Alec Finlay, I Know A Poem

Pamphlet review by Laura Steele

Alec Finlay composes this poem from seven memories of Creeley's I Know A Man, a soft memorial traced on the page.

As I said
as I sd to my
As I sd, to my friend
as I sd to my friend John
As I sd to my friend John
i sd
So I said to my friend John
If we know the Creeley poem by heart, we come to unknow it as we read these rememberings, rather as tracing out a map of the world, from memory alone, will show embodied knowledge. The closeness to I Know A Man is a form of love, seven variations. The rememberers are Thomas Evans, Brian Kim Stefans, Tom Raworth, Andrew Schelling, Harry Gilonis, David Connearn and Bob Arnold. Kenny Goldsmith is quoted as remembering Creeley's punctuation scheme (thirteen commas, two dashes, one full stop & an ampersand).

& why not
and why not buy
why not buy a
buy a goddamn
why not get a goddamn
goddam big car and
big car &
buy a goddamn big car –
big car,
a goddam big car
lets get a goddammed big car and

However authorial style gets onto the page, it's re-styled in a reader's subsequent memory, so in Finlay's homage we read these variations which are a multiplying of Creeley's style.

[2004 · 4pp · £1.50 · Gargoyle Editions.]

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