Sunday, February 24, 2008

Moxley X

So Ron Silliman linked to my Blog- that is amazing.
So I continue to read this Moxley book and I continue to use it almost as a Biblical Text. The way that a Monk uses the Brevary to meditate on his vocation. I meditate on mine and I am challenged as a poet to be more as a Catholic is challenged to be more by reading the lives of the saints.
The work has a juvenile quality; this is not normally found among poets of our generation X. I am reminded of that section in Merton's Seven Storey Mountain where he describes American colleges in October all being fresh and all lassitude removed from the air. That is what Moxley is doing she is giving a crispness to her work and so it is not narcissism but rather reflection.
So many of our contemporary poets are enamoured with irony here I am thinking of Judith Goldman, Jennifer Scappettone, Rebecca Wolfe whose work is filled with irony but as if it is to protect their souls from examination. We want to know more about the interior life of these poets but an opaque wall is there keeping us out. We should not get a chance to see what kind of soul produced the poems.
While in Moxley's memoir we get a glimpse into a soul it is as if Gertrude Stein wrote a mid career biography an answered questions. I go back and read Moxley's work and the context makes all of it work and seem so much more important.
I am convinced that when literary history is written and they ask what it was like to be a poet in this time when poetry is essential and irrelivant to the greater society this book The Middle Room will be cited in a way that will be essential to understanding the screwed up literary world where hipsterness and mediocrity is rewarded and good work is marginalized.
When in the future they ask why were the mediocrities revered they will look at Moxley and say here in that time was a poet who mattered and whose work will endure. She has set the tone for what comes next.

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