Sunday, March 29, 2009

Young Guns

You know how there’s that scene where Flan talks about Matisse and artistic process in Six Degrees of Separation? (Has there ever been a sillier main character name in an ostensibly serious movie? For literature, I think Neal Stephenson has it locked up with Hiro Protagonist from Snow Crash, followed by slew of Thomas Pynchon characters). The one where he talks about how kids could be artistic geniuses with paint, as long as someone knew when to take the painting away from them? (Clearly seen by the makers of My Kid could Paint That.) Well, that sprung to mind when I stumbled across John Gallaher’s post of an original poem (with assist) by his first-grade daughter:

        The Snow Falls
        by Natalie Gallaher

         The cars are talking about snow
         in the other room.

         We all come down to this moment
         with snow.

         The snow is talking too.

         I wish for snow
         inside my head.

         The snow looks like shining glazing
         of glass.

         The trees have no leaves
         all afternoon.

         I am cold.

         The winters are wise
         in the future.

I love the first, second, and last stanza especially. Sometimes style isn’t so much content as knowing where to stop. I wonder if this counts as a treatment? Or if the way a child sees the world is a treatment, so to speak, of reality. (Insert interpolation previously discussed here.) Certain things are left out, elided, transposed, or juxtaposed, and therefore stylized enough so as to be unrecognizable. While we’re on the subject, check out Wave Books’s erasures machine. Up with strangely arranged minimalism!

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