fragments III

Beech Forest in Switzerland
Ivan Shishkin

There is some glory left in the fragmentary: it requires entirety and demands plenitude. Unlike the poem, which exists only in the fullness of itself, the fragmentary cannot overspill nor wound in outburst. It is a slow, percolated humiliation. It is not the Art of the Perpetual, but a manner of deconstructing the frigidity of this former form. A fragment cannot extend itself into infinity; it cannot reach all dimensions of a self it comes in contact with; it cannot kill nor turn living some sapling of aesthetic. There is no sense in the fragment but the limits of its architecture, and that palisade is the structural blade that further fragments, like a trauma, like an issue, like some uncurated motion of desistance, beyond the temperance of exaltation, beyond the exception of feeling. To say the fragmentary is “just words” is to define the fragmentary fully. The fragments exhibit the justice that poems can only dream of; the justice poems seldom dream of, because there is no justice in the realms of the full, only tolerance.


Published by João-Maria

A tick clinging to the bristles of a purple boar.

27 thoughts on “fragments III

      1. You’re very welcome
        You rightly say that the world can be overwhelming adding that “making sense isn’t always everything”. I put these words in speech marks to emphasise their utter truth.
        This universal timeless truth escapes many folk and they can mightily struggle because of not knowing this to their very core. It’s a marvellous blessing to know this.

        Looking outwards at what is seeable is a gift; loosing oneself in nature or the arts is a great release and a freedom. It’s available to all, be it physically or though pictures or one’s own imagination. The more one enters this reality the more adept at it one grows. There’s nothing better for example than a slow jog at night in the mists, or a stroll along clifftops at dawn. Even gazing at a photograph can take one there in my experience. It’s any of life’s gifts that in their own way assuage our yearning to make sense of things.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. oh, think i’m fine, thank you. pushing some paint around, dozing, podcasts, eating and trying to find the energy to put the sheep in the pen! sorry, i mean the pen on the sheet! nowt too taxing 🙂

        die schönsten tage sind die nachte?

        be careful with that wrecked angle, joão-maria!


        Liked by 1 person

  1. Joao-Maria, I enjoyed the very beautiful words and phrases in these fragments. I found #328, ” Nobody knows how to want the worldly/least of all/do we know how to lack it,” especially relatable. The photo of the beech woods is gorgeous!

    I hope all is well with you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it? I didn’t know Ivan Shishkin at all, which is absurd if we consider how attuned he is to my own aesthetic sensibilities. I got to know him on Twitter, which is absolutely eldritch. To be taught by a social app. I wouldn’t exaggerate if I were to say he is my new obsession.
      That one you picked is the one I’m fondest of as well. Thank you so much for reading me, Cheryl, and I do hope the flames of your country settle and you can sense peace of more. My kindest thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Like Light, I go into the irreducible, vibrating dark, without the sense of going. The precedence of the verb has found rejection in me.”
    These words, subtle and simple, resonate so deeply. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Joao-Maria, I was captured by your remark to a comment, “Making sense isn’t always everything.” I’m finding it very difficult not to make sense when I write. Whatever I do, verbs end up having subjects and objects and make sense. What I call abstract poetry like Stevens or Hart Crane is equally difficult for me to read or write. An art form you express so deftly and yet I can find a meaning no matter how disjunct from my own sense and sensibility. I think you’re either on a cutting edge of letters or solidly in the heart. I await your next composition. This comment is intended as complimentary. Dave

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, David. Your support truly warms me, though I’ve been having such a tortuous relationship with creating. I do perceive it more and more as something that kneels me. At risk of sound bombastically hysterical, more and more I feel some untranslated force wobbles inside my bones, more and more do I feel the distance of ever being able to pull out the blade.
      I have no issues with Stevens, though Crane is another matter. Perhaps I want to have issues with Crane. Making sense isn’t always everything, but it is important to make sense to oneself beyond the fine patina of pretension, beyond the metatext, the extraphysical, the extrasensorial. It’s important to lean, to feel warm, to feel homely and homeful and the comfort of ages. I’m doubtful my English poetry shall ever produce that, though I’m hopeful my Portuguese productions might scratch that abound humility I feel.
      Again, thank you so much, David. You are wonderful.


  4. So much depth to drown in these fragments. I find myself mesmerized by each line and word as if life depends on it. The subtleties, the wordplay, and brief alliteration are amazing; and it seems to be subsumed in human tragedies, complexities, both mental and spiritual. Perhaps we rarely see any spiritual enlightening from within ourselves, to truly understand and make a difference.

    I especially loved the switch from “cruelty for clarity” to “clarity for cruelty”. I think it might also define how we can be blind to see such different states of misery, violence, and ego that we need it clarified by someone else to elucidate that yes, it’s really happening, or to live in denial that no, that’s not happening. And that itself goes in different ways: We see the cruelty for what it is from our understanding and we want to withdraw from that cruelty; or we see the clarity and decide that it’s truly cruelty if we are seeing what can be considered truth.

    I admit my interpretation might be more literal especially as I observe the different topics entwined. Your poetry, in this way, is an enigma; it’s one that I enjoy greatly, working my brain on different interpretations and perspectives, trying each one until it can fit with what I think the poem encompasses. I think that’s the pitfall in anything, though–trying to understand things in our perspective as it’s harder to consider another one’s and put it in our frame of view. Like I once said to EC (Erroneous Choices) who is a lovely poet, we can never truly understand the weight, shift, and gravity of a poem as when we look into the mirror glass, we are only ourselves and not the author who knows the mental congeries that are delineated in their work.

    I am rambling so I apologize for that! I really loved this piece from you and as always, I love trying to interpret your work; it lets me keep using my brain muscles so that’s good for something. 😀 An amazing piece, yet again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucy,

      I must thank you for your thorough combings of my poems, as they are ever so interesting. In fact, I believe you are one of few to give me a corporeal apparition or external view of what it is I compose.
      It’s curious that you express a spiritual deepening, as that is one of the purposes surrounding these fragments and the subsequent concatenation I’ve built around their natures.
      Your interpretation of “cruelty for clarity” is remarkably close to what I purported with it, though my initial focus was the coalescence between ecology and spirituality. This world provides us with its clearest intentions and most pure statements, and we ought only to listen, so to speak, as votively, it reveals itself, it emanates unparalleled clarity. But that is not so often what we see, because we are large, hungry things inside reduced capsules; we see cruelty because we envy the magnitude, undiluted in its sincerity, of a world that does trusts us to the point of breaking.
      Some great daze must be at hand, mustn’t it, Lucy? It feels almost like a trick, or something we haven’t quite unlocked. Some Aristotelean order of motions, almost. A hell of earth, not a hell of fire.
      I adore you rambles and your interpretations; your exercise and time, which you so generously seem to attribute me, are profoundly endearing. It also allows me to fuel the fancy and whim of creating with a purpose, even when stripped of energy.

      Liked by 1 person

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