Dina Hardy’s project, tentatively titled Portrait & Landscape, will feature a collection of people—named only by a job title—placed in the context of a specific environment: Bedouin desert, railway station, inside a slate mine or taxi cab, as examples. These poems will explore how the portrait of the person and job (broadly defined) become inseparable with the landscape of the poem—much like Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of “becoming-world” that they presented in 1000 Plateaus. This concept, layered with James Galvin’s definition of a poet of place—one who “situates himself in place in order to lose himself in it”—will result in poems where the subject, speaker, job, and place become one.
During her residency as a poet of place at Stiwdio Maelor, Dina will observe, document, research, and “interpret the external world of thought and feeling into the imagination.” This, posits Wallace Stevens, is the poet’s purpose. This is how she will lose herself in a new landscape. She will also find inspiration and guidance in readings, including, 1000 Plateaus, Stevens’s The Necessary Angel, Essays on Reality and the Imagination, and James Wright’s work—since he offers premier examples of poems about place.
She hopes to leave Stiwdio Maelor with outlines for at least 12-14 poems, and from these notes, six or eight entries of this sequence-in-progress drafted.
And in the same way ancient bricks don’t hang in the sky
without detection or prevention from fragile men
who spend their inflamed, unabridged days mixing mud
with clay and a quarter-percent sand thus stolen
from ornamental hourglasses unsold in shuttered stores
specializing in fully rigged Neolithic fishing ships
(no wonder the need for closure) and how these clots
placed in tiny fires never reach the extreme heat of
the space-time continuum, so too our eyes behind our glasses
don’t see the dull growth of trees until the day
bulldozers come to lay groundwork for a pre-planned bypass
that will link the previous three-hundred-and-sixty-four
with the next. On this day of concoctions, confections and
a type of contentment that can only last twenty-four turns
of the vertical bulbs comes a desire to destroy the machine
cast from the same material it casts: “let us make bricks,
and burn them thoroughly” to briefly stop the production
of more bricks from bricks, so breaking
the perpetual passage of microwavable minutes. Perhaps
this programmable date of binary numbers is the day
in which it will be said you are a man to be reckoned with.