jamaal may on vs: part 1

the latest episode of vs is bananas. jamaal may is a wizard on so many different levels. this was an episode where he said so much stuff that i literally couldn’t take notes fast enough. i’d finish taking one note and then hit play and his next sentence made me rethink the whole note i’d just taken on the previous one. i’ll probably take a post or two and just jot down some highlights so i don’t lose them in the recesses of my memory.

subtext is what makes poetry work

this insight immediate changed my whole poetry game. he basically said that subtext is what makes poems happen. the poem isn’t interesting until the reader brings herself to it. because the reader has to add what their mind makes up to the piece.

example he gave: “if i write a poem that says “i am a jamaal,” that’s not interesting. but if i say “i am a banana,” now your brain is doing all sorts of work to fill in. am i actually banana? probably not. so in what ways am i like a banana? am i yellow? am i tall? do i have layers?

he also tied the subtext thing to some studies he’s been doing with sound lately. like this point: when listening to two different sound waves: 40hz and 48hz, your brain actually hears 8hz. an 8hz sound wave is created for your brain to hear. brains naturally want to fill in gaps and it makes up the 8hz wave. jamaal says poetry is a participatory action (activity?) because of that phenomenon.

so now i’m thinking: i want my poetry (which will be haiku since that’s what i’ve been writing lately) to be more subtexty… we’ll see how it goes.

words / writing / post-processing
271w / 9min / 4min