Monday, March 20, 2006

Another Note on Tom Meyer's Dao ...

When I was writing my first article on Tom Meyer’s new Dao, I was working from a Word file Tom had sent to serve until the hardcopy book would have time to arrive. Reading through, I came across a bit of wordplay that I enjoyed; it was in “chapter” seven. Here’s what I liked:


heaven lasts
and earth

a long time
heaven and earth

have been around
a long time

because they take
no interest

in themselves
they last

along time
this way the last

are first

The use of “they last//along time”, after the repetition of “long time” in the sixth line, struck me as a very bright strategy to avoid another repetition of “a long time,” and a deft hint as well at an almost topographical dimensionality of time that took it out of the abstract, no easy thing to do.

It wasn’t long before I wrote Tom to congratulate him on the figure, and just a short time after my email, I had a reply from him:
Alas, we changed that 'along time' to 'a long time' – the feeling was that things were getting a little too tricky. Foremost for me (in both the text itself and the books design) was a plain, straightforward approach. For the sake of that, I decided to let go of that bit of cleverness.

Perhaps nothing else in our correspondence clarified quite so well Tom’s scrupulous approach to his work.

Tom reads this Wednesday, March 22nd, at the BlackMountain College Museum + Arts Center, 56 Broadway in downtown Asheville. The reading begins at 7:00 PM.

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The poster for Tom’s reading was created for the Center by our very talented intern, Clare Hubbard, a student at Warren Wilson College. Click on the image for a larger version.
Original content © 2006.

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