After I was asked by email whether the title of my last book is a pun

Open Clothes seems to me like it qualifies as pun, although since there’s no syntactic context beyond those two words, I don’t know if it is — I am not researching the definition right now, anyhow. What I can say is it was one of those things that occurred to me, as ideas will, stupid or bright, pregnant or stillborn or whatever, and it began to feel right. I imagine in retrospect just the phrase “open close” occurring to me as a potential title for something, then for the book, with the associations for me that I try to open up and re-open or keep open some conventions, concerns, uncertainties, feelings, ways of knowing my way through this ecosphere, and yet there is also, like it or not, some closure, as things become past, set, lost to memory or understanding, or simply kind of opaque and enigmatic. So we have those two verbs.

And they can also be adjectives, as one might open something keeping it close, and that sounds especially intimate, which also may resonate for a reader of this book, as at least to me most all the writing there seems to suggest and do what it can to enact a sort of intimacy of address and inclusion and risk, in its various sections.

The shift to “open clothes” returns the phrase into sounding like the two verbs, while also insisting again, but playfully now, on intimacy. Poems and words and language seem to me like clothes, in that they are not the core realness and livingness of interdependent life in this existence, but that living’s own mercurial and dynamic, metamorphic, interactive qualities call on words to analogize (I notice the word “analog” in there) in a linear account or structure some semi-authoritative (even while we will, hopefully, mistrust authority) rendering of evidence of what does or can happen — out there and in consciousness.

So trying to exercise that closure and that closeted mode of knowing (which so often, in this book and elsewhere, doesn’t at all “tell all”), while also holding it open to attention and awareness and doubt, seemed again to characterize my project, whether effective or not — to use it while also opening it to examination, with willingness to acknowledge a sense of its partial, temporary, material, constructed, culturally specific and other conditional aspects.

           (Thanks to David Benedetti, for asking.)

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