Iterative View (of Brent Cunningham's Bird & Forest)


Jesse Seldess

the scope and range of the titles alone

and perhaps toward the need to take extensive.

perhaps, at least, the need to take excessive.

The richness and inventiveness of the language and language-situations are. Perhaps the scope of the book, both between and within terrains,

In the end, this can be said of the book as a whole.



The extensiveness In the end, perhaps the beautiful and frustrating excess of the book


It is a fascinating and frustrating experience to be apparently deprived of the invitation to take matters seriously, but to know to take matters seriously.
many of those extensions equally insightful, and the richness and inventiveness of the language and language-situations are.


Of course, the book exceeds these considerations Necessarily, no single understanding is reached, perhaps gesturing

attempts perhaps relating to the way the poem unfolds through widely different vantage points and layers of description, analysis, and interpretation. The parts include:



an understanding that ultimately fuels response and impacts the world.

The poem, whether in relation to September 11th or not, unfolds through widely different vantage points and layers of description, analysis and interpretation. The parts include:


both in the case of the origin of the event and in the response



Of course, the book extends far beyond these considerations, many of those extensions equally playful and invaluable,

Necessarily, no understandings are reached, but Bird & Forest

draws the weight, again, both in the case of the origin of the event and in the response to the event, to the interrelation of concepts and action. The



The unfolding of the poem, which includes the following parts,


and which unfolds through widely different vantage points and layers of description, analysis and interpretation, is that of a bird flying into a forest.


Of course, the book extends far beyond

Necessarily



That, according to the “Preface,” “The date was November 24, 2001,” and that the basic image resembles the image of a plane flying into something, makes it difficult to not hear the events of September 11, 2001. Situating the event of the poem a few months after the event of the attacks, and thus in the thick of attempts to understand the event, an understanding that will then fuel response and impact the world



completely dissociate the

situation the event of the poem a few months after the events of September 11, 2001, and thus in the thick of the attempts to understand the event, an understanding that will then fuel the response and impact the world



perhaps in the heat

and the resemblance between the basic image of a bird flying into something and a plane flying into something, make it hard to not hear a relation to September 11, 2001. As well, again considering the

the date of the event was November 24, 2001,



various perspectives and personifications (of the bird, for example), of description

The section unfolds, then, through many approaches, through descriptions of the event from various standpoints, through contemplation of different sorts, through personification of the players


The central
unfolds as a direct investigation of a simple image and event a more direct exploration of even
unfolds as

An inclination of the power of language, of concept, of its force to drive matters

and the Through this emphasis, an inclination of the relevance of concepts,

In one of the central sections of the book, the section “Bird & Forest,”



What use are shades of meaning to an advancing army?
- “Second Oration (Incitamentum)”



with matters that really need to be taken seriously. But just as content is inseparable from presentation, Bird & Forest, so invaluably, War, for example.

And what is even more invaluable about Bird & Forest does even more is deal with, again, the signification of matters of significance, and thus imply the impact of language



not apart from the substantial world. On the contrary, concept

and invaluably is imply the impact of language on the world.

that is even more invaluable is show

But what, but with matters that are inseparable from their signification.

War, for example. But with matters that are inseparable from their signification, which is


And to return to an earlier expression, what is even more invaluable is how the book reveals the significance (importance) of matters as inseparable from their signification.


what is even more invaluable about Bird & Forest’s implications is


That is the incredible dynamic, a deeply rhetorical world in which the significance (importance) of matters is inseparable from their signification.
does even more invaluably



What Bird & Forest achieves


“Matters of significance,” things of “substance,” remain but not independent of their signification.

– the substantial world – remain the substantial world – things of “substance” and “matters of significance” – remains but, again, not independent But the point at which significance and concepts are inseparable from, even drive,



or things of “substance,” and how they come to matter.
As mentioned earlier, what is so unique about Bird & Forest is its attention to the signification of significance. In other words

All the while, there is the question of



an important act in itself, done here an act continuously important through invention and humor that is sometimes hilarious and other times like a joke that purposefully falls flat.

hilarity.
or emphasizes
as mentioned early, Bird & Forest goes beyond exposing the dependence between

of meaning upon basic meaning-making equation.

the fantastic significance of Bird & Forest, Clearly, this writing

But returning to the “matters of significance” through its humor, whether hilarious or like a joke that purposefully lands flat,


the writing of Bird & Forest is and, again, continuously destabilizes the credibility of its conventional context.

ing its own credibility.



Always inventive, sometimes hilarious, and often like a joke that purposefully falls lands flat,



These intermittent and shifting excesses have both the frustrating effect of complicating the invitation to take a matter seriously and the fascinating effect of transforming the invitation to one primarily of play.




That’s enough of trivialities; let us turn to matters of significance.

It is a fascinating and frustrating experience to be apparently intermittently deprived of the invitation to take matters seriously but to know to take matters seriously. That is the incredible dynamic of Bird & Forest, a deeply rhetorical world in which matters are significant,

but are inseparable from their signification.


In this first line of “The Orations of Trillius Patronius,” the the doubling of “matters of significance.” There are significant matters but they are inseparable from their signification.

“matters of significance” are significant but never inseparable from What are “matters of significance”?

as in most of the rest of Bird & Forest, both a central gesture and a central subject of the book is delivered.

“matters of significance” are central.

the book, “significance” the central complexity of the book is introduced: both a central gesture and a central subject of the book is delivered. The gesture:
The subject:

by dramatizing or otherwise de-normalizing the lens. In other words, to focus on meaning-making. The subject: matters of “significance,” both

then, remains “matters of significance" what is important.

and both are related to the question: What are matters of significance?



With this first line of the first main section of the book, “The Orations of Trillius Patronius,”


or the comic

which also overtly deflates the integrity of content, or the independence of content from presentation which sporadically happens elsewhere through oratory styles of philosophical, emotional, or comic excess:



However, through moments of oratory excess

Dear friends, malicious enemies, and fellow Senators



In fact, the act of saying something differently, delivering “the same” data through different lenses, is one, direct way the book emphasizes the interdependence of content and presentation, as seen in the first sentences of “First Description,” “Second Description,” and “Third Description” early in the section with the book’s name.

I woke on my back, in a ditch, looking up at the sky, with no idea who or where I was.

I woke in a subterranean declivity, fully prone, scrutinizing the heavens in a vain attempt to regather that tether I had once assuredly grasped.

I woke in a ditch, with a small volume of Aristotle in my pocket.


With “ditch” as “subterranean declivity,” for example, the lens is made noticeably dramatic, which sporadically happens elsewhere through oratory styles of philosophical, emotional, or comic excess:



rhetorical excess in the “Orations of Trillius Patronius” (“Dear friends, malicious enemies, and fellow Senators”) and in

contextual, or philosophical excess, though, in which comedy moves to disarm the matter,



and philosophical weight

and contextual gaps

With “ditch” as “subterranean declivity,”

early in the section with the book’s name.

I woke on my back, in a ditch, looking up at the sky, with no idea who or where I was.


principles are established in the interpretation of images In the
Yet the invitation to take the matter seriously remains, complicated, through the emphasis on how only through complicating that invitation does Bird & Forest take the matter of the matter remains serious, exactly as serious as substance itself, as Bird & Forest reveals how not more or less serious than substance itself, but never able to separated from the issue of substance.

as serious as substance itself.

Yet by frustrating that invitation, Bird & Forest gets can Yet the matter is clearly serious, as what Bird & Forest



But through the dramatic and circumstantially obscure lenses of the “Orations of Trillius Patronius”

It might be



But what’s particular about Bird & Forest is that, even though As well, when a lens is noticeably dramatic, when something is said dramatically – “ditch” as a “subterranean declivity” – a substance becomes comic and can sometimes loose its integrity.

the integrity of substance is called into question, and this loosening of integrity is, an occurrence that permeates pretty much each section of the book and leads to a fascinating and frustrating sensation of independence of substance from significance is called into question, and the.


is also a way to deflate the integrity of the substance The substance is evidently the same

The delivery


There’s something to the description of a “ditch” as a “subterranean declivity" To describe “ditch” as
And when the lens delivers noticeably dramatically That content is delivered so dramatically, here and in so many other moments of the book, also The dramatizing of the delivery – “ditch” as “subterranean declivity” – also, here and in so many other moments and sections of the book, playfully deflates the integrity of the substance and, therefore, frustrates the invitation to take the matter very seriously.



so that one feels the invitation to take the matter serious in such a fascinating and frustrating way

in such a way that the and creates such a frustrating and fascinating with such, and.


It is both a frustrating and fascinating pleasure to be sometimes incrementally and sometimes intermittently deprived of the ability to feel the significance and weight of a simple image, a choice of detail, or a manner of articulation.



With the instability of the lens, and through the dramatization of the delivery, The integrity of the substance and, therefore, the invitation to take the matter seriously, is also and often, here and in so many other moments and sections of the book,

Dramatizing the delivery is here and in so many other moments and sections of the book also a deflation of the integrity

– the “ditch” as “subterranean declivity” –



Another way is by dramatizing the delivery and, therefore, lightening the weight of the search

to Dramatizing the lens



For example, early in the second main section, also titled “Bird & Forest,” the following three descriptions:


delivering “the same” data through different lenses,
The fact that delivery is dramatized, more heavily at some moments and in some sections than others,



heavily in some sections of the book,

dramatizing of the search after meaning

The data is clearly It is a frustrating and fascinating to be intermittently deprived of an invitation to feel significance and weight, yet to feel invited.


But
The various deliveries

But the momentum of each section of the book, really,
More than debunking the notion of the independence of the data from the delivery,


Clearly, the various deliveries break the independence of substance from significance,


Now, although the various deliveries clearly break the independence of substance from significance, and although the striving for meaning is given a melodramatic and comic weight,

the, it doesn’t negate


from significance,



Clearly, the texture and reference of the language

The permutation of contextual indicators and references.

Clearly, the modulating of contextual indicators, such as



As I looked, a bird swept down, passing into the trees.

At that precise moment, for I remember it well, a bird swept down, passing into the trees.

Then, with all the blind insistence of the human will, a bird swept down, passing into the trees.




three descriptions of “the same” situation. Here are three sentence relating to,


Early, for example, in the second main section of the book, also titled “Bird & Forest,” we have three descriptions of a situation,


In fact, this saying different, especially toward the start of the second main section of the book, “Bird & Forest,” is



both content and the presentation of content.

of content and its presentation.

is content and form. Or, said differently,


in which Barthe celebrates the simultaneity of absorption into depth on a screen and awareness of the construction and enabling of that depth via the propulsion of particles of light overhead, Bird & Forest is a cinematic situation.


being propelled overhead


are permeated with evocations of dynamic, perceivable situations
that are never world that is never out of

world, physical, emotional, perceptive, that is never out of formative relation with it

whether war or force or Substance, for example, war or force, In the first of the four main sections, for example, “The Orations of Trillius Patronius,” a relatively texturally consistent voice articulates various meditations or responses to topics and calls present as holes in content,

evoked through there absence.

permeated with an emphasis on context, mainly by way of evoking the persistence of contextual holes.



evoking a situation of oration and perhaps consecutive

The four main sections of the book are permeated with an emphasis on context, often through evoking situations of contextual holes

either as a result of speech acts evoking contextual holes, where a information about audience or

not provided, in the case of “The Orations of Trillius Patronius,” or intricately construct a sense of contexts out of which meaning can be made, although with

a sense of speech within contexts It is both a frustrating and liberating invitation and Each of the four main sections of the book are permeated with a sense of the situational dynamics


The four main sections of the book are permeated with performative voice, speech



contexts

and to. Though perhaps not to feel significance and weight as much as “The Room” in which it arises.

It leaves entirely invited, yet to feel invited. And to feel significance and weight, both in relation to particulars and in the flourish

es of gestures and in that and in that


of a simple image, a choice of detail, or a manner of articulation.



“The Room” is the prelude to Brent Cunningham’s Bird & Forest, and that first basic setting is perhaps the last possibility for directness, as would be the case with any text.


of the more direct instants the last instant during which anything can be delivered

as well as the

There are very few moments during which an image, or a choice of detail, or a manner of articulation can deliver

description, or


The seriousness with which a text comes
The prelude, the first line of the prelude, as well as the more perform space-setting really can serve, if we want, as a prelude.

really can serve as a prelude With its prelude to orations, conversations, images and events filtered

The hooks through which significance and weight are invested, are written, and are conveyed and performed, are read, are the most continuous platform upon which the drama of Bird & Forest

are through which made is conveyed, with which significance and weight are often made Throughout Bird & Forest, is


projects a ground not provided – being a response to an audience thought or complaint or to an event


But she trusted her senses, which everyone sees and hears with and which all persons process universally, while their travails are their own.

… you must admit that within this narrow blink of existence it is common to mark our singularity with such drama as you just exhibited; in short, for all that, we’re animals.

- Robert addressing Robert
 
 
 
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