“Understanding (of language) are not enough – is a 2016 e-book written by yours truly, translated by Ermanno Moretti and published by Diaforia. First of all, let’s get out of the way the “are” thing. Bracketed (of language) stands for the other word that presumably don’t exists but will probably expalin a certain characteristic of language. I’m talking about movement of senses beyond the words below the radar of perception.
“Understanding (of language)…” had a long and winding road towards the release. I’m still getting used to the fact of its release – several months as for now. It was a work-in-progress for so long I just thought it gonna roll that way indefinitely. Anyway…
I was first contacted by Daniele Poletti of Diaforia in June of 2013 after he read some of my stuff on ISSUU and Scribd. He asked me whether i want to have some of my stuff published and translated into Italian through his venture. As i was still just a punk with lots of ambitions – i immediately agreed and we started thinking about the way it should be.
Daniele was impressed by several pieces i’ve posted on Scribd – “Long Black Line” and “Something” in particular and he wanted to incorporate some of the stuff like that into the book. However i first envisioned the book as more conventional collection of poems. But it never really worked out. I found out that I’m unable to write conventional poetry in English. It just wasn’t fun for me – i need to go beyond in order to create, i must make it new. The whole point for me to start writing in other language was to open up the breeches from which the news senses will flow. That means – being elaborately not very friendly to casual reader.
When i failed to write enough material to accomplish the goal – i decided to stick to Daniele’s plan and use some of old and not quite exposed material and mix it with newer and even more radical stuff.
But then the problem occured. I’m a very slow writer and to finish a poem for me is a task for a week at the very least. While i was still writing something here and there – it was never part of the bigger thing – the majority of poems that were written during that period were mixed bag of various experiments – successful and not. They represent the evolution of my style – but they have no unifying vision. Most of them were shared with Daniele through Facebook and numerous e-mails. Some of them even ended up in the final version.
Our correspondence was very intense during that time. We talked through every element of the texts. I still remember the moment when he sent me the first pack of translations – it was a great blast. That was one of the brightest moments in otherwise murky period of my life. I felt great relief and reassurement that i’m doing something right. Through his translations i saw everything that was right and wrong with my writing. I’ve realized what i need to do to get better and to go further. I went ballistic for some time writing like mad.
Then because of variety of reasons things had slowed down a bit and i’ve changed my focus to the other projects although i was still sending the new stuff to Ermanno and Daniele from time to time. I knew what i needed to do – and i tried to do it the best way i could. But the stuff i wrote during that time just wasn’t good enough. It was good old fashioned rethreading of the past. Not the kind of thing you would like to put in a book to make an impression.
It was mostly scrapped (fair to mention – some of it was heavily rewritten after the fact) but it was important experience. It was a ballsy move for me to throw away about a year of work – but i needed to do it in order to continue. I thought it will help but it didn’t. I needed some time off to reconsider the things but i refused to admit it.
And so the things had slowed down even more – i was still doing the new stuff intended for the book but it was no good. It was mediocre. It was something that bad it could persuade you to send a death threats to yourself. I felt lost and confused. Then i got distracted by the other things and things started to drag even more. I had lots of problems during that time – i’ve lost my job, my personal life was a mess, i lost my confidence as a writer and thought to give it up. I had my “that’s it”-moment and it was pathetic.
After that things started to move. I’ve sent more stuff to Ermanno and the book quickly transformed into its present form. Later Ermanno asked if i want to include some visual poetry. First I thought it was abundant, but then – it was really a good subversion of the illustration trope. Why not? With visual poems interspliced with the so-called textual the book gained some kind of weird pace. Not only the languages are flickering from page to page but the very way you read.
That’s how the book came to be as it is.