Saturday, May 29, 2004

Sorry I can't spell--I meant exorcise, of course.

So Jorge I found a used copy of your m loncar's 66 galaxie today, and since it's so short I already read it. I at least have to say it's better than I expected given the lower-casedness and two and three line poems and the interest in concrete-poetry style arrangement of lines. In fact, the only real problem--although I think it's a big one--is that a lot of the statemets and images are not as original or interesting as the author thinks they are. The book is pretty narrative in the most straightforward sense which bugs me a little but is ultimately alright. I just wish there was something more happening. The world of the poems is interesting: a sort of Classic Hollywood film lived in the present which feels at the same time both retro and modern. On the level of language though, there's nothing. The sentence constructions are simple and the vocabulary is simple and the imagery is simple. I guess that could be a good thing, but i just feel like they're needed to be more depth somewhere. I feel like his Cummings influence is hurting him a lot; he thinks he can get away with the little bit he's got if he gives it a lot of room to breathe and hopes the empty page will add some weight--a strategy that rarely worked for Cummings and hence only a hndful of good poems for him. On the plus side loncar does move well from line to line, even in the rarer moments where the don't logically follow. There isn't much wrong with what's there, as long as it's enough for you and for me it's not.

Poetry is most certainly not "a way to exercise your demons," although I suppose it might as much acheive that ends as anything. Many authors do seem to have found some relief through their writing. Still, it is a bad way to phrase it. Whatever "demons" you have, you're not going to rid yourself of them but only clarify them which may or may not make you feel any better about them.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Chad, I think many people regard it as an undergraduate notion, but I don't think it is.

But let's also draw this distinction: exorcising your demons in a way that's devoid of craft, style or any artistry, surely would be undergraduate, but if you can exorcise them in a way that is both interesting and beautiful, that's poetry.

In poetry news today: I sewar I am going to use the line "Roses are red. Violets are blue. Give me the money or I'll shoot you." On a serious note, this is interesting and troubling and brings up a bunch of ethical questions. Is poetry a way of exercising your demons? or is this an undergraduate notion?

Sagging this blog has been, but I think I can't be helping since I am, likely, the worst blogger ever.

I must admit, I liked the essay and the poem, or at least what I could make out of the latter. Pretty scathing stuff. His idea that poets support other writers, including, critics, but that some, or most, other writers fail to truly support poetry is true. I know many fiction writers, and a significant number of them know very little about poetry, and I've noticed very few who really try to know the genre. On the other hand, if a poet says "I've never read Michael Chabon" or "I've only read one story by Michael Cunningham" you're looked at as some kind of knuckle-dragging troglodyte who . . .

Okay, so, maybe I'm exaggerating, but Cummins has made me think of some issues within the community of writers, which, I must admit, I've not really thought about before.

Cummins also advocates a primacy of "heart over head" and condemns the "glorification of Self" which I think seems part of the anti-intellectual, anti-lyrical backlash against a lot of poetry written and published in America today. I'm a little unwilling to set foot on this particular battlefield. If it's true that overly-intellectual, emotionally-destitute lyrics of (self-glorifying) self-communion are bad and the detriment of our literature, and that they are being published, read and praised today, I am not worried. And I'm not sure that railing against bad writing solves anything. Poor writing, if that's what it is, will be known for what it is soon enough; to rail against it gives it more attention. What people should spend time on is reinintroducing neglected or overlooked poets (like John Wheelwright), so that good work can again come to light. Truly bad writers and truly bad writing is never immortalized, but truly good poets and truly good work can easily fall into obscurity.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Well friends, our blog is sagging and I've some ire to snap its sail back taut. I've stumbled upon this poet James Cummins (good Ohio boy by coincidence I swear). He's seems quite angry about a great many things. I'll start with this one from 2000 in the Paris review. I've found a few more and am quite curious about him . Anyone know anything? here's an essay too, yowzah!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The website didn't post. Here it is.

Here's an inspiring talk by Brenden Lorber, the editor of Lungful, a quarky little journal out of NYC:

In other news, where the hell is everybody?

Anyone interested in talking about POETRY?

Friday, May 07, 2004

Hi everyone! I was going to wish y'all a belated Cinco de Mayo yesterday but I got lazy, or distracted and/or diverted. Probably all of the above. There is a Cindo de May festival here in Chicago on Elston but the weather has been sporadic (ie 80's yesterday, 50's today?). It always makes me say wtf. I apologize that my posts are not very writing-centered as I'm not much of a writer but a designer. But there are enough writers on this blog to make up for it. Where are you guys?

What are everyone's plans for the summer? It's work work work for me. In case you're wondering, I work for these guys. I am also in the midst of designing Jorge, "the cheez", Sanchez a website.

On another non-writing subject, I just found out recently that a former Loyolan will be getting hitched. I cannot call him an alumni as he did not graduate. For those of you who remember Brent Cline, send your congrats to him. He's joining the ranks of marriage-dom (not a real word) as are several members of this blog... or at least by the end of the year they'll be.

So, anyway Happy belated Cinco de Mayo!

Ok ok, I'm back, and it seems hard to catch up on all the conversation that has happened. Things have been busy at work and I can't bring myself to look at a computer screen while at home. Prose poems. Yes, good choices Nate. Besides Kora in Hell, which has a undescribable contemporary sensibility about it to me, do all read the full version of "Spring and All." My goodness. It is quite pleasurable to break unto the poem we all know as "from Spring and All" after pages and pages of prose about how spring is redundant and nature is the greatest of rip off artists. To go from heavy languid prose to beautiful slight and sly verse makes the verse a relief at the same time it makes it a barrier as the rhythm of the prose is broken.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Don't worry nate, I'm still thinking about those prose poems. Until then tho, The Greatest Album Never Heard. Click on 'Surfs up,' but only if you want to become very happy

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I just finished writing a paper on "The Tennis Court Oath," which I was surprised to find no criticism on. Even critics who talked about the book The Tennis Court Oath don't talk abot the poem "The Tennis Court Oath." It's one of my favorite poems, so I though this was a shame. Since there are so many Ashbery readers, I thought someone might be interesting in reading it and giving me some comments. I warn you it's pretty dry: My Tennis Court Oath Paper

On the bright side?

And more infuriating media behavior.

Grim data for grim times.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Y'all like words?