So Much Depends on the Hinge, Part 3: Heller Levinson Interview

Jared: I’ve noticed for some time that you have been proposing Hinge as an antidote to what you dub, “rampant and pernicious commercialism.” How could Hinge help move us beyond capitalist modes of life?

 Heller:  The simplistic answer is:  By providing more enriching (i.e., Nutritious) options.

First we need to identify the problem before we can understand “moving beyond.” The Human Community has to reach an agreement that unbridled capitalism has reached the end of its tether.  This really shouldn’t require much convincing:  the planet is overheating, the glaciers are melting, the polar bears are dying, vegetation & wildlife are being destroyed, the global economic structure is one giant synthetic Ponzi scheme[1], our resources (oil, water) are ending or being contaminated, the gap between the haves & have-nots is growing, hunger is growing, rage is growing, fear is growing, & there exist over 55, 000 nuclear warheads that we know about.  The list of horrors could continue, but we all get the message.

This external damage is mirrored in the internal damage.  In 1985, Neil Postman published the now-classic Amusing Ourselves To Death.  Today, with all the gadgetry & digital devices campaigning for our attentions, this Self-Demolitioning can be ratcheted up manyfold.  The human animal is now something of a hybrid:  Part Human/Part Gadget (i.e. BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, etc.)  The whole notion of “Prolongation” which I discuss in our first interview appears to be more & more an exotic curiosity.

Our external landscape is befouling while our internal landscapes are besmirched & shrivelizing.

We are at the End Game.

Hinge Theory to the Rescue (read as the tune “Jim Dandy to the rescue.”).

I’ll include a quote of mine I rediscovered this morning when Felino Soriano sent me his new e-book (Divaricated, Spatial Aggregates):

“Hinge Theory is not a philosophy; it is a guideline to enable entrance to the Hinge Universe, which is a continuing construct of perpetually interconnecting, profusely propagating, contagiously enlivening multiuniverses of multi-complementary extensions.  We have identified language as alive . . . .” – HL

Hinge, then, can help us move beyond capitalist modes of life by providing a Richer Paradigm.  If one explores the Fecundating Plangency Rotational Cluster (in from stone this running, BWP, 2011), one can be initiated into Inner Landscape E(nrichment)xpansionism.  Or, for the more concrete minded, there is the Fecundating Stone Rotational Cluster (also in fstr).  If a person partakes in the Fecundating Stone Rotational Cluster, deeply inhales/imbibes, broods & meditates upon, mulls over, the belief is that the participant will never see a stone, or anything else, in the same way.  His/her “idea” of the stone will be newly-offered, a Perceptual InviGorAtion, an element of the universe will become achingly ALive for them, running/coursing through/with their being, their lives will become more highly sensitized, delightf(illed)ull, spilling into surrounding are(n)as, into trees, creeks, brooks, badger, bark, ancient burial grounds, their world will sparkle, they will rejoice, they will want to Intercourse more, they will lust to explore “love like apparitional joinery,” “lamentation like inglorious silk,” . . . I mean, — who can go shopping after experiences like these?  Wal-Mart will die.  Apple will die.  The Human Being will emerge Newly Flowered.

A note about my comment above, “. . . is Partaken of. . . .”  I’ve had people who have been reading Smelling Mary come up to me & say “I’m still getting through your book.”  Well, neither SM, nor fstr is intended to be gotten through.  Reading Hinge Applications should not be task oriented.  I much prefer — in fact,for the kind of immersion I’m suggesting, I would say it is mandatory — the approach of a reader who told me she had been spending two months on “in the temperature of barn” & was still exploring it assiduously.  This is the path of prolongation, of full absorption, of deepimbibeenthrallment.

Now I’ll need to drift[2] a bit to flesh out how Hinge can assist in correcting the current greed-oriented toxic situation.  We have to understand that the very foundation of the structure is faulty.  The Chairmen of the Boards of our large corporations have one singular raison d’etre, & that is to achieve profits for their shareholders.  That is the extent of their responsibility.  They have no moral imperative, no ethics other than to provide “profits” for their shareholders.  QED.  That sums up the dilemma right there.  As long as no more inclusive, Vitalistic-oriented considerations take precedence, pernicious toxicity is inevitable.  Which is where we are today.

My proposal, with Hinge Theory as a model, is to Revolutionize the way we Live, Eat, Learn; in short, — how we inhabit the planet.  I know it sounds wide-eyed & preposterous, but at this point in time, we either Radically Alter Our Lives or we will certainly Extinguish them.  The smugness pervading the land is remarkable, the empowerment engendered by the new technology illusory, one only has to go through a severe storm, or the Northridge earthquake (I did), to see our entire infrastructure disabled in 17 seconds.

We must begin with Education.  Currently, there is no such thing as “education.”  Our schools & universities are no more than vocational schools, training grounds to equip citizens to participate in the transactional climate that is killing them.  To “begin with Education,” we have to Hingify the Teachers.  They need to be Spiritually Conditioned.  Without leadership, without persons Lighting The Way, we are Doomed.

This not being the appropriate time to submit a volume on Planetary Repair, suffice it to say that at this juncture we must reorient our lives toward Visions & Disciplines that offer Enrichment & Vitalism.

It has been a downhill slide from the sixties’ spiritual adventure of “Expand Your Consciousness” to the current Mantras of “LogIn,” and “Go Online.” We need to empower the Serfs of the Gadgetry Kingdom to release their Screen-Chains!

When they discover that there is more Satisfaction, more Pleasure, more FulFillment trekking the Inner Landscapes, they will toss their iPhones & stamp on their iPads.

They  will hear the Wake-Up Call to shift from a land of Narcoleptics to a land of Hinge-Devout Eureka Freaks!

So I say, — Get Freaky!


[1] see Joe Bageant’s “Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball:  Capitalism is dead, but we still dance with the corpse.”

[2] “Drift” is a Hinge activity, but gainful drift.

So Much Depends on the Hinge, Part 2: An Interview with Heller Levinson

Jared: In your last response, you mention that Hinge would be able to encapsulate everything from athletics to home cookery. That caught my eye. So far, we’ve talked about Hinge in very abstract/theoretical terms, but is it also a strategy for navigating through everyday life? An attitude, a frame of mind, more than a poetics? Is Hinge seeking to bridge that life-art gap?

 Heller:  For the past five years, I’ve been visited (as in visitation) by language springing with mutuality, beneficence, congregation, mobility, liveliness, curiosity, enterprise, expansionism, & reverence.  I also describe these years as a 5-year 7-month pregnancy.

Your question is profoundly prescient because just 3 weeks ago I began employing Hinge Strategies for “navigating through everyday life.”  The answer, then, to your question is “yes.”  How the “yes” is a “yes,” I will explore, with the caveat that it’s all so newly arriving that I’m not sure I can do it justice.

You will remember, Jared, that in our first interview – and the same would have applied a month ago — I expressed a disdain for biography.  I thought it the province of lower-order, trite-minded, applause-greedy, narcissists who could respond seriously to questions such as, “Do you have a writing schedule?”

A recent reunion after a 3 month break from my beloved has changed all that.  After reuniting, a tense situation arose between us, & I found that Hinge was extremely effective in orienting us toward a more productive, more enriching, more Loving approach.  (I’d like to signal “approach” as an area to investigate.)  So I am transforming from a hyper-private, semi-paranoid, hands-off-the-autobiographical stuff, into a balls-out, tell-all -confessionist.  Why?  Because Hinge demands it, as your question indicates.  My personal likes/dislikes, inclinations & prejudices, are immaterial in the light of Hinge Furtherance.

I will share an e-mail which I trust will illustrate Hinge Strategy In Action.

Background:  Mary was stressing from losing a renter and not regaining a replacement fast enough to sustain her relatively newly-purchased home.  I had distanced myself from her purchase of the home — I am uncomfortable with “ownership” — & told her from the get-go, she’d be on her own, don’t come to me for help.  The first medicinality was to examine why I had erected this artificial boundary.  Was I putting my beloved on trial?  She would have to prove herself?  Justify her purchase?  I was just going to sit on the sidelines with my arms folded in mock “I told you so” mode.  This no longer struck me as a rich posture for breeding Deep Intimacy.  Instead, I was Rupturing partnership, participation, & Intercourse because I had erected a static Division.  I changed my position & offered to rent the rooms to use as a weekend writing studio.  I asked Mary to be responsible for readying “my rooms” which, I did not realize at the time, put additional pressure on her already overloaded schedule.  From her point of view, she had suddenly acquired a third job.  Identifying this “Blockage” served to initiate a more prospering Hinge-To-Ward Her.  The e-mail:

Darling Mary,

I noticed “tensions” arising between us re:  the Heller rooms.

My thoughts:

1.  We go to marriage counseling

or

2.  We employ Hinge Therapy

I choose Hinge Therapy.

At this point, it is necessary to Re-Wind.  Why did Heller pay for the rooms in advance?  To Relieve Mary of Pressure, of Stress, so she could spend her time more Profitably, that energy going to her writing or some other area that was Productive, i.e., NON — Stressful.  By providing an Income Stream in advance, hoping to secure Security for her, it would also relieve her of Dealing with a foreign personality and the Stress of Worrying if it would work out.  The grand Design was all Pro Mary, to Further Her, Nutrition Her.

For Heller, it meant a)  Primarily taking care of his Honey’s concerns, and b) relieving Him of the stress of an Additional Personality, providing more private, romantic time for him and Mary.

What happened?  A number of things:  1.  Heller, gluttonously, under our toxic cultural conditioning, basked in having a City and Country Writing Studio, the Country Squire, his Very Own Studio Space in the Country.  2.  Mary and Heller thought it best to keep it a Business Relationship. — Wrong Wrong Wrong.  Let us De-Toxify.

We are not business partners, we are Lovers.  I want that space to be Our space, not MY space; I want it for US to enjoy, and since Mary is working there, at the present time anyway, more than Heller, who comes to relax and share time with his Cherished One, it is She who should employ the Work Space with the Preferred Light, it is She who should arrange the spaces that would most Profit her, . . . Heller initiated his “funding” to please Mary, to make her more Happy and Joyous, and that is the Focus I am now regaining. I am far more Interested in Intercoursing with Mary in Pruning practice than worrying about Spatial considerations.

Of course, I enjoy offering my tastes, opinions, ideas, & sharing together, . . . but I want it to be Mary’s Choices, … I started this for Her Gratifications and that is where this will end.  As of Now!

To Remark:

How immediate, spontaneously, and without Hesitancy, the WALLS erect/go up.

How much more Consideration, Meditation,  how much More CARE is required to bring them down.

With deep deep and deepening CARE & LOVE,

HELLER

I hope the e-mail illustrates how by first identifying the Blockage, & then seeking to eradicate/abolish/deconstruct that stance with Vital Circulation/Hinge-Throughs/Good Hygiene, a more rewarding Intimacy emerges. The e-mail was well appreciated by Mary & we deepened.

Dishing myself up as the sacrificial lab mouse, it is informative to note my transformation from our first interview, where my “aversion to the strictly personal” had me camouflaged as a Navy Seal specializing in Far East Intelligence to now, where I’m actually baring to the bone, or the bedroom, one might say.  I find it salient to share this — much as I hate having to expose myself — because I am now experiencing how Hinge is beginning to Shape/Lead/Alter Me.

For the first five years I feel I was immersed in Serving/Developing Hinge Theory.  Now I feel that Hinge is working on me, striving to shape/Fit me into the Ether it has achieved.  It is a strange concept that a creation can, in turn, turn around & begin to Create its Creator.  Since it is happening to & upon me, it doesn’t strike the “bizarre” note so much as it does the Miraculous, the Marvelous, the Sacred-Providential.

Lest this sound too new-age/hippy-dippy/artsy-fartsy/whacko Mystical, keep in mind that we have the proof, the skinny, the goods.  We have the material Evidence in all the applications, in the FRC’s, in the Fusion Reconnoiters, in the Intercourses with other Artists, it all Works.  We walk our talk.  This is not just “abstract/theoretical” babble because the Effectiveness of Hinge Theory is illustrated in the ongoing Work/Creation.  Talking about Hinge can distract us from the fact that we have profound evidence of its Effective Functionality.

What needs to be done is to study the Work, come to see how it behaves, & utilize it as a Medicinal Template, a Hygienic Paradigm.  Applying  elasticity, being in-service to the Particle, the notion of Mobilization/Densification/Complementarity & Extensionality to your everyday concerns, might assist you in Prospering your everyday life.

Drifting to home decorating, I will now note another incident which Reverberates Hinge Atmosphere.  [Your use of the word “encapsulate” would be antithetical to the Hinge Spirit since H releases/mobilizes/vivifies/liquefies —  expands & does Not compress.]  When Mary moved into her new home, the one tenet we agreed upon was not to make hasty decisions in terms of what belonged there & what didn’t, that each item admitted to the home must be Strenuously Precise, In Harmony, or Abandoned.  The first time I visited since our reunion, Mary showed me a lamp she had purchased for the living room.  I was stunned.  It was better than precise.  It was a Rarity.  Not only did it “serve” the room, it enhanced it, . . . Illumined in the truest sense.  She told me it cost $15.00, . . . I knew it to be priceless.  The Lamp looms so pregnantly in the Hinge Landscape that I am currently treating it as a Placement.[1]  A similar revelation was experienced when Mary introduce me to gardening one afternoon.  As primarily a city dweller, gardening had meant walking two blocks to the local florist & dishing out your credit card.  Digging, planting, turning the earth with your hands & fingers, Placing the plant for the appropriate sunlight for where the roots would best exfoliate, considering the watering, the height & configuration of the plant & how it coterminated with others, all the scrutinies involved brought to mind the considerations at work in an application.  I see that one can approach practices such as gardening as a Hingeful Discipline:  revealing Hinge Convergencies, Off-Shoots/Swells, . . . Tributarial Compoundments.  Nothing isolated.

There are further examples, but I think the message is clear:  Hinge is Ever-Present, & Omni-Pariticipatory, not some Monopoly gobbling up & “encapsulating” in any narrow Corporate-Minded sense, but an Invisible Hygienic Vitalistic Radiation underlying a planet currently besmirched by rampant & pernicious commercialism.

I am considering notions such as:  can a Universe breed from an Insight?  Are Universes operative because of Insight?  What would a Universe be like Void of Insight?  What is Art if not Insight?  Why is Insight Non-Spellable?  Is Hinge an Insight Sales Team?

The next part of your question:  Is Hinge “an attitude, a frame of mind, more than a poetics?”

First off, Hinge is not Hierarchical, it isn’t more or less than anything.  As has been pointed out, it is its own Integrally Universal Wholeness.  But I would certainly agree that an attitude, a frame of mind, evolves for anyone who spends any time practicing &/or studying Hinge.  It is unavoidable.  I have just finished illustrating this by showcasing my own conversion from being overly privatized to now offering disclosure.  I woke up this morning caught in the clutch of your question — “an attitude, a frame of mind,” to which I added, because I thought it was in your question, . . .  approach.  I thought I remembered that as an area I had signaled for further investigation, & sure enough I had, & although not directly embedded in your question, it certainly lies there.  I will spend a little time on this because it represents Hinge in action.  How significant is “attitude” to “approach?”  How does attitude differ from approach?  What elements in approach are not to be found in attitude?  Consider approach & outcome:  effects upon, balances/imbalances, equatables, what manner of ://:.[2]  Approach as a Determinant of Outcome.  Do Discrete Discriminations produce Determinates?  Note how Fundamental Approach is to hunting & fishing skills, to agriculture, to interpersonal skills, to improvisation, to dressage, to tango.  Future projects for Heller:  “in the mold of approach this fire,” “with approach this stalwart,” “from approach this ambidexterity,” “approach like amplitudinous skins,” “approach in the fawn of  Bedouin dawns,” “approach dawning in antediluvian storm,” “approach perfervid like annunciatory rash,” “upon parliamentary intrusion approach announces desultory as the law of the land,” etc.  We have, then, prepared to fertilize “approach” through an FRC treatment which, in turn, should provide us with a more Intimate, Enlivened, Respectful, Informed, Mobilized, Deepened, Inhalation of the word “approach.”

In the same tone, I would have to answer “Is Hinge seeking to bridge the life-art gap” by saying that Hinge isn’t “seeking” anything.  It is rather that we are seeking to understand Hinge.  Its tenets.  Its magic.  Its Multiordinality.  It is We who are Uncovering/Un-Hiddening all that has been clogged, suffocated, & maligned.  Reading D.H. Lawrence’s Apocalypse clues us into the Sumerian Intimacy with their Universe, their Connectedness, their Oneness, seemingly so less Alienated than we are today from our surroundings despite, or because of, all our sophisticated gadgetry.  And certainly, Yes, Hinge does Not admit of any life-art gap.  Gaps are man-made suppressants inadmissible in a Universe of Flow-Through Explosively Radicalized Fully-Extensional Reproductive-Minded Exuberances.


[1] For explanation see from stone this running.

[2] see fstr for “cogitation upon ://:”

So Much Depends on the Hinge: Heller Levinson Interview, Part 1

 Heller Levinson’s just-released from stone this running contains little stone, but much running. Readers will observe a poetry that runs, marathons, leaps, surges, and pirouettes across the page. The poems seem to squiggle and transform before one’s very eyes.

It’s the latest manifestation of Levinson’s Hinge project, a fascinating approach to the arts:

Jared: You previously described Hinge as an organic, constantly evolving project, so could you update us on the new developments that Hinge poetics has taken?

Heller:  Thanks for the question, Jared, . . . it’s good to be back.  Well, first off, we have the new book — from stone this running— from Black Widow Press.  I term this book a second-stage Hinge Enactment because it not only multiplies the initial modules that broke ground in Smelling Mary, — (for example, there now exist over 150 “withs,” and that’s only from my pen) but it introduces some thrilling new behaviorisms.  I won’t go into detail — that is what the book is for.  I will say, however, that in fstr, New Hinge Outcroppings are making their appearance for the first time.

Substantial new developments I can point to are my Hingings with the Artists [any Artist I Intercourse with qualifies as a Hinge Artist]:  Linda Lynch, Michael Dominick, Felino Soriano, Joe Giglio, Sedric Choukroun, & Elmar Lemes.

Linda and I made our debut on alligatorzine.be with a piece called “with lines.”  That Intercourse has bloomed into 35 pages of material that will be included in my next book, Wrack Lariat, a book devoted to Hinging with the visual arts.

In addition, Linda, Felino, & myself have performed the first Hinge Trio Event, with — Hinge Trio Performs Pathos (about 27 pages, currently looking for a publisher).  Here we have three artists impregnating the Particle[1] “pathos,” two (Felino & Heller) using the Lingual, & Linda utilizing the Visual.  Linda is decisively Not Decorating the “performance” with design, . . . she Is Drawing Pathos.

At Joe Giglio’s studio, I initialized The Interbreeding Amplitudinous Lyric Splash.  This Activity consists of the Hingist splicing existing lyrics with original applications.  The song I Hinged to was  “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” as sung by Fred McDowell.  You can see me performing this on YouTube.

[An aside:  I often think what distinguishes 21st century romances is their YouTubing one another.]

My Intercourse with Michael Dominick is recent.  He & I simply ignited.  I applaud his Curiosity, his Authenticity, his Lust to know about Hinge and how it behaves, his enthusiasm to Enlarge together, his Respectfulness (I’d better stop “applauding” or my hands are going to get raw) . . . .

I will be reading from a portion of “painting in the mold of fire,” (a Hinge Treatment in progress dedicated to Michael) to introduce his Gallery Event at the Red Tin Shack in Red Hook, Brooklyn on October 1st, my birthday.  I find it propitious that our first Live Intercourse together will be on my natal day, … it’ll mean a Double Birthday!

Michael & I are in discussion on a variety of ideas, some of which will be inclusive of the Hinge Artists mentioned above.

Joe Giglio, along with Sedric Choukroun, Elmar Lemes, & Frederic Legrand at the Brasserie Julien [2] developed “part beatitude/part beast.” For the first time, in “pb/pb,” I incorporate “the body” into the performance.  I was shy about doing this.  I was fearful it would be construed as some vain, narcissistic boob flapping his ass around.  I shared my concerns with Joe who said, “Why wouldn’t it work?  . . . Do it.”  So it was, I wanted the body to Be There, along with the African Olatunji drums, the physical pulse, the throb of rhythm adjoining the text, muscling the performance. We never rehearsed.  First time was the only time.These are what first come to mind; of course there have been other “alightments,” but I think these are some of the majors.

Jared:  I notice you use the word “Intercourse” instead of the more common “Collaboration” — is there a reason for that?

Heller:  Yes.  Hinge strives to protect & foster Integrity & Hygiene.  It is of High Importance that every word calibrate to this Salutiferous Ether.  One could view this as Word Conditioning.  It must be Fit, posess a certain Fit-Ness.

“Collaboration” is a reject.  It fails to qualify.  It is Un-fit.  “Collaboration” has a tony ring to it when it is expressed.  It suggests you are currying Societal Endorsement.  It sounds Self-Important.  It reminds me of when I lived in L.A. and every other person I met said , “I’m in a band,”  as if that magically assigned some Seal of Approval.

“Intercourse,” on the other hand, qualifies because it is FUN!  There is Activity:  Inter = “between,” “in the midst of,” “mutually,” & Course, = “forward or onward progression,” “to run, race, or move swiftly,” (like “running” in the title of this book), etc.  It is fecund, it breathes, it travels, it is, . . . well, I’ll just say it — Fucky.

Jared: Many artistic developments  have come with their own theoretical articulations–for example, it’d be hard to see how Modernism would have evolved  without its million gadzillion manifestos–but Hinge is especially complex,

complete with explanatory notes, appendices, & a vocabulary that borrows from scientific discourse. Since most artists are notoriously inarticulate about their process, what spurred you on to describe Hinge in such a precise way?

Heller:  Curious question, Jared, because it has a curious answer.  The short answer to the question is that I never wanted to discuss Hinge.  I have an aversion to the “discursive,” preferring the realm of what Artaud refers to as the “Affective Imponderable.”

When I moved to NYC (with only 6 or 7 “withs” applicated) & dined with  Mary Newell, I would regale her with tales from the Hinge Laboratory, — the curious behavior of the “word”  (particle) when it gristled with the “with” (the pivot/combustion/launch).  Then Outcropped the “road to ______ road” module & I marveled at how the same particle/subject would be complemented & extended (in mutation, transformed/re-disposed) when chambered in a Modular Alternative.

Salutations to Mary Newell for tolerating such single-minded, manic explosions after enduring a full day of teaching & a two-hour commute. Mary Newell began identifying & discussing the behavior I was submitting.  She is the person who gave us the name “Hinge.”

I felt Safe simply being immersed in the Magmatic Enormity of the material.  I feared if I talked about the creating, I would lose it, as Rilke feared that he would lose his writing ability if he underwent psychoanalysis.  I shrank from identification/discussion/analysis.  I preferred bathing in the Magic.

The first time I was called upon to “say about” was when meeting Mary Newell & Andre Spears to discuss their Dialoguing Hinge, per the suggestion of Michael Annis. After Andre & Mary had discoursed for a while, Andre turned to me & said, — “And of course you have some thoughts.”  Well, of course, I didn’t.  Nada.

I informed Michael Annis of the meeting and he was pleased Andre & Mary were on board & informed me — when I told him of Andre’s remark, & my inbred resistance, he’d have none of it.  Michael said I have to Talk About Hinge because no one else is qualified to do so.  And he didn’t want a guide.  He demanded the inner guts.  So, with trepidation, I began the Hinge Theory Diagnostic (page 71, Smelling Mary, Howling Dog Press, 2008).  While creating the “Diagnostic,” I realized I had been condemned.  Clearly, I could not pass this off on anyone else.  I could no longer just participate in what thrilled me, I was now Obligated to expose/deliver/offer/submit the very Magic that so Enthralled me.  I’ll include a fragment of an email to Michael that platters forward the original flavor:[3]

[right on … I’m becoming a Hinge Scientist as well as an artist, … something I never envisioned, you got me doing all this “talk,” … I actually enjoy the creating the best, but, we have something so vital here that it’s beyond what I “enjoy,” I feel an obligation to share it and continue to shape/explore it … as you’ll see in my last e-mail to Anthony, the point to Olson (John) was to try and help him see the vastness involved, and that it’s not at all splashed haphazardly together, it’s very precisely “geared,” like planetary orbit … Mary Newell put it this way:  “Hinge is material of connectivity and introduces an intentional and generative biasing.  Like a pool table with all the balls commotioning and someone lifting the pool table slightly so all that activity is directed.  (With the additional image that new balls are being added all the time as the pool table itself enlarges).”]

 That should partially answer your question, Jared, about what “spurred me to describe Hinge.”  I wasn’t “spurred” so much as Compelled.  The “Choice” was not for me to make if I was to go forth Honorably.

This leads to an interesting point, and why expressing my accounts of Hinge Theory are Mandatory, in my opinion.  Not better, mind you, than other accounts,  just Necessary, for I don’t go outside of the Framework, the ConteXtual Behaviorism of Hinge to describe Hinge.  I attempt to shy away from any Referential Matter.  It is fine, good, & appropriate, — even Necessary — that it is being done, and will continue to be done, by others.  To quote myself:

“One must resist the temptation to enclose (circumscribe) the newly emerging with the already existing.  Such tendencies will sacrifice ‘novelty’ to the safety nets of the familiar.”

Another element in your question interests me: — your labeling HT an “artistic development.”  I find that restrictive/reductive.  We would not term the creation of our Universe as an “artistic development,” although we can appreciate viewing it that way, —  as an additionality, as prospering Perspectival Furtherances.

HT is Emphatically Not another artistic development like “Surrealism” or “Post-Modernism,” … it is Vaster.  It is Inclusive of artistic movements, as it is inclusive of musical/athletic/lovemaking/home decorating/cooking & dog- training parallels.  But it remains its own Integrally Unique Creation.  The Integrally Whole must be segregated from Fragmentary Movements.  An Ocean is not a bottle of Evian.

I would like to consider your comment — “. . . have come with their own theoretical articulations.”  I don’t see myself articulating theory.  I  Messenger Marvels.  I unwrap them for you, I fondle them, I gush, & I  rhapsodize, & when called upon, — I Remark.

Further, We don’t “borrow from Scientific Discourse.”  Striving for greater & greater precision, we Utilize from Anywhere/Everywhere.  When a scientific term is most accurate, we use that; if an athletic or dance expression is, —such as “pivot” — we use that, . . . Hinge is Non-Boxable.  “CrissCrossery” used to cogitate upon ://:, probably derives from my image of Pick-Up Sticks.

Curiously, science uses precision to arrive at provability/demonstrability/measurability/accountability/predictability & Explicability. HT employs precision to arrive at the Mysterious/the Infinities/the Magical/the Im-measurable/the Boundless … the IN-explicable.

ExplicitNess to Un-Describe.  Merely to Offer, to Present, — a Cosmic Gift, Eureka after Eureka AWaiting you.

As a Manifesto:  Follow the path of Hinge — you have nothing to lose but your Misery!


[1] See first interview in Jivin’ Ladybug.  These terms are also explained in both Smelling Mary and from stone this running.

[2] Venues constitute Hinge Components — a special salutation to Frederic Legrand & the Jivin’ Ladybug for featuring the performance on their site.

[3] A special note of Regard for Michael Annis (HDP) who has been instrumental in partnering this Hinge forward.

No Rust on These Hinges: A Heller Levinson Interview

No Rust on These Hinges: Heller Levinson & Hinge Theory

Jared: In ten words or less, can you describe Hinge? How is Hinge different from other methods of poetry-fashioning?

James: Cool, Jared, let’s rip … Well, part of the beauty of Hinge Theory is that I always say it is non-reducible, — i.e.  non-shelvable, commodifiable, label-able.  So my ten word or less answer for what is Hinge is the following:  It’s not what it Is, but how it Behaves.  There, nine words, whew!  When people used to ask me what Hinge was, I’d beg my publisher, Michael Annis (Howling Dog Press) to hurry up and produce the book, Smelling Mary, because then I could answer them with “here (giving them to book), here is Hinge.”  That would be the one word answer — “Here.”

But by answering “How is Hinge different from other methods of poetry-fashioning,” I’ll be able at the same time to dialogue Hinge, with the caveat that everything I say is incomplete and intended to work as “indicators,” (indication) only.  Seeing as Hinge is a new and young discipline, I am still learning as I go, learning more all the time.  But right off the bat we can assert that Hinge departs from all other poetic fashionings in declaring itself an ongoing ever-fulfilling linguistic enterprise.  Every poem or story that has an ending, a finish, every  poem or story that says “this is it,” “this is what I am,” “digest this,” is Dead!  Finito!  Yesterday!  A relic, Pre-Hinge … each and every Hinge Application is fervently fulfilling itself in additional applications.  Notice, I no longer associate my creations with the term “poetry,” instead we (the “we” refers to all Hinge Practitioners) employ the term “applications.”  Also, Mobile Probe Collectives, also MUPAE’s — Mutational Update Panel Animation Extenders.  We are constantly in motion, constantly refining, additioning, architecting.  So, for the neophyte, if a person goes to the Jivin’ Ladybug site and encounters the cycle of Mermaids, for example, they will see that the subject of Mermaids is being treated in a variety of “set-ups,” we call these “set-ups,” (mechanisms) Hinge Modules, on the Ladybug site, the Cycle of Mermaids exfoliates the subject/word (Hinge vocabulary terms this element the Particle) in differing ethers, swivels it into alterior and complementary mobilizations.  Perhaps similar to acculturating cells in various Petri Dishes.  To date, over a dozen Mermaid Applications have been rendered.  Each application both creates its own Mermaid Personality (ether) and interacts/impacts with the other applications.  The Particle, then, is always in transition, on the road to developmental road (further development).  Slapping your wrists a bit, the “ten words or less,” reflex, the nitwitpedia, the googling informationMania, what is described as our now living in an ADD culture, which in reality is now an ADC culture, since attention deficit is the common denominator, or the accepted Condition, it is no longer a disorder, but the norm, one begins to see the underpinnings of Hinge as a uniquely Counter Cultural movement … the non-reducible, that which resists fold-in and manifestoes unfolding as creed, that which does not define Trauma-in-America as when our computer is down, or we are out of Cell Phone reach, that which adheres to a neurological integrity, the dizzying zone of vortical centrality.  Which brings us to the concept of prolongation.

Jared: What do you see as the benefits of Hinge’s process of prolongation? Why is the notion of an ending so anti-Hinge?

James: Prolongation benefits the practitioner by permitting a deeper and richer experience.  Again, it is counter cultural and thoroughly opposed to the Jiffy this and the Jiffy that, the quick access, the quick broadband, the quick fix.  Prolongation insures a sinkening, a marinating, a Delve/Immerse-Into that heightens both the practioner and the subject addressed, we can compare this to the prolongation of love-making, the maintaining of arousal – (I like that:  Hinge and Arousal Maintenance) – the binding of the experiential unit into an ever mounting sensous blend of cavorting ecstatic eurekas.

This sense of things could knock the Viagra industry on their ass.  I mean, why are so many persons  paying good money to get their dingles up?  From my point of view, one of the benefits of aging is that the damn thing begins to stay down.  Wouldn’t it be beautiful to see workshops spring up offering instruction on Building The Month Long Erection, The Artisanal Erection, The Twelve Step Program to a Slow Sperm.  Craftsmanship, Caretaking, Slowing Down, bringing the old reliable values back.

Hinge purports to flesh out, to impregnate, asserts that there is no ending because there are infinite opportunities to mobilize the particle. In similarity with Deleuze and Guattari’s “desiring-machine”, we can have pauses, interruptions, breaks even, but the flow continues.  And in the case of Hinge Theory, what is integral is that complementation accompanies that flow.  Let’s Hinge, right now, we are discussing prolongation, what is prolongation, what does it mean, what does it get us, how does it ‘perform,’ so:

with

prolongation,  …     maneuver

irritability,      — complaint

…..

purloin quiddity loin launch mastication therapies altitudinous gain no gainsay quibble

grit grainy to robust go

archaelology          the dig         uncovering

perturbation                       pertination

present

To provide a ‘quick’ (succumbing to cultural pressure) take on the above application:  to prolong is against the grain in our culture therefore one must ‘maneuver’ become ‘irritable’ with the blockages and of course rag (complain) about them … I then employ a ZAP, a Zinging Activation Procedure,  (a long large mouth/lung full of a legato one breath fractally collusional line intended to de-stabilize & to evoke (not to claim) alterior reassemblies) which campaigns to nutritionally gain altitude and steer toward the ‘robust, the realm of loin and therapy, and what we are working with in this Hinge Application is an archaeology, digging into the logos, the word uncovering perhaps perturbing material yet ‘pertinent,’ (‘pertination’ = neologism) and then to present the results of our dig which is the application.

Now to show why “end” is anathema, and how Hinge Enlarges, imagine the other modules we can submit “prolong,” “prolongation,” to:

the road to prolong road

smelling prolongation

in the prolonging of orgasm

with prolongation this pertinence

from prolongation this archaelology

prolong like conspicuous tribe

To break it down, the seven modules cited above are:  1.  the road to ____ road  2.  with __ 3.  smelling ___  4.  in the ____ of _____  5.  with ____ this ____  6. from ___ this ____ 7.  2 syllables plus “like” plus three of four syllables plus one syllable.

The “with” module to date has over 200 applications.  All the others cited have a minimum of twelve.  Once each of the “prolong” modules above has been fulfilled/executed, we should be treated to some very enlightening views of “prolong/prolongation,” some “novel” views if I may say so, and here we again see Hinge at work for “novelty” has already been treated with “with novelty,” “the road to novelty road,” “smelling novelty,” etc. —  there you have it, our language, our exchanges, become ignited by flesh-outs, stomach kicking impregnations, the wor(l)d becomes more fascinating, it is both what we are saying/exchanging and the trip-over events that trigger further explosive illuminatories.  We are enmired in the Dervish-Fabulous.

Obviously this needs to become a group practice.  One person can only go so far in creating a linguistic cosmology.  And as we speak this conjoinment is taking place, Michael Annis will be the featured poet in the upcoming Cartier Street Review and will be featuring three of his own modules, one of which I have hinged to.  So as more modules are being born, what I would call zero foundation creation, we have existing modules attracting Modular Reaction.  All quite exciting.  I hope you agree.

Jared:  The complementation and prolongation sides to Hinge seem to indicate that it could very well move beyond writing. It seems to be a method of interacting. Is there a Hinge beyond writing?

James:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.  Good catch, Jared.   Let’s call it an activity of interactivity, connectivity, and complementarity?  Basically, the behavior is as follows:  Each Hinge Application (what formerly was called the “poem”) is intended to work independently.  To qualify as a Hinge Application (a MUPAE), it must in some manner enlarge the “particle,” (the subject).  Each application, in turn, is connected to additional applications that are also working on enlarging (complementation) the particle – causing an unremitting cogency combustion.  At the same time, each application, by virtue of creation, breeds new particles as it dehisces.  And while new particles are being created, so are new modules (modules being the device that shuttle the particle, such as “the road to ____ road).  An upsweeping spiral of contagious generative creation is thus efflorescing.

So in answer to your question, Hinge invites, indeed requires, non-linguistic disciplines to co-create.  For example, I worked with the hugely talented guitarist/poet/artist, Joe Giglio on fulfilling (this, in Hinge Language would be the third element of the three P’s – the first is pivot (with), the second would be the particle (in this case, arson), and the third would be the postulate, which would be our duet-ing to “with arson.”  (Any interested readers should really consult the Hinge Theory Diagnostic in Smelling Mary).  With Joe playing the guitar, and myself playing English, we set forth on playing “arson.”  What sets this collaboration apart from the plethora of artistic collaborations is that we are focused on fleshing out and treating subject matter (i.e. arson), whereby “arson” becomes more MindFu(i)ll(ed).  We are not intermixing but inter-breeding.  In the volume Smelling Mary, Michael Annis executed the first Hinge Visual Event, the artwork collaborating with and extending the linguistic information.  Art, architecture, drama, sulpture dance, all creative endeavors are potential Hinge Operatives.

My focus has necessarily been on creating a productive Hinge Linguistic Universe to serve as a prototype.  It is also my hunch/belief, along with that of my publisher, Michael Annis, that there are laws at work in these Hinge Formulations that should interest the scientist and the mathematician.

Hinge is thus all-inclusive, it is a way of being-in-the-world.  Hinge would necessitate a change in the pedagogic system, we would no longer have isolated subjects with isolated teachers and textbooks – History textbooks/History teacher, Math textbook/Math teacher –  we need to reengineer the very foundations of our Education programs (to provide flow-throughs) as well as well as our society, not performing what the current administration seems intent upon doing – societal restoration, but rather, and very profoundly, societal Re-Creation.  I even envision Hinge providing the spark that could serve to de-barrier the Palestinian/Isreali conflict.  But I fear I’m getting away from our current purview now.

The short answer is an emphatic YES! writing is but a Hinge Aspect.

Jared: What lead you to Hinge, to viewing language in the particular ways that you are?

James:  Similar to a scientific breakthrough in a laboratory, I would have to say it was accident.  I was driving with the movement therapist Victoria Ganim from Santa Monica, Ca to NYC with a stopover in Fort Collins to visit with my publisher, Michael Annis, and to appear on radio.  At that point I had begun a poem beginning with “with.”  After that I placed “with” before a word and that was it, that was the spark, the catalyst, the cat was out of the bag, an alchemy, an activity transpired once I preceded a word with the “with,” what we now term the “pivot,” and like a gourmet discovering a perfect wine to twin with a certain cheese, I could hardly await the next encounter, I was off, transported, a “with” among a universe of words, of words waiting to be launched by this magical property, this empowering elixir.  By the time we reached Michael’s house, I had executed about seven “with” applications and was ecstatic about the thaumaturgic properties inherent in this formulation.  Michael had just finished publishing my book ToxiCity, and we had become as close as brothers while we were putting the book together, true compadres.  He had seen photos of me, but I had no visual image of him, and when he opened the door, there he was, a Christ figure, lean and taut, the face chiseled, prophetic, … fierce.  He opened the door and before it even closed behind us I was regaling him with “withs,” opening my notebook and reading him the applications, I didn’t notice the surroundings, barely acknowledged his wife, I knew there was something important, something blazing upon us, and, — he took it all in, endorsed the alchemy, the mad furnacings agglomerating.  We talked for two days and nights, I did a radio appearance, we ate food, but all I remember is our excitement, and this third factor that coagulated around us, that we couldn’t name or identify, but that was searing our insides with entreaty.  Then I began doing applications pivoting off of the formulation (called “modules”) “the road to ____ road,” and then off of the pivot, “smelling,” then, again accident, I tried putting the same word in the “road” formulation that was in “with” and “smelling,” and I found that each module was capable of delivering different and additional news.  I was too caught up in this tumult to want to do anything other than deliver it, create it, and, one evening, having dinner with the Emily Dickinson and Literary Critic/poet, Mary Newell, I asked her what she thought about all this lingual behavior and she said “it’s like a Hinge,” so Mary Newell is the person who actually coined the term that we all use today.  So the progress/process, has been very incremental, step by step, with new developments occuring all the time.  The precise answer to “what led me to viewing language in the particular ways that I do,” is that language led me there.

Jared:  How do you decide what to turn into a pivot?

James:  That is such a great question!  I’d like to see more attention and study being given to the phenomenology of the Question.  The question is such a propellant, such a mobilizer.  Now that I think about it, the question is what the pivot sets up.  See, Jared, we’re actually making advances in Hinge Theory now.  We could say, could we not, that the Question is the domain of the possible, it is the alchemical zone which initiates construction and assemblage, i.e. creativity.  At the most basic survival level, “I am hungry,” results in the question, “How do I satisfy this hunger.”  The module, “with mermaid” leads us to ask, what? with mermaid, what? to what? “smelling mermaid,” what … what’s it smell like? “the road to mermaid road,” – what happens on that road? what direction does it take us?  Without the pivot the word lies static, lexiconic; the area we need to spring into for transformation, for galvanization, is the Domain of Query. (I will be developing this, the Query, and how it relates to Hinge Theory, down the road.)

How do I “decide what to turn into a pivot” is really a two part answer.  The first part of the answer is the belief that Everything should be pivotized, thrown into question, tossed up, explored, made more interesting, doused with fascination.  (After all, we live in a Democracy).  This is why Hinge is evolving into a discipline/a practice, since it can never reach fulfillment as a one person enterprise.  Every word in the dictionary needs to be launched by a “with” (not to mention other modules), every image, every appearance, gesture, manifestation, concept, sound, color, etc., is ripe for Hinge Fulfillment.  So the decision is already made, everything requires pivot, it’s just a matter of getting around to it all.  As we mentioned in SM:  “There is virtually no component of Hinge that does not yearn for intercourse, … throughout the ongoing invention of Hinge, we learned to our continual astonishment that we are dealing with a very erotic universe.”

The second part of the answer — how I decide to pivot what I pivot – is that it’s largely accidental.  I’m beginning to feel quite strange answering so many of your questions with “accidental.”  I thought the idea behind the “interview” was, in some measure, to feature the interviewee, and here I am repeating how inconsequential I am, self-annihilating, so to speak.  By the end of the interview I may simply vanish.

But I think my role is to recognize a particle deserving addressment; someone might say in a conversation, “it’s intuition,” and I will say to myself, hmmm, that’s interesting, intuition, now what does that really mean, what do we really know about intuition, and, most importantly, what can we learn about intuition, and then I’ll just chamber it in the module (or multiple modules) “with intuition,” and off we go.  This got to be something of a joke as I’d go out to dinner with a friend, I’d have two or three modules I’d be working with during the day, and we’d be talking and something curious would arise and my friend would say, “with preposition,” and I’d say no, no, leave me alone, … it’s like I was being bombarded with insemination requests.

Then there’s the role of serendipity/synchronicity/divine intervention which I think the artist is particularly alert to.  One becomes a conduit for the miraculous, the necessaries, the materials required to flesh out a vision/a mission simply appear magically.  At first, when I was younger, this was quite spooky, I’d be working on a crow poem, for example, and at that time there hadn’t been many books written about crows, and I’d happen into a bookstore, and within moments while I was there for another book, a book on the Raven would appear, and that Raven book would end up containing very crucial material for the poem’s formation.  But now I relax about these “givens,” these divine interventions, in fact, I’ve come to expect them, to depend upon them.  Once a subject (particle) has been chosen to be featured (perhaps like in an interview?), it is also clear that they are ripe to be pivoted through differing modules, so that is another decision to be made:  ultimately, each particle requires submission to each extant module.  Since there is limited time, the decision to let’s say submit Mermaid (prior to “oligarchy”) to every module available is made because I have an ongoing absorption in the Mermaid and require as much information/enlightenment as I can obtain on her, thus I need to know how she will appear as she fleshes through the various tosses.  She emerges as a pressure.

Now that becomes curious, the dynamic of “pressure” in the psychic topography.  I want to flag this as an area deserving further investigation.  To initiate, we will pivot “pressure” through three differing modules:  “with pressure,” “the road to pressure road,” and “smelling pressure.”  So this both answers and illustrates how I decide what to pivot:  they arise.  They occur.

We are also illustrating Hinge Behavior during this interview as already we are breeding subject matter (particles) that are just begging for it – The Domain of Query, Pressure, the road to developmental road, Hinge & Arousal Maintenance, Prolongation, etc.  A wealth of material is being created during only a few pages of this interview process.  This qualifies this interview as a Hinge Event.

Jared: How has the reception for Hinge been so far?

James: Well, I don’t feel I’m in the rating business, and I’m hesitant to comment on the reception to my own invention.  There are only two ways it could go:  what a pompous, arrogant asshole, or, it smacks of false humility.  That being said, I’m quite pleased by the reception, as Hinge has affected some lives very deeply, musicians and artists as well as poets and writers.  Adam Roufberg of the radio show, Radio Active Lunch (broadcasting and streaming live from Vassar College, WVKR), recently dedicated a show to Heller Levinson, and with a group of talented musicians proceeded to Hinge musically.  Kurt DeVrese of the sensational Belgian literary ezine, alligatorzine,(www.alligatorzine.be), enthusiastically embraced Smelling Mary and featured a selection on his site.  Examples abound, but I fear leaving someone out, so I’ll stop here.  Additionally, it’s important to note, that the applications (the “poems”) were achieving widespread acceptance by fine literary journals, both print and online, without any understanding that these applications were connected to a larger picture.  That is how they were designed.  Each application is intended to stand on it’s own as a successful utterance.  Your magazine, The Jivin’ Ladybug, for instance, featured Hinge applications prior to Hinge Theory being unveiled.

That being said, I will lament that book sales have been pitiful.  I feel particuarly poor about that as the publisher, Michael Annis, has poured so much of himself into this project that it disturbs me to see him remunerated so slightly.  This is a reflection, I fear, on there being a disinclination to explore deeply.  A person can google me, read a few poems of mine online, and feel – as someone who was soliciting me for a book review actually said, without ever having read a book of mine,  that she “knew all about me” – they are in touch with my work.  This book-deprivation phenomenon has been much discussed by others, so I’ll let it go at that.

It also must be mentioned that there has been no publicity, and little effort to secure readings.  My focus continues to be more about doing the work than worrying about how it’s being received.  Which has more to do with the fact that there is so much work to be done, then it does with egolessness.  We are not looking for “reception”, we are looking to Overhaul.

Jared: Since this interview has been somewhat concerned with beginnings, I’m curious as to what made you start writing poetry and why poetry over other art forms?

James:  Pain.

I did particpate in other art forms – drums from a very young age, and visual expressions – , but it seems that poetry seduced me more comprehensively, or, perhaps another point of view, would be — I was simply better at it.

With my background from the navy seals and military cognizance training, I developed into one of the leading Intelligence agents in the far East.  My specialty was Laos and Thailand.  When not gathering intelligence and disciplining subordinates, I spent a lot of time in brothels and bars, soaking up tongues, bitters, & babble, a collage of seediness, grime, …  skank.  It wasn’t long before my off-duty behavior took its toll.  My intelligence was less reliable, the wrong people were getting killed, the wrong trucks requisitioned.  I was becoming more and more dissolute, slithering through vertiginous opiate miasmas, perfumed pubic petals, inviting forests of nymphys & hallucination.  My grip on my responsibilities waned.  My assessments became more & more skewered.  This did not go unnoticed.  I was talked to.  Consulted with.  I was advised.  I received warnings.  My career was in jeopardy.  I feared life outside the “company,” I knew it to be perilous, flimsy, … I couldn’t afford risking all.  Mi Jeong, one of my favorites girls, had a copy of The Poetry of Robert Frost on her night table, I read the poem “The Road Not Taken” and it changed my life.  I was saved.  You could say that it was the trinity of Mi Jeong, the Pillow, and Robert Frost, that rescued me from perdition.  I was soon Zooming down the poetry highway.  Gathering Highly Classifieds like a motherfucker.*

*  From “with my background …” down, is devisement and suggests HL’s aversion toward the strictly personal.

Jared: We’ve talked about how Hinge can branch beyond the realm of writing & you’ve mentioned the collaborations between you & Joe Giglio. I was wondering if you could talk about the role of performance in your writing. Does it influence the compositions? What is the best way to perform your applications?

James: Pretty much I turn up the rap music on my boombox, raise the volume of Trane’s “Love Supreme” on my iPod which blares out of 3 foot JBL subwoofers, max the volume on my computer spitting out Elvis singing “Heartbreak Hotel,” then I get Joe Giglio on the phone and ask him to play “Moon River” on “Butterscotch” his telecaster, & while this sound cyclonic is mushroomrooming I’m also watching Nureyev dance “The Corsair” on YouTube while my daughter is bitching in my other ear about my lack of parental skills.  These enactments situate me in a proper environment for Hinge compositions and undoubtedly impress themselves upon my creations.  I mean, when Elvis sings “just take a walk down lonely street, to Heartbreak Hotel,” with Elvin careening on the tom-toms, & Joe blistering through enharmonic scaling & Nuryeyev performing “tours en l’air,” you just know you’re in the country of “the road to lonely road,”* “in the heartbreak of lonely, “smelling Heartbreak,” “smelling lonely,” “lonely like libidinous flaw,” “from lonely this heartbreak,” – crashing breakers of outseeking source muse, sacred mash, celestial minglings.

Two days ago, a brilliant painter – Henry Avignon – contacted me and asked for guidance on employing Hinge in some of his artistic projects.  We are now in the midst of a collaboration which is initialing with the Mermaid Particle.  I’ll have material to actually show you down the road.

It’s difficult to apply determinations like “best” to our enterprises because, like I said, Hinge is very much still in its infancy and as more and more practitioners become involved, the playing field will expand and so will its behaviorisms.  I’m hacking away at the thornies as I pilgrim through the linguistic brambles, … frenetically, doggedly, marveling in amazement as the nuggets I uncover are being scooped up and developed.

This is all very encouraging.  There might be hope.

* the road to lonely road

sunkfull, …..     slinkery capsize

bloat            cacophonous caulking

callow co-ordinates    (going down)

reiterant reissues

the calumny that closes a hold a

perfidy a puncture

a skull manufactured

overseas

a pit(i)fall(ful)

Jared: You’ve mentioned that with Hinge there is a break, that it seems to call into existence a new kind of reader. While many avant-garde movements have attempted to do the same, I get the sense that with Hinge, you’re going for something different. How can this interactive poetics avoid getting ghetto-ized as “avant-garde” or “experimental”? While these terms rarely do justice, I find they fit even less in Hinge, a poetics gauged to be “experiential” rather than simply “experimental”.

James: I like the distinctions you’ve drawn and I think they are right on the money.  It was Michael Annis (HDP publisher) who said that “with Smelling Mary (the first true Hinge enactment), James, you’ve drawn a line in the sand.” And what he meant is that it established once and for all the differential between “dead poetry” (his words), and that which is truly alive, vitalistic, and galvanizing.  Additionally, it suggests that if you’re not practicing Hinge, you’re archaic.  Single-serving sized poems (Jared Demick term) may be skilled, admirable, moving even – quixotic curiosities –, but, as in the case of iambic pentameter, they are no longer pertinent.  No longer offering a medicinal contribution.  Most so called “poets” on the current scene are executing mere Vanity Exercises – like pumping iron in the mirror, look how great I am, applaud me.  You’ll notice, to segregate myself and Hinge from this culture, I do not call our creations “poems,” but rather refer to them as “applications.”

Certainly, Hinge is “experiential” and not “experimental.”  This is not another link in poetic movement to be annotated in the Norton Anthology; we’re not traveling from Dada to Surrealism to Beat to Concrete to the New York School to Deep Image to Confessional to Language school ….  We are not an offshoot.  Not some brand new mannerism looking to insert itself into the mainstream to attract fat University salaries.  No.  We are guerillas, saber-toothed, dangerous & dreamy; we come armed with insight & provisions.  We are dedicated to affecting a Revolution in the Country of Mind.

Hinge Theory is not a philosophy; it is a guideline to enable entrance to the Hinge Universe which is a continuing construct of perpetually interconnecting, profusely propagating, contagiously enlivening multi-universes of multi-complementary extensions.  We have identified language as alive   generative   reproductive.  We replace the lexiconically static with the Impregnative-Fertile.  Unlike Surrealism, which adapts a poetic practice to achieve an ideational goal – penetrating to the “real” with methodologies that are considered more “real” (Surreal) than rationalistic approaches –, Hinge is paradoxically about creation and discovery.  I say paradoxically because we view creation/exploration/discovery as all coterminous.  We are not claiming to present any thing that doesn’t already exist, but, rather to deliver what Does Indeed Exist.  To reveal what has been dormant, undisclosed because, like rocketry which enabled the human race to get a handle on outer space, we now have an approach that can lead us to uncharted territory, to miraculous material.  A book like Smelling Mary is essential reading to illustrate the above discussion because it walks its talk.  One can see/experience how a lingual universe is being created, step by step, cautiously, reverently, circumspectly, gaining & gaining, galaxies being created.  The only apt comparison would be to our universe which has already been created and is still undergoing creation, evolvement, … we can talk about it, but the universe is still the universe, existing independent of exegesis and scientific analysis.  The physicist Adam Roufberg, is working on a paper entitled — “A Statistical Analysis of Combinatorics in the Phase Space of Hinge Theory, and Several Mappings In Complexity.”  I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about, but I anxiously await the paper.  And that’s what I mean, the creation continues unabated, independent of discussion and analysis.  In fact, I recently sent Adam a new Hinge Alert (astonishing alerts arise as I do my field work which I attempt to pass along to fellow practitioners) and he said it totally altered his approach.

To answer the question:  how can Hinge avoid ghettoization or reductivistic simplifications?  It avoids it by being what it is – an alive, continuously expansionistic ever-volumizing production that is fueled by a gathering of “unknowns.”  So any attempts to shrivellize Hinge Activity, to try to shelve it, commodify it, is merely an exercise in dumbness.  It is inaccurate and doesn’t apply to Hinge.  The horse is domesticated, but not the zebra.  The zebra avoids domesticity by being a zebra and not a horse.  You can’t tame the untamable.