... so I'm following along--reading the poetry blogs. Slo-po-con-flar-po, whatever--happy to not have to take sides. Telling myself that I don't care but after coffee and the Times I'm reading the blogs. All the various arguments are old news but the personalities are an interesting study--I've met the players, most of them have read at Moe's. I think they see me as the guy who sets up the mic, I don't push my own work--don't think they'd be that interested. They're mostly a generation or two younger than me, and I can't help thinking of them as nice kids. They're all quite professional, have good manners. You couldn't tell a flarf from a slowpo if you saw them coming down the street--mostly from the middle classes, or if not they've learned to "pass". Lefties, intellectual, socially concerned. Hard working--teachers, tech writers. Can talk the talk and for all I know they walk the walk (throw trash in the right bins, bike to work, eat locally grown...). The kinds of folks I like, feel comfortable with. And yet...something's not quite right.
Too good to be true...
Remember Teflon? Been replaced by other nonstick surfaces, but I'd bet that the new ones are just as toxic. Teflon still works as a metaphor, though, esp. now that we have another Teflon prez.
There's something that I believed when I was younger (and gave up on) that is coming back around to haunt me now--will (possibly over) use the Teflon meta. to try and explain: good poetry comes out of the gunk, the stuff that sticks to the pan. Great poetry comes when the pan isn't properly cleaned. Stuff grows there, and it smells bad--unpleasant, sickening maybe--but it changes perception--could even cause ecstatic hallucinations--but, also, fever, sickness...
I don't want to believe this--want to write it off as a late-middle-age (temporary) return to romanticism. I've kept my nose clean--kept those nasty bits hidden away, washed the "pan" whenever possible--
Maybe I'm working with too little information. Maybe there's an Artaud out there, a real loose cannon who will break away and be brilliant--and who won't be invited to the parties.
related note---Trying to work out why I'm so bored with found texts. Looking back at my own poetry, it's full of the stuff--and I used to really love that feeling I'd get from finding the perfect goofy/scary/poignant line buried somewhere--"I get my best lines from stupid people" -Burroughs. Nowadays I couldn't care less. Perhaps it's the fish in a barrel quality that comes from all the googling (jesus, I do it too--who can resist?). No shock of the new there--on to something else?
what I'm reading: We Did Porn by Zak Smith, Artaud Anthology (ed. Hirschman),
Slanted and Enchanted by Kaya Oakes