I facilitated a writing workshop inspired by visual art recently. I love the electricity when art begets art — to be inspired by an artist’s output in another medium such that you are required to respond in your own — that communication beyond the cerebral. Correspondence beyond words.
Even working in the medium of pass-the-butter, poetry and story still participate in that realm of that-which-cannot-be-said. I think that’s why people get confused about poetry. They expect to encounter the kind of utterance of daily life, or to encounter the basic story structure we’ve all grown up with, but instead they get this other thing, not entirely visual, not entirely auditory, no butter to pass, nor necessarily a narrative to follow. This attempt to say the unsayable in the medium in which we say the mundane defies logic. Poetry is best access when we’re alert also to the spaces and silences and read them too.