The window isn´t large enough! III. – reviews

Posted on 11th Říjen 2007 in English

The cunning sprinter, by Dora Kaprálová

About a year after the debut book The table is far too low! the Brno poet Miroslav Fišmeister publishes a new book called The window isn´t large enough!, which includes his fourth and sixth collection of poetry. The power of imagination which was flickering in the debut shone with all strength in this book.

The first part of book is named Jackson – Jarrett – Regis – Christie. A person who knows nothing about sport must use Google to find out that these are the names of successful British relay sprinters. Actually, Fišmeister himself is a cunning sprinter. One verse after another bursts from him, seemingly tentative, and just as if by the way he puts a painfully stinging poem to the text (A dieffenbachia waves its hands just now and then, like a dog which has found something – something made of glass. Children left the nest already. Sky turns to red.)

Few verse-forgers of the new generation deserve the name Poet as much as Fišmeister. His poetics has no literary constructiveness – there are too many neologisms, hermetic tricks and witty banalities; which is something that no reasonably thinking poetus doctus or postmodern formalist would do. There must be a different reason – Fišmeister managed to break through the battlements of the earthy poetic civilism of e. g. Petr Hruška´s poetry, civilism so favourite in our country – without losing accuracy and communicativeness of his visions and without losing sense for reality. And that is what makes him exclusive. In the second part of the book, named Multiple Göteborg, the poems get gradually heavier under the acridity of love demons, but even here the sprinter-poet did not get sentimental or cynically snobbish.

Fišmeister´s poetry – despite the expressive minimalism of verses – rolls on the reader as a compact substance from a broken meat-mill which you do not want to put down. Why? Because of the inventively cunning dupability which is the only true essence of metaphysical poetry.

 

 

 

The loop to the forest, by Martin Švanda

Soon after his last year´s debut the Brno poet Mirek Fišmeister publishes (in Carpe diem of Brumovice) his second book, The window isn´t large enough! One of the main features of this book and actually all poetry by Fišmeister is piling successive fantastic images very quickly. The poet doesn´t allow the reader to relax and in certain passages the text becomes impenetrable.

Lack of intelligibility in poems is generally considered to prove it is bad or immature. But often the seemingly light way of expressing or a clear meaning of a poem is not the real merit of good poetry. If the criterion of understandability was important for me when I´m reading Fišmeister, I´d have to celebrate every clearer poem that appears after pages of complicated poetry as a peak of the book. I could therefore think that the author tries to get a clear message from almost two hundred pages of impenetrable bustle. The lack of elaboration of poetic images I could link to a lack of poetic invention. Yet that would not make the understanding of his poetry easier.

Fišmeister created his own, very complicated and artificial world, which works according to its own rules and where, for example, An artificial bark startles the butterflies. Somewhere else the poet-guide tells us to Place a peacock´s tail under your tongue / you´ll light up the soup´s edge. He is also able to take us to irreal landscapes where the route is mark for example this way: Turn right with the next / canned applause / under a fabric tropical roof / over the stern.

But don´t let yourselves be mistaken. These poems are not ivory-towered ones, which mistake the principle of chance and playing with words for poetry. Fimšmeister´s world, same as those of other poets, originates at home: in the kitchen, living room, bathroom or from a look out of a window. It is only not so easy to enter. The usual routes and road signs fail. We have to use a byway which is not for everybody: The loop to the forest / is used by those / who want a paperback spine / to be suggestive of an autumn mushroom.

The themes of this poetry are not unusual either. There is unrequited love: I run to you through the sunshine / like a papal letter through a white desert and paradoxes of life and one´s writings: Why should you kill yourself? / Poetry will do it for you… Also the motive of loneliness is important for the poet, loneliness which he feels and which for him is a sort of first stage that predecesses a complete loss of communication with the rest of the world: Everyone´s right foot is closer / to the spine of the fire / to madmen and children / children and madmen / to total loneliness. And it is here, between madness and childhood, where Fišmeister´s dilemma appears. It is not by a chance that madmen and children appear in reverse order in two lines, as if the poet waited which group to join. In whose world there is the total loneliness awaiting him? The world of madmen or the world of children? To defend the common sense, it is good to say that the poet – up to a certain extent – chooses his world and also forms it. That is Fišmeister´s case as well. He himself defines the border of the world where he will explore the space: The land is mine, / because I´m bathing! If this was just a stenographed stream of consciousness or a hallucinatory vision of a lunatic, it would be the other way round – the world would choose him. The proof that he made a right decision is brought at the end by a woman: green eyes / barefeet on sand / she tells you with love: / „You´re actually supposed to / be adult for so many years." Fišmeister´s loneliness and home is the world of play and a child-like way of perception, which the poet himself comments: Orange genius. / An adult wall / formed from child cubes. If we look at his poems from this point of view and if we accept an invitation to his irrational world, then we shall be nearer to understanding of his poetry.

It is hard to find poets similar to Fišmeister. Freed imagination that appears in his poems is to me suggestive of Pomocná škola v Bixley by Ivan Blatný or Obyvatelná těla by Petr Kabeš rather than surrealism (and if yes, then Pavel Řezníček only). Although this type of imagination that creates a poetic, but complicated world, is the basic feature of Fišmeister´s poetry, I can´t help thinking that there are places, where the poet allowed the words´ abilities to take over him. For example: The wine of not looking around / before crossing the road; robotised hair in treeshadow. Or here: Forgotten leg holds its head. These are places where perhaps some editing might have been good. Here is for me the border of the poet´s world and here also „ends" poetry. These are places, where Fišmeister is really on his own.

And now few words about the format of the book and its design. I don´t necessarily have to like the author´s order of parts of the book (see: 1.1; 1.2) which is suggestive of a diploma work. I don´t need to be happy about the mysterious names of these parts (see 2.2: Black – Regis – Redmon – Akabusi). I don´t particularly mind the tiny font in which the book is printed. But what I have to criticise is Fišmeister odd passion for publishing not one, but three collection of poetry in one volume. His previous book THE TABLE IS FAR TOO LOW! included three collections. Also his second book THE WINDOW ISN´T LARGE ENOUGH! consists of two collections of poems: The window isn´t large enough! and Multiple Göteborg. I think that one would be enough. Especial
ly in case of a poetry as difficult as this one. And therefore I must conclude by crying out: „Mirek, the book is overloaded!"

 

 

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