Tuesday, June 03, 2008


1. a poem as a series of resistant gestures--not only to what the poet knows and is comfortable with, regarding both poetry and the world, but also to the poet him/herself--and furthermore to ordinary language (in this case, any language which isn't poetry) itself. Poetry in spite of the poet. "We are crystal sets, at best" (Spicer).

2. resistance as a sort of active, deliberate recklessness in the face--counterintuitive, ill/logical, naive--a grasping at straws and strawmen, rhinoceros/i/es.

3. poetics, then, as a dynamic, ever-shifting description of the baseline of writing a poem--the poet's interests, proficiencies, deficiencies, attitudes, etc.

4. etc.?

5. poetics as beside the point--which is the poem. The point is the poem. The poem drives/ defines the poetics, not the other way around, and thus poetics are ALWAYS value neutral--mine are not better than yours, etc. Poems trump philosophy, esp. when the poems contradict the philosophy. Your poems might be better than mine.

6. poetics as the grounds upon which (and from which) the poet works, but not as the spirit, the gravity, the strategy, the impetus for writing a poem.

7. poetics, therefore, as a passive element in poetic composition.

8. the fact that the important decisions one makes in the activity of writing have nothing to do with poetics, but stem from them.

9. the grounds for decisive writing--writing recklessly/resistantly/personally (which produces one's poetics) are the description of everything every/one has already done in the past, i.e. CRAFT.

10. "craft elaborates, attention extends" (Revell).

10. imitation imitation imitation

11. reading reading reading

12. "a poem must be both delirious and lucid" (Desnos).

13. a poem as something more than (and moored in) the sum of its parts--one thing thrown recklessly against another until the crash site becomes a paradise/monster/gag reflex.

14. gag reflex?

15. deliberately absurd dis/connections as a way to work in spit/e of one's self.

16. Edmund Berrigan's new book: glad stone children.

17. The poetry of Paul Violi

18. Alice Notley's poem "In the Pines" (which my friend K and others have pointed out is a wail, a lament)

19. expressiveness? No, ordinance, explosiveness, report.

20. maybe next time: wearing one's heart out--say at 6PM on a Sunday, in the rain, to a movie.

21 how if it isn't moving, so what? (This is, of course, more than other things even, deliberately ambiguous).

22. truck truck goose.

23. The House that Jack Built, obviously, edited and with an afterword by Peter Gizzi

24. irritation and amazement and bluster.

25. all the hours we're awake...


Alexis Orgera said...

Ok, but when does a poem become too self-indulgent? And can we talk about Notley, b/c I need a "way in."


Matt said...

Alexis, Maybe you could tell me specifically what in my post made you think about that, and I'll be happy to address it. All best, Matt

missamy said...

I have the best idea yet...stop filling that big brain of yours with all of this high fallootin' horse shit and write more goddamned poems.

your ol' pal,
Amy Lashley

Matt said...

Thanks Miss Amy, I'll keep this in mind--along with all my other horseshit

How the hell are ya? Where are ya?