or an instant
and also in Thurston's previous publication, Reverses Heart's Reassembly, philosophy and
documentation come front stage. In Figure Detached this in part happens
due to the total uniformity of the structure, one which we associate with
criticism: two prose paragraphs per page, with on average say three sentences
per paragraph. These paragraphs seem to explain the processes and results of
embodied experience, perhaps, knowing Thurston's interests, the embodied
experiences of various sorts of dancing where there is 'a discipline without
has offered a number of accounts about his interest in dancing such as the article on Five Rhythms
in the online magazine Junction Box (http://tinyurl.com/mawafer)
it is easy to imagine all sorts of bodily movement being described in the
poem; bodily movement which attempts to force out abstract mental decisions
that might then loop back again to inform spontaneous and planned movement:
'my body constantly refigures itself.' However in saying that in these rich
and oblique lines it's unclear whether, for example in this case,
'refiguring' is a voluntary or involuntary action. There is a tension here.
Is knowing the body an act of magic or statement of fact?
this blend of document-poem-manifesto the pronouns play a pivotal part. 'I',
'me' and 'my' have the feeling of being personal and reliable/experienced: 'I
entangle my steps in beautiful externals, blindly loving the world.' After
these riddles follows the more straightforward plea: 'Rescue my feet from the
trap'. 'You' and 'your' also seem to be used at a personal level but
certainly their use also seems to imply an experience that is, or could be,
felt by all: 'You slip into the stream.' and 'Your body as a genuine fantasy
you can taste all the way through.' Ambiguity abounds. Who is experiencing
these events and are they positive, negative or somewhere in-between?
the title of the poem implies, and as you could ascertain from many parts of
the book, the body is constantly something other than the mind, we can never
fully connect to it; the body is both constantly becoming and disappearing
even as mind and body threaten to meet. However Figure Detached seems to suggest
that by practising specific physical and mental combinations we can become
more attuned, at least that's the way it seems and then...
this wonderful poem no matter how hard we might try to fight our way to
mental answers in the end we ingest feeling through the muscles. 'Ah this
feeling. What was it now?' By the end of the collection the words 'detached'
and 'impermanent' have neither become pejorative nor ecstatic terms. The only
thing of certainty is that there is the 'figure', a figure that flits in and
out of mind and body in what could be forever or an instant.
© James Davies 2014