Analysis of Jack Spicer’s After Lorca
The act of imagining or channeling a similar writer into conversation provides a direct link to creativity for Spicer and others like him, who write in the vein of queer magic in order to create and perpetuate lineage and connection to the sexual world despite distances of time and space.
(The book was posthumously published as The Tower of Babel, Talisman, 1994).
It is thisrealization that leads Spicer, in his next book Admonitions , directly to theproblematics of address, in a work whose form is explicitly epistolary, whose model is Dickinsonian rather than Whitmanian and whose centralrhetorical feature is obscenity.Threatened by a New York that isdissolute in every sense of the word, Lorca responds by rhetorically reaf ﬁrming an identity of proper name and common noun, as he had inhis Andalusian poems. If, following Walsh, we accept that Lorca fails to establish any transcendental ‘category capable of deﬁning the maricas,here he seems to abandon his failed project of categorization precisely by exploding any potential grouping into distinct, untranslatable nominalistfragments. The various groups are emphatically not subsumed under a single name; on the level of language, all possibility of equivalence andexchange is denied, including the referential exchange without whichtranslation is impossible – the ‘ matter ’ or referent of this particular passageis the singularity of a given name, in a given language, in a given place (Jack Spicer, 1980).
That lack of finality is precisely the interpretive dilemma to be valued’.
Jack Spicer, One Night Stand & Other Poems, ed. Donald Allen (San Francisco,CA: Grey Fox Press, 1980).
The House that Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer, p. 15
Daniel Tiffany’s groundbreaking Radio Corpse: Imagism and the Crypthaesthetic of Ezra Pound (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995)