06 May Poetry
Poetry has a great scope to intervene reality in its affectation capacity. Its use in the public space (political language, advertising, and in our daily lives) has considerably decreased. To recover it would serve as tool and opportunity to name what remains invisible, what requires a presence.
Excerpt from The Infra-ordinary by Georges Perec
“The dailies tell about everything except the daily. Dailies bore me, they do not teach me anything; what they tell does not concern me, does not question me, and besides, does not answer the questions I pose or would like to pose.
What really happens, what we experience, the rest, all the rest, where is it? How to report on what happens every day and what happens again, on the trivial, the daily, the evident, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the usual? How to interrogate it? How to describe it?
Interrogate the usual. But precisely that is what we are used to. We do not interrogate it, it does not interrogate us, it does not seem to be a problem, we experience it without thinking about it, as if it did not transmit any question or answer, as if it did not bear any information. It is not even a conditioning, it is anesthesia. We sleep our life with a sleep without dreams. But where is our life? Where is our body? Where is our space?
How to talk about these “ordinary things”, how to chase them, how to make them emerge, tear them away from the shell they are stuck to, how to give them a meaning, a language: that they finally talk about what exists, about what we are.
The question here is to interrogate, be it the brick, the reinforced cement, the glass, our table manners, our utensils, our tools, our schedules, our rhythms. To interrogate what seems to have failed to surprise us forever. It is clear that we live, it is clear that we breathe, we walk, we open doors, we descend stairs, we sit at a table to eat, we lie on a bed to sleep.
How? Where? When? Why?
Describe your street. Describe another one. Compare.
Make an inventory of your pockets, of your bag. Interrogate yourself about the origin, the use, and the future of the objects you took out from it.
Interrogate your small spoons.
What is there underneath the wall paper?
How many gestures are necessary to dial a telephone number? Why?
Why are there no cigarettes in the stores? Why not?
Little do I care that these questions here are fragmented, barely indicative of a method, of a project at the most. I very much care that they may seem trivial and futile; that is precisely what makes them ever more essential than many others through which we have tried in vain to capture our truth.”