Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson was born in Oakland, California in 1944, and is generally associated with the West Coast Language poetry scene. He is the author of eight books of poetry and has served as Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego, since 1988.

His poetry often explores “the rift between the world and its representation in language” (Hoover) and thus tends towards the theoretical and self-referential.

However, as the poet CJ Morello says of Davidson’s work in his review of Bleed Through:

"While sometimes upending grammarians and often explicit about the pitfalls of language, a lyric relationship is still often present, if immaterial. […] Language poetry at its best seems to perform a collapse of the rules of its system for a user of the language. Davidson’s work is filled with such moments of open vulnerability before the operations of the various systems."

Davidson who recently became deaf, has also contributed criticism to the fields of disabilities studies and gender studies. His work, Concerto for the Left Hand (2008), explores impacts of disability through various artistic mediums, from literature to visual art and photography.

Links: (review of his 2013 collection Bleed Through)

My below poem was inspired by Davidson’s witty, self-reflective work in general and refers back to the copy text on a package of blu tack.

~ - ~

Economy pack

1000s of uses. Repositionable without
a stain. The nation’s favourite rhyme
is a great alternative to pins
and tape. Clean, safe and hugely
versatile. You can use iambic pentameter
at home, in your office or
at school for fixing cards and
posters, securing loose items and even
tricky jobs like cleaning dirt from
keyboards or fluff from your heart. The
uses of verse are as unlimited
as your imagination. Keep a collection
of poetry on your desk or
in your kitchen drawer – you never
know when you’ll need it again.

Recommendations and 
suggestions are for
guidance only, as conditions 
of use are completely
beyond our control.

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