The End Dozen

1 February 2016

I’ve always been interested in the question of ‘the personal’ or ‘the autobiographical’ as a category constituted by a fairly arbitrary set of boundaries — in some ways, most of the poetry I write is an attempt to think about what those boundaries entail and mean. I’ve been writing this series of short prose poems, all titled ‘THE END’, for almost three years now — I started the project a few months after moving to New York, and I suspect I’ll continue writing them as long as I continue to live here. The project started with a simple task: that of noticing things, and of writing them down as simply as possible. I’ve tried to put at least some of everything into this online chapbook, without over-determining the poems in any one direction: they’re full of what I’ve been reading, talking and hearing about, and what I’ve been feeling physically and emotionally, but as, I think, more of a core sample of ambient conditions than as an especially personal account.

M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End

M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End
M C Hyland: The End

I think of them as ‘my New York School poems,’ borrowing from that tradition’s interest in the first-person speaker. My favourite articulation of this New York School tradition is Bernadette Mayer’s idea of the ‘emotional science project’ — which might, in a way, be a good description of what I’m trying to do here. While these poems started as an attempt to find a form through which to think about all the affective challenges of living in New York and attending grad school after a long break in my educational history, they ultimately ended up taking me in a different direction — an attempt to think about the role of feeling in forming and re-forming an aesthetic and political consciousness. In these twelve poems, I’ve found myself in dialogue with a number of texts, institutions and individuals, including at least the following: Judson Church, the Delaware River, Jeff Peterson, Herbert Marcuse, Anthony Reed, Hannah Arendt, Aleijuan King, SoHo, the B train, Tara Menon, Nextdoorganics, Elizabeth Kolbert, the Center for Book Arts, “Bifo” Berardi, Lisa Gitelman, Beyoncé, Laura Brown, Ian Dreiblatt and Anna Gurton-Wachter, Sulai Sivadel, Luke Davies, Chris Kraus, Deborah Stein, (G)IRL, Citron Kelly, Naomi Extra, Fred Schmalz, Andy and Rashmi Grace, Laura and David Herlihy, Becca Klaver, S T Coleridge, Jo Livingstone, Celeste Langan, Claire Vaye Watkins, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Caolan Madden, Madeleine L’Engle, Coffee Foundry, Justin Timberlake, Ada Smailbegovic, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, Sarah Schultz, John Milton, Nina Puro and Natalie Imbruglia.

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