The Main Stream

Can a good movie be mainstream? Can good music be mainstream?

Can a rap artist sample country music (or is she/he wishy washy and mixing their politics). Country music= mostly white folks who are often rural. Rap music=mostly black folk who are often urban.

(I am well aware this isn’t always the case. But don’t the two types of music make political statements beyond a twang or a boom?) Or is it more a case of “alternative” country and “alternative” rap versus mainstream rap and country?

If alternative country is different than country are poets who sample from soq different than soq?

What is the value of sampling art that differs from your own aesthetically and politically? Is something new a means to an end or an end in itself?

When we “buy” into something that doesn’t cost anything what are the “payoffs?”

I am more and more impatient with “mainstream” poetry. It does not speak (poetry can only speak) for my experience of and with language (the world etc.) Visiting writer after visiting writer with their nice wee craft. Hardly ever someone with even a bit of risk in their pocket.

UNCG has a strong tradition of narrative. Clarity holds the day here.

Now and again we get a nice surprise (matt rohrer, john latta, joshua beckman). Otherwise it’s the graduates of Iowa (1973-1980) who love conversational narrative with epiphany.

Avant strategies are very popular among The New New American Younger Poets Born Before ________.

Why? I for one (is I ever for something other than one?) do not enter poetry for answers. Poetry doesn’t answer my problems. Doesn’t answer shit.

What is the difference between authentic mystical poetry and non-authentic mystical poetry?

The outsider art movement (was it a movement?) caved in when university educated artists started using the strategies of outsider art.

Indie music is slowly going mainstream (like alternative went mainstream with Nirvana). Is the avant guarde moving into the mainstream (verse press, fence press, georgia press, some of graywolf press, maybe even some of copper canyon with ben lerner). Once the non-mainstream goes mainstream what happens aesthetically? since the context of the art changes so does the art right? Can you transfer contexts without changing the art (both content and form if such distinctions exist)?

So as the avant guarde strategies move into the main, what will happen to the avant guarde artists? What if avant guarde artists get a nice slice of the “prestige pie?”

What are the political consequences of avant art? What is and isn’t avant art? Who (or what) decides?

Did Bernstein’s poetry become less avant after he gained recognition by one of the big houses? Does Bernstein have a nice slice?

I believe in positions. What else is there?

Alterable positions. But commited. The commited can alter.

(choices= definitions of self)





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