Lifted from an ancient Chinese astronomical text, the title Dream Pool Essays hints at Gil McElroy’s interest in cosmology: always a construct made visible between the elements of chaos.
These poems constitute an active multiple streaming of sources usually considered quite disparate: the physical sciences, particularly astronomy, theoretical cosmology, and quantum physics; the literary arts insofar as they are concerned with re-imagining the world—the imago mundi of Charles Olson, the transformations of Jack Spicer, the incantations of Robert Duncan, the deconstructions of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets like Ron Silliman, Clark Coolidge and Bob Perelman; and, as a crossover into McElroy’s participation in the visual arts, the great cosmic draftsman, William Blake.
The overriding imperative of these poems is the priority they afford the constructive act of reading. They are there as occasions for reading, and are incomplete, signifying nothing, and are without meaning outside the presence and active engagement of their reader(s). Just as in quantum mechanics, in which all things exist merely as potentialities which achieve their presence, their “being in the world” only through their interaction with an observer or observers, these poems are catalytic fragments in the presence of which the reader constantly re-imagines the world and its processes.
Each of these poems is an astonishment of form which perpetually lies in wait to be awakened by the reader: “I am in a light I can never be out of.”