“So, how are the kids?” They are suffering from their lack of existence, in the park, chasing a kite or morphing into moebius-strip-like shapes of language mesh, it’s scary how a zoo can make you feel safe. We like to elide into the crowd, the mass, the prow of the boat cutting through the echo of the snowglobe, keeping an appointment and bereft of the appropriate forks. Instead we’ve developed a new, all purpose utensil that incorporates every angle, a Picasso painting of a utensil, which though slightly tortured looking and sometimes beaten up on the street, is nevertheless parking transgressively in your spot when you’re not looking. Here’s a gesture only an entitled punchbowl hand can make, we attempt while leaning over the banister to carouse with people who make half a million, then go home and hide, the syntactical confusion crooning us into velvet sheets of the poem. As long as we could hide, internalized normative surveillance coming over for a little red wine and some brie cheese in the evening, we’d catch the bouquet before knowing what it meant.
Wrestled a little with Ron's blog today in response to this post. My comments:
Not sure I want to get involved in another one of these accursed fantasy football taxonomy conversations, but here goes:
with all this top-down conceptualizing? Coalitions?
Reeeeaaaallly.......What you're describing sound to me like two planks
with hardly anyone standing on them yet. Plank? Plunk!
don't we try to build up from actual social formations and their
accompanying political tendencies by describing existing groups that
are currently out there? Writing is foremost a phenomenon of
individuals overlapping as social sub-groupings (with their associated
politics) before these are articulated movements.
There are a
couple as-yet-unstated tendencies that I'd like to describe, and I
will. But in the meantime I'd like to think the Queering Language
anthology (over 100 writers, a selection from which was recently
published as chapbooks by Faux Press) represents one of those
tendencies and political groupings which is prevalent, as yet
unarticulated as a poetics of the avant garde, and not included among
this taxonomy you're setting up above. I could probably describe at
least three other current tendencies in poetic community and sociology
which need to be named and which you'd really be shooting yourself in
the foot to leave out of this binary system. And all of them have equal
claims to be considered as what you're calling "the new."
I'm just having a spasm here in the comment box because you're usually
much subtler, much better at articulating this stuff than the hastily
sketched out and reified categories above. I'd be interested to see
you, and us, try to expand the demographic categories here a little
beyond the plank. Does aesthetics MATTER? Or is it the politics evinced
by a community formation that lends energy to poetics?
Furthermore, what we perhaps most disastrously lack is a believable
working definition of what might constitute "Official Verse Culture" at
this point. Oh boy is it out there, but the definition is sorely out of
date. Of the two planks you describe above, neither offers a convincing
vision of what we're up against. One evokes a non-existent "political
correctness" bogeyman, while the other evokes an absurdly overdetermined
romantic poet caricature which appears to describe what...the
protagonist of I Heart Huckabees?