Lose your mind and come to your senses — Fritz Perls

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
                 to wilderness

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)

What Flies Between: Richard Gilbert

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Purple-podded pole bean, photograph by Michelle Tennison

 

Poet and scholar Richard Gilbert boldly peers into the spaces between things to give definition to what sparks there.

For over a decade Richard has helped to define haiku as Poems of Consciousness (Red Moon Press, 2008), and his upcoming Poetry as Consciousness: Haiku Forests, Space of Mind, and an Ethics of Freedom, promises to take this exploration even further. His work is complex and groundbreaking. His essay The Disjunctive Dragonfly, originally published in 2004 and more recently expanded into book form with Red Moon Press in 2013, has been likened to a “thunderbolt” within the genre, “expanding the potential of haiku in the 21st Century. ”

So, (and this is just to give you a heads-up), if you play the Question and Answer Game with Richard Gilbert expect to travel into the farthest reaches of the space-time continuum, knock about there just a bit, and likely find a paradigm shift or two just for fun.

You are writing a poem to the inhabitable exoplanet Trappist-1e
“A world swimming in water in perpetual twilight.” What is it?
          In sand dunes I waited but she didn’t

Question Richard Gilbert,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2017)

Is Truth Love?  Is Truth Truth? I don’t know for certain, but it sure is beautiful.

Is this an unfortunate reality?
          just the two of us:
          what flies between
          the kiss

Question Michelle Tennison,  Answer Richard Gilbert (2017)