Sunday, January 28, 2007
A Body of Broken Bones
Thomas Merton said in this essay written in 1955 that "it is dangerous to go into solitude only because you like being alone". What is true for Monks in Kentucky is also true for a poet's work.I would argue that it is intellectually weak for poetry to migrate to the margins simply because it is more comfortable to be around those who perfunctorily agree with them and refuse to test poetry against the world entire if the work does not stand up then create better work but do not run for the poetic hills.Is there anything more pathetic than a group of poets who all agree with one another but really deep down do not? Come on say it you have been at a reading and said this is garbage! but everyone is so NICE so that they can hopefully get there work published in the future.I find that I am often chided by friends because I am attracted to argument and debate about the artform that is as central to my being as my lungs or skin.It is not personal, it is business you can criticize a lousy book, even one by John Ashbery or Charles Bernstein and still believe that they are seminal and great. Poets however enjoy being sensitive and respectful in print and nasty in private or among friends so a bad book comes out and no one says what we are all thinking... this is garbage.I am not talking about petty meanness if you hate someone you have no right to attack them. I have been critical at times to poets and their work but mostly because the work frankly was weak and they got it published because they knew the editor or the editor was a friend or because they were working on intertia. The fact is however that allot of poetry gets published because the poet plays a political game.There are whole magazines devoted to this,It is true throughout poetry in America poets are writing for other poets and there is no interest in Poetry in dialogue with a greater world, Pound was writing history, Neruda was creating a poetic America and what do poets do today?So what I aim to do here as Irasible Poet is to critique poetry and readings honestly and let the chips fall where they may.
Posted by Raymond Bianchi at 7:34 AM 2 comments
The Irasible Poet
I have been Blogging at CollagePoetChicago.blogspot.com for many years and today that Blog is Dead. In this blog The Irasible Poet I will try to be frank, clear and critical and bring to bear on poetry a questioning mentality. Here is what I am for and what I am against;Here is What I am for1) I am for poets who read deeply2) I am for Poetry that challenges minds and structures3) I am for Poetry that is innovative, interesting and full of thought4) I am for a Global Poetry that reads in many languages5) I am for a Poetic Community that engages the worldHere is What I am against1) Poets who write for Fads2) Politically Correct Poets who are more like Accountants3) Poetry that is boring and gimmicky4) Poetry that only knows the MFA culture5) Poetry that is safe and without a position