, The Waste Land and Ulysses.

But Pound did it somewhat differently.

Thru small discrete poems—rather than Long Poems.

The Waste Land = Long Elegy

Ulysses = Long Love Lyric Irish Fairy Tale

Pound wanted to embrace & extend the Past.

Eliot and Joyce as well… each did it differently.

Personae (1926) was Pound’s American Tree (Silliman).

LangPo Poetry grew once Silliman’s Anthology (1986) came out.

Personae is a thin little volume—an easy read.

The American Tree is thick—many machines on Ix.

Better than those on Richese?

How to start a Cleave Movement?

Call it CloPo or maybe CleavePo?

How about an Anthology?

An Anthology is like a Baseball Park.

Build it—and they will come.







now—my little cleaves

let us—speak perfection


let us—elegantly

tell—our little story


—based on “Salvationists”

Ezra Pound’s Personae (1926)






(“Come, my songs,

let us speak of perfection—

We shall get ourselves

rather disliked.”)


Now let us show—let us tell.

Let our little cleaves speak perfection.

Simplicity—elegantly telling a story.

Each story—extemporaneous.

Each story—impromptu.

Each story—imbued with ad lib.

Each story—ours to show & tell.


dennis kelly 9/23/2008

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