BURN PILE:  ~ Arting about art ~

Writing about writing, painting about words, seeing things others don’t hear, and more songs about buildings and food.

One of our great privileges here at CutBank is to publish the All Accounts and Mixture feature. The works are as varied as their authors. Poems. Stories. Essays. Indefinables. All of them stunning and strong.

The blend of music and memory in “Conversations with Paul,” by David Meischen, inspired a leap into a note-taking, brainstorming rabbit hole which swallowed me in tangents, twisted connections, trainwrecks of thought, and unrelated wonderings over what’s so enchanting about art that includes other art, or is about art, or is experimental in overlapping genres and mediums. What qualifies as “experimental,” anyway? “Conversations” isn’t a piece directly about music, yet Meischen weaves the Beatles throughout the narrative, and this twining of mediums led to another All Accounts contributor, Crystal Hartman and her piece, “Visual Response to Federico García Lorca,” featured on the blog back in July of 2014.

Here’s Sir Paul, covering his old band’s stuff: Paul McCartney - Abbey Road Medley (Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End) - Live In Tokyo 2013

Another side tunnel in the rabbit hole leads to written art about the visual, including a visit with poet Lisa Beech Hartz in the Mud Season Review and Rust + Moth, a dip into ancient Listlandia for Ten of the best: examples of ekphrasis, followed inexplicably (like most synaptic paths of association) by a brief foray into synesthesia, and the paintings it inspired in Melissa McCracken, and finally down to the sidewalk with one more poem about painting at the Street Lit blog: “You Paint Loud.

Today (Sept 29/17) at a Montana Book Festival panel on the inner workings of lit journals — a panel moderated masterfully by CutBank’s own Editor-in-Chief, the wisely-nodding Bryn Agnew — experimental work got a mention, and the role of online journals in providing space for that experimentation (when it works!). Sundog Lit in particular meets that need. (They announced their Best of the Net nominees today.) Also discussed was the Oxford American’s successful melding of music and literature, which, in a flash of unfocused clicking, led to Björk, as experimental as ever in the Guardian’s Track of the Week: The Gate, “perhaps the Björkiest thing that’s ever Björked.”

And in the end? More Songs About Buildings and Food.

is this art.jpg

The answer is “Yes.”