Friday, January 28, 2005


I just got done puzzling my way through Aaron's blog. I have one thing to say: paragraph breaks.

Actually, I have many things to say. This topic came up with Trent and seems to be the central theme of most of our discussions. And by this point in a post I should have identified my topic, but I'm not sure what to call it. Poetic project, poetic theory, poetic function? None of these really encapsulate what I'm after, but slap your own label on it when you get there.

Aaron referenced Leslie Norris and I'm going to follow suit: "I truly spend my life waiting to write." This was towards the end of his presentation in our 518 class. He began it by asking "Why do you write?" and his answer was "Is it because you can't help it?"

I don't want to come off as self-righteous or self-indulgent or even self-congratulatory, but I write because that's what I do. I'm not concerned with my reader. Writing for me is a purely selfish pursuit. My poetry comes when it comes and unless I have an assignment, I don't sit down to write a poem. I sit down to write and I just happen to translate my thoughts into words and hyphens and line breaks. I do admit to being too fond of the em-dash, but as that didn't stop Emily Dickinson, I'm not overly concerned.

I bring a unique reading to poetry in that I'm more interested in publishing other poets than getting myself published. I'm more interested in teaching a class out of poetry anthologies than seeing my name in one. This alters what you do, how you write, and for me is the only answer.

This is turning into altruistic drivel. My apologies. I don't expect that my theories or concepts will work for anyone else. If anything, this thread of blogging proves that we all approach our art from different angles, even if we voice it in a plethora of ways. Yes, plethora. As in pinatas. Aaron has his cat in the orchard. And from that experience, he has given me the voice of the woman sitting in the front seat. Maybe voices are what I'm interested in, even if they all are portions of myself.

Late. Rambling. Good morning.


KapkaVictim said...

Aw! Good for you! The tree is burdened with fruit, but some hang rotten on good branches. Dr. Dean has this really beautiful thing he says sometimes about it is wrong to produce extra drivle which may drive people away from the truly good works there are. You and me, we've read enough bad inscape submissions to know that there's a lot of stuff out there taking our reading time away from brilliance. In theory, inscape only needs 10-15 poetry submissions; they just have to be very good submissions.

This is maybe me meandering. (Five bucks an hour if someone can teach me how to be concise and intellegent.) If something brilliant had been written, it is of no significance to the world unless it is able to be read. Being a guide, bringing people to the best works of poetry, is a far better thing than producing mediocre work (I'm not saying you do; I'm speaking in abstracts). Problem is, everyone produces mediocre stuff before they write the anthologisible stuff.

So no shame in wanting to teach and publish--it is a noble aspiration.

KapkaVictim said...

Post Script: I wrote the above before having read the barren soil metaphor of Aaron's post. My rotten fruit may not come from Aaron's furtile soil. Don't mix your metaphor, ponk.

hate me please said...

yes hampster.

i think that any good poetry is just teaching anyway, so teaching poetry is, itself, poetry.

this doesn't mean to refer itself to critical reading constructions, just bringing people to the good stuff to let them get a fill of it.

engineer, auto mechanic, teacher, buisiness man, poet...

the common ground is expertise. it is expertise that makes beauty, art or whatever it is that is ultimately worthwhile.


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