Re-imagining Place: A Psychogeographic Reading of Carmine Frascarelli’s Sydney Road Poems

By | 1 May 2018

These ideas of dérive, play, detournement and collage, I believe reveal some of the reasons underpinning Frascarelli’s approach to writing a site-specific poem and positions him within the walking/psychogeographic tradition. This framework also allows us to consider how the poet has experimented with representations of time and space in a specific place, often for political means. In a 1966 essay the S.I. argued that for them ‘it is now a matter of a poetry necessarily without poems’, that ‘realizing poetry means nothing less than simultaneously and inseparably creating events and their language’ (SI). It is this attempt to create events and their language which Frascarelli has achieved in his poem through the playful utilisation of historical texts / images and his own language / found language, and which again leads me to conclude that he has attempted to re-imagine place in his poem through a de-spectacularisation of Australian society. The final lines of the poem seem to further justify this idea of a spatial / psychogeographic approach to writing place in the poem:

time recorded
time, no
 	        you can’t

I feel, in concluding, that further investigations into the interrelation of psychogeography and poetry will bring forth the importance of actively engaging with one’s environment both through creative practices and everyday life in our contemporary consumer world. As Ali Alizadeh writes on the back-cover of the book, Frascarelli’s poems are ‘a commited work of resistance’ that ‘rescue and animate the site’s truths’ (Frascarelli). Such creative ‘resistances’ and an out-in-the-world approach to life and art, as the S.I. believed, has the potential to lead to a rejection of capitalist virtues, the reclaiming of the streets, life, art, and ultimately, a revolution of the everyday.

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