Thursday, June 5, 2014

Poetry as scaffolding/Narrative, Literacy, and... (An Introduction to Imaginary Friends - Part IV)

Editor's note:
Yes, this is the introduction and work statement that accompanies Imaginary Friends. I am leaving comments open on both the posts that unfold this poem and the individual chapters of the novel, and I invite my readers to conduct a conversation relating the information in the narrative to the expression of the structure in these verses.

I also want to take a moment to spell out dedications:

“Poetry as Scaffolding” and “Narrative, Literacy, and cross-Cultural communicating” will post Thursday. “Poetry as Scaffolding” is for Zach Richter, whose challenges to my communications as I have been writing have been both necessary and exciting, because they underscore the importance of the entire project of this book and its associated discourse verse. “Narrative, Literacy, and...” is dedicated to myself, because I have painted my way into a corner in a wonderfully stimulating room and I need something explicit to code switch out of it so I can write prose again. Please read it as a moment of personal reflection and transformation.

Tomorrow Imaginary Friends begins.

V. Poetry as scaffolding

If sensory information can be used to construct communication structures that don't depend on language,
then it makes sense to expect the best way to interact
when teaching across linguistic barriers
would be to construct sensory patterns
that are easy to remember.

This is basic tutoring practice, grounded in practical psychology and a basic understanding
of human motivation
and the nature of communication.

Why is it that we forget this when it comes to autistic children?

Why is it demanded that we speak in meaning when we're still getting the hang of the phonetic transgressions happening in our larynxes?

Wouldn't it be better to embrace the baroque nature of finding musical patterns in the patter that we'll have to learn to put together into other kinds of meaning?

Wouldn't it reinforce a reader's understanding
to trigger the feeling
of saying
all these things that fit in
to this scripted recitation
of the nature of our being?
To jot down our words silently and force them to do the work of recitation?

There are problematic assumptions that resolve certain populations into
boxes where they only get partial access to your social institutions
and it all comes down to the previous associations
that those populations have with your sensory information
(including language)
and it privileges speaking
despite a long history pointing
to the importance of movements
to ideology
and silence
to the preservation
of the body politic.

We can build a bridge into language using rhetoric,
but only once we free it from the spoken
and allow its abstraction to be infused with sensory information.

This is the fundamental concept behind culture sculpting,
both in theory and in practice,
and the theory of the practice has managed
to exploit this
to speak itself into existence.

No wonder so many “postmodernists” believe in magic.

They're laughing at people for taking the rhetoric so literally
while cashing th(eir+(ey're)) cashing checks for supplements
from customers who don't know better
and secretly making sure their children
actually do get vaccines.

This is the essence of wizardry,
“a different way of knowing,”
an oblique description by my father
of the way that one huckster
hustler
knows another
before investing too much time in
running a graft
negotiating.

Maybe we should use these concepts consciously,
to take apart old structures and rebuild them to suit our own needs,
making buildings around universal design principles
for accessibility
that transcend physical mobility
and meet emotional, cultural, psychological, and sensory
needs.

All the rent-seekers in the existing graft economy
are perpetuated by these selective mechanisms
and the mechanisms exist, at their most basic level, to serve them.

What if the hustle
was unnecessary
because we
deweaponized
communications,
put our hands up,
and came out dancing?

VI. Narrative, Literacy, and cross-Cultural communicating

This brings us to the end of my overture,
the point of disembarkation where your interpretations take over
and the present tense
of my verbal movements
cease to exist.
Can you feel the kairos in the air?

I can taste it in the way thumos gives rise to my emotional state
as I process the concussions of fingertips against a plastic surface
to the cadence of A Momentary Lapse of Reason
which has been on repeat
this entire morning.

There are ghosts of recitation in my throat despite my silence,
and another tract exists wherein I explicate my canon
and document my fugue to you,
but for now, read the product of the two
multiplied back out of poetry and into prose,
and let it argue a worldview constructed
by an access imbalance
in Clay Dillon's mythological development
which creates an emotional armor
out of the interactions
of the standard model
at energy states that are all too common,
and that run in parallel (with important distinctions)
to energy states that result from other imbalances.

This is not the only, or even the most important narrative.
It is just an instance of observation,
one way that we could perceive the collapse of a wave function.

The book that emerges from this spooky action at a distance is
a laboratory experiment that must be repeated
from different perspectives before it can be situated
within the field it is already a part of.

Next: Chapter One.

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