Leslie Scalapino

May 30, 2010

Poet/playwright/essayist Leslie Scalapino died a couple days ago in Berkeley. She was a language-poet: avant-garde, post-modern. Call it what you will, but it’s a genre that followed the Beats and was equally innovative.

I’m not going to pretend I get all her work, because it’s a bit out there for the average jill (me) . For example:

to make my mind be actions outside only. which they are. that collapses in

grey-red bars. actions are life per se only without it.

(so) events are minute — even (voluptuous)

––Leslie Scalapino

I always feel foolish asking poets the obvious questions, such as “what’s up with the parentheses?” Or (and I feel REALLY foolish asking this one) “What does it mean?”

But then, you run across something that shines with clarity and marvelous relevance:

Thinking the mind can do anything. I thought the flesh to be fragile but didn’t consider the mind to be so, it was really one’s mind. As it.

Dancer: The way you say something is it.

I like my poetry a little more …oh, maybe “obvious” is the right term. I don’t want to work quite so hard to get it.

But I still appreciate creatives who take the written word in new directions.

RIP, Ms. Scalapino.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.