by distant association i once knew a woman from a mildly war-torn place who in the decades before 9/11 dabbled in terrorism (as maybe an american youth dabbles with heroin) and who would romanticize it by defining it as the ‘disruption of everyday life.’ which, as a definition, is one that disguises such a tactic’s usual impotence and belies its callous destruction. less revolutionary (perhaps; probably), art seems a better fit for the definition — the disruption of everyday life.
hanshan, from whose name hoevenaar partly takes his book’s title, was a chan buddhist monk and poet who rigorously lived and made his art through a paradoxically opposed truism formulated by his rough contemporary nanquan puyuan: ‘everyday mind is the way.’
(the other half of hoevenaar’s title comes from robert smithson, who had his own definition: You must travel at random, like the first Mayans; you risk getting lost in the thickets, but that is the only way to make art.)
a creator of expectation defiances in series, jeremy hoevenaar’s poetry holds, line to line and moment to moment, countless bait-and-switches, feints, legerdemain and outright magic. but while a few of these moves one may have seen before, his poetry also pulses and maintains a complex and relatively pure integrity, i.e. stays open. or, as anselm berrigan states it in the afterword: “This is not a wholly unknown strategy for handling time in poetry, but Hoevenaar is never smug about what he’s doing, and what he’s doing — tonally and rhetorically — is recording a succession of language hits without giving up his condition as open bundle of nerve endings not completely sure how to be built for this world.”
dug it intensely.