heading into 2009

A need for order drives me to write. A need to map to frame to make the hidden manifest. To give flesh. The body manifest. To tap into my others. To become aware of how I am languaged. To dialogue with language itself.

I moved away from specialized theory driven discourses because I felt it closed down this dialogue. The specialized language said keep out! Said define yr turf.

I am a generalist.

I do not believe all complex specialized discourse is suspect. Or inauthentic. But I also believe simplified diction can be equally complex.

I admire the sprezzatura of many New York school poets, especially Ted Berrgan and Anselm Berrigan. I also admire the sound based poetics of Geraldine Monk and Maggie O Sullivan. The sentence based poetics of Ron Silliman and Rosmarie Waldrop are also fascinating (for different reasons). Poetry as unlocking the energies of the unconscious appeals to me greatly. As does the humor and irony of combining some of the concerns of so-called Language Poetry with NY school wit (such as Rod Smith). Lately I am very interested in the poetics of place. This is very complex. Godzenie is concerned with many things, including place. The self as expansive. Gaps compel me as well. The gaps in Tim Atkins Horace and Folklore (as well as his use of creative translation). Sean Bonney’s combining of visual and performance poetics is fascinating (as well as his creative translation of Baudelaire).

There are so many exciting poetries alive today. It is sad that so much boring, mediocre, well-crafted poetry seems to get funding and recognition. But of course it makes sense. It is safe. In America safe is good. In England too. And even the “unsafe” is quickly gentrified. Take for example Brick Lane in East London. Fashion centre of the so called counter culture. Safe. High property values. Art moves on.

Alas, there is so much to read and experience and write and so little time.

I still wonder about Jack Spicer’s idea of community. It seems, overall, like the best model for innovative arts (music, poetry, visual arts). Of course there are great and interesting poets who publish with mainstream presses (Alice Notley being the prime example), but that is rare. Does publishing with Penguin really gives her any more readers than if she published with a smaller independent press? I am not sure having the most possible readers is the goal? A goal? What is a reader anyway?

A community is complex as well. There are plenty of MFA communities and academic communities. But I am interested in communities outside those frameworks.

There are at least four or five stellar reading series in London with good communities. Openned Reading series having the most energy and potential. Poem Klatch meetings to kick it all into high gear (I hope they continue).

My only real complaint about my new life in London is the hours of my job. I get enough to survive month to month but have to work mornings and evenings with a few hours free in the afternoon. I cannot attend hardly any readings unless I call in sick. I hope I can find a way around this next year. New job or a way to change my evening hours. Evening hours are the bread and butter of teaching EFL (ESL) and ESOL. Most of the students are working adults.

Ok. enough for now.

I am going to continue watching the last season of Sopranos. Perhaps try to add a poem centred around the setting of Sopranos to the new manuscript Placebo.

I hope for clear thinking and writing (without sacrificing complexity).

Clean cuts in!

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