Monday, April 24, 2006

Day Eight

When my advisor Wayne Koestenbaum suggested that I should add some texts by John Cage to my lists, I reflexively came up with some sort of excuse for why I hadn't in the first place - I had thought about him, of course - he was influential on so many of the poets I'm reading. But I suppose I thought of him foremost as a composer, and that's what I told Wayne: I was trying to stick to poets. Of course, John Cage wrote poetry, so I have to admit he was a poet. So I ordered A Year From Monday and today it came in the mail, a paperback edition from 1969 containing poetry and essays that are hard to tell apart. I am convinced, Wayne. I haven't read all of it yet, but I want to: some of it collage of text from various sources, some of it beautifully surreal prose poems, some of it "diaries" of random eloquent thoughts, some hand-written notes. In the introduction he announces that he is basically done being a composer, which after all simply involves telling other people what to do. Now he is more interested in improving the world. One of my favourites bits, though, is the dedication, which reads: "To us and all those who hate us, that the U.S.A. may become just another part of the world, no more, no less."


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