Po + Crit = Yum
Feeling a bit under the weather today. I want to take some medicine but that stuff makes me loopy (I once bought a pair of pants six inches too long under the influence of Dayquil) and I have to be sharp in order to crush Zach in chess again.
I feel like I’m putting myself out here as an anti-theory kind of poet, that the magic of the poetic is an experiential rhetoric that can’t be expressed with critical dissection. My brief posts on Circumference and Legitimate Dangers have asked for the poems to take precedence over the editorial or ideological intentionality. And yet I don’t mean that to be so simplistic. I want sharp, witty, sly, muscular and possibly molluskular theory to expose the socio-political underpinnings of art, but (god help me) I also believe that Kant’s aesthetic ideas of purposeiveness without purpose still present a valid argument, one that has been (willfully? Stubbornly?) misread by Baudrillard, Bourdieau and Foucault.
I’ve always been a fan of aesthetic eclecticism and juxtaposition. From the things I read, listen to and view. Reading Glissant recently has given a kind of theoretical underpinning that I can glom onto, that juxtaposition allows for relations to be created. The resonances and conversations can be glorified rather than setting up a system by which one simply rejects those things that do not fit an ideology.
Speaking of places where conversations are happening, holy smokes!: Fascicle. I got to be honest with you, though, it scares me. So much work. It’s like picking up the Norton. It’s an interesting counterpoint to Typo’s latest issue, which is so tightly focused.
Have I mentioned my absolute love of Joshua Poteat’s poetry? You should check out his book Ornithologies, that hit the stands last month. I started to get interested in poetry as more than just a personal expression by hearing and reading Larry Levis and Levis is still one of my guiding lights for what a certain kind of poetry can do. I think he shredded and reformed the personal meditative narrative. Levis, however, is a terrible guy to emulate. I had this conversation with Martin Arnold some years ago,* that anyone writing like Levis ends up with the most schmaltzy crap. Joshua Poteat is the only poet I’ve read who has picked up the kind of meditative riffing and personal introspection that made Levis great and has transformed it into his own aesthetic.
Also, Anthony Hawley’s The Concerto Form should be on your todo list.
Joey Lynch, painter-screen printer extraordinaire, made some delicious t-shirts for The Clean Part Reading Series & Octopus Magazine, will put up some images later.
*Not the New York Times writer, the young and dashing poet.