The Narrow Interior of the Shore is a two-part experimental long poem. The first part, Where I find myself or, when I arrived, consists of two transcriptions of the 1950’s melodrama movie, Letter from an Unknown Woman. Both transcriptions are attendant only to the visual and auditory surface of the movie and utilise a procedural approach common to certain examples of ‘conceptual writing’. Neither transcription provides information about the viewer nor attempts to go beneath the surface via interpretation or speculation. This approach raises the questions, what is not being said and why.
The second part, Where I find you or, the shore, also adopts predefined parameters, however, these are not procedural so much as visual, temporal, thematic and stylistic. In this part a more traditional poetic approach is used, with content being gleaned from a selection of ‘source texts’ including: autobiographical material based on living in Vienna for three months (the setting for Letter from an Unknown Woman); visits to the Picture Gallery at the Kunsthistorisches Museum; conversations with Irish artist, Isabel Nolan; discussions on hands and animality; paintings; movies and fictional narrative elements. A fictive temporal constraint also structures this part in that it is ‘based’ on a poorly remembered ten minute period involving Isabel and I in the Picture Gallery. This part is effectively 'set' in Hall 10 of this Gallery and is a repeated remembering of the ten minute period.
Both parts rely heavily on the simple and direct language of immediate observation and description and both explore aspects of loss, memory, witnessing, meaning and the translation of content between sign systems. No real attempt is ever made to penetrate the surface of things as they appear. At times a poetic investigation eschews and the physical is lost in abstractions or descriptions but these appear more like mythopoetic fragments than verifiable assertions.
The exegesis provides an explanation of my process, poetic concerns and a series of entry points for the reader. I also briefly discuss challenges faced, areas for further exploration and issues relating to subject matter and methodology. The latter is an attempt to situate my work within broader cultural and social issues.