19 October 2012

Peril As Architectural Enrichment // Poetry Walk

Hazel White and Denise Newman are leading a poetry walk through their collaborative "Botanica Recognita: Signs to Facilitate a Greeting" this Saturday morning at 10:30 AM at the UC Botanical Garden, in Strawberry Canyon, Berkeley. You can learn more about the event here.

This announcement reminds me that I still haven't posted excerpts from White's excellent Peril as Architectural Enrichment, one of my favorite books from last year. Take a look at some of the following stanzas from the poem "Truant" and pick the volume up from
Kelsey Street asap: 


The canopy of a tree, say a poplar, like a round house, removes the site of vulnerabilitythe obvious entrance and back with no protection.

Privacy can creep about in the leaves and below them, hang here as lungs on the outside.

Isometrics will show the interior corridors, ways to habituate oneself to curvature.

To take a house up on stilts also, above that first tall leap that allows a beast into the tree and onto her.


The eye and then the heart give themselves over to a soft bowl. A way of opening wings without pain: reveal a broad, assertive breast (keep legs forward and away) and uncurl musculature by patching with feverfew daises that branch and rebranch into plenty.

Self-sprung sets the story on the move again. Arms wide. For example, she, by chance, was seen kissing him.


A plan libre is its openings, though the cone of vision is achieved through abandonment. Le Corbusier's structures, for example, reveal unusually generous, I'd say harrowing, transparency. Just how safe is it to leave a female figure in an open space?

The distinction between her plight and the farm architecture is crisp. It lodges in her throat. She surrenders the back of herself.

A long vista weakening the space behind the eye.

Panorama, equal to exile. Absurd therefore to nest here.

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