Thursday, September 23, 2010

He doesn't care a nickel for his own skin

At first it seems that Larry Eigner is an onlooker, but as one reads on it becomes clear that he deeply inhabits the world. He throws away all chances to make commentaries or to philosophize, and he doesn't care a nickel for his own skin or to tell us "How sensitive I am!" At his best he writes in a kind of state of grace with respect to the real, an openness and trust between himself and the world, by which the two blur, and real objects keep dissolving towards a deeper, stranger reality. His best lines are less invented descriptions than the acts themselves of this contact.

-- Galway Kinnell, Poetry, September 1962


Listen to Larry Eigner here.

1 comment:

Steven Fama said...

Nice excerpt from the vaults here, Don. The "deeper, stranger" reality the Kinnell mentions is sort of similar to Michael McClure's comment that when Eigner wrote of things, “he returned them . . . in a different measure” and “in a different structure” than what others, including McClure, had perceived and imagined them to be.

P.S. I prefer the Indian head / buffalo nickel (1913-1938), and that's the one Eigner first knew.