"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I cannot be consoled

and so if it seems I have thereby condemned myself to a kind of eternal hell, then is does. Why? Primarily because I have made too many self-destructive choices, but angers not directed by me at me but by me at others are also part of the why. Read this vestibular homily which serves as the first page of my Venturings book. If you don't, you will not be able to properly understand the rest of this rumination. Today (2008-12-02) over at KSM's Lime Tree I came upon a link to this. One sentence in it is: "It's all a question of where you put the emphasis: on the self or on the poem; on the art product or on the shared activity of making." After all the opinions I've encountered about language these past two years, this is the one that broke the proverbial camel's back. Will get to it later. First, me. In approximately six weeks, birthday 68. I am a small human. A frail human. My physical back has been broken several years. My body has other ailments. -- I was raised in the small (30,000+) Fox River Valley town of Fond du Lac, WI, situated at the southern end of Lake Winnebago. The Roman Catholicism which I absorbed made it difficult for me to be honest with myself. Being somewhat intelligent, I allowed too much false pride to reign and not enough integrity. So the sources of my/ disruptive choices: sexual, financial, day-to-day. From this vantage, some of them prove that at those moments I was "verifiably" insane. Neoliberal Poetry Broadside. The authors of this straw clearly enough indicate what poetics they prefer though they do admit that anathema transgressions occur there too. The problem for me is that I am not committed to one way of expressing my It Poetics. Therefore, all the labels flitting about and about strain my tolerance beyond annoyance since their flip existence undermines the arguments of those who fling them. Talk about ego. Anti-I? anti-capitalist?: with that kind of hegemonic staging!? I just don't get it. Sure, those who are in with what these authors espouse, generally love what is in their broadside. Poets who align themselves with this group or that group/ do so because they feel comfortable there. It isn't easy--and scientific studies say, not even healthy--to be isolated. One of the finest statements Ron Silliman ever made was the praise he accorded the late Quietist (yet not so quiet) Reginald Shepherd. That is where we should be. Fine poems can be wrought in any style, and every day are. The more ways found to make great poems, the better. Is not each poem an experiment, an innovation. Have you not noticed how often the most loved song by a rock band is that band's quietist one? Bang, bang, bang / bing, bing, bing / trang, trang, trang / yangy, yangy. That's noisy. Oh huff 'n' puff. "Revolving door." kh00012

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