That Fresh Sound: Modern Poetry, Kanye West, And Shaking Your Mind Out of Its Rut

Geoff Klock at JWALK

Wed, Jun 21 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

This Olio is specifically charged to break the mind out of cliché and into a perpetual freshness of language – and maybe cure writer’s block.

This Olio will discuss a book that is specifically charged to break the mind out of cliché and into a perpetual freshness of language – and maybe cure writer’s block.

That book is John Ashbery’s A Wave and the 20 page title poem, in Ashbery’s words “has the form of an argument without the content.” The strings of words lack ordinary stable referents but its language and something like ideas flow past, like water, often sounding right, before you have had a chance to know what was said.

It is persuasive in the way instrumental music is persuasive and I will be bringing both symphony music and a surprising amount of Kanye West (including his most recent album) as parallels, as I explain the weird funny abstract wisdom of this poem that will never allow you to see language the same way again.


Complimentary food by &pizza as well as drinks by Viva32 Tequila.

Teacher: Geoff Klock

Geoff Klock has a doctorate from Oxford and is a professor at BMCC-CUNY. He teaches philosophy (mostly the philosophy of art), Shakespeare, canonical poetry in English, parables, and film (mostly movies about movies, and David Lynch). He is the author of four academic books on things like television shows and superheroes and has been cited 290 times.


Venue: JWALK

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

Read more about our mission, our story, and how we are doing this.

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If Friday night lectures, museum field trips, and living room salons sound like your kind of thing, then you've found your people. We can't wait to welcome you to the Think Olio Scenius. More info


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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.