Friday, September 11, 2009

On Art and Science

No matter where I go I will always find poetry. It is everywhere. In marine zoology there is poetry. There is poetry in modern warfare, in the firing of a drone missile in a distant land. Whether I am in Normal or Naperville, Illinois, or anywhere else in this gigantic universe, I can always find and create new artwork.

I've been rereading Scratching the Beat Surface by Michael McClure, this collection of his essays sums up the 60's mindset, upholds it, then tears it apart, like this romantically idealized way of thought should be. Through this collection of essays, McClure hammers out a manifesto of sorts, but in his own way. He is not didactic--never imposing his own morals on the reader--but he argues for a certain way of thinking that defies all terminology except moralor ethical, perhaps.

McClure once said "if poetry and science can not change one’s life, they are meaningless." I believe this is found somewhere in the approximately 170 pages of rich prose, but I haven't come across it yet. I agree with this statement, though. McClure sees an inherent connection between science and art. He deals mostly with the connection between science and poetry, and I believe there are many.

Art is a reflection of the world. No matter what anyone says about their art, it is a composite production of the world around them. Now art can be seen as a reflection of the artist within the world, but this is essentially the world, because we are all in the world. Whether one's art deals with the world abstractly or directly, it deals with the world, it makes conclusions about the world. Science is a reflection of the world, too. The scientist takes what is perceived as happening in the world and makes judgments and premises based on them. They take observations of the world and make conclusions based on those observations.

The product of art and science is conclusions, or at least attempts at making conclusions. The conclusion might be inconclusive, but it still is a conclusion. So, art and science are inherently connected, I think.

I attempt to show a hyperawarenes of this with my poetry. This poem is new. I don't know if I'm all that successful with articulating a feasible poetic theory or not yet, but I'm trying to.


how to place unclassifiable floating collections of protein is like living in this boiling concoction wave floppers to icy good byes expel some heat gracefully flip pray for krill, competing with nets and vessels billions of docile dentures, torpedo shaped smiles this sound means lung bubbles could be telling jokes dilating blood vessels bathing arctic sun maximizes pink beach bodies absorbing heat like a frog, water brought boiling won’t appear squeamish absorption maximization of commonplace becoming speciesfic muscles stiffen large deep water vision eyes roll over problem unfortunately bear like ancestors’ choice to dwell sea lee waving groan flippers rotated forward is waved like human trashcrement drifting to melt beach

*”Seals and their allies were traditionally classified in the order Pinnipedia—the system used here. Today, however, most zoologists believe that these mammals belong to the order Carnivora. Seals and their allies are broken down into 3 families. It is possible that sea lions (family Otaridae) and walruses (family Odobenidae) originated from bearlike ancestors, while true seals (family Phocidae) are more closely related to otters.” The Smithsonian Institute’s Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World’s Wildlife


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