I live for those wild — and strangely peaceful — moments when I am given a rare objective glimpse into the universe of thought.
Am I here?
the fragrant molecule
on a path
Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Richard Gilbert (2017)
The concept of Ma is one of the ideas central to the Japanese haiku aesthetic. Richard Gilbert’s Poems of Consciousness and the interviews with contemporary Japanese poets found therein helped bring this difficult-to-pin down concept to the West. The translators of one of these interviews with Hasegawa Kai define Ma in terms such as
space — ‘betweenness,’ alternate dimension or time, a psycho-poetic interval of betweenness — non-literal reality arising as resonance, between and through words, and beyond them.”
This gap or space between images, elements, and/or ideas created by “cutting,” whether as juxtaposition or disjunction (see Richard Gilbert’s remarkable The Disjunctive Dragonfly to really explore this exciting poetic territory) is pretty much the soul of haiku, and it is why we as fans of of the genre can keep coming back to a haiku again and again and continue to encounter something new there, depending upon where we find ourselves at that moment in our lives.
Clearly there is something similar going on here with the gap between questions and answers in the Surrealist Q&A Game, with its communally creative space that gives the sense of being infinitely possible. Could it be that this gap that arises in Mind, this empty space, is where all the fun really is?
Rejecting a sentimental utopia, what is your vision?
The white door between things
Question Richard Gilbert, Answer Michelle Tennison (2017)