Manor House presents James Meetze, Peter Gizzi and Ngoc Doan

Introduction for James Meetze by Jared:


Meetze’s two manuscripts are titled in mirror image – shadow and light, DARK ART and day glow (DAYGLO). In his chap he writes “The order of the poem is arbitrary like constellations

We get a sense then both of the night sky as a massive dark surface embedded with holes or a series of luminous dots in an abyss. The poems tend to play with this sense in a way that recalls James Turrell or Olaffur Elliason: creating landscapes made of light, or changed by it. 

Since James is a west coaster I thought about so-cal light -  David Hockney’s LA swimming pools – but the stakes seem high, not just coasting on zippy aesthetics but on emotion and rootedness in physical experience: “I’ve lost my heart for too much thisness” 

James's writing is infused with the fullness of making light a bodily entity. The kind of light that blinds you driving on the highway, golden light: It is like an illuminated manuscript but the gold is implicit. There’s a paradox in the title in the fact that what dayglo implies is uv bulbs, black light, something bright but that is made to be seen in darkness as it glows.

His work projects language into a landscape “the poem in the space between trees” (dark art) and turns people into energy “are we oscillations again?” (dayglo)

“it’s impossible not to feel fuzzy like brightness”

I think the power of the work comes from the sense that this transformation is both transcendental and also connected to death and loss and uncertainty about the future: “what library isn’t full of periodical sadness? All of the dead” (the pun doesn’t blunt the point)

There’s a fair amount of this open-ended apology, living in a world chaos, getting by on luck “It’s like I’m sorry, but you’re sorry and I’m sorry too’ Farrah wrote as she was reading

 But then the poems land somewhere sweet and personal  “everything is nothing’s consolation”

 “neither fables of poetry or objects of wood are alive, but they are certain and real”