baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

a few things and how to fight

“My best writing gets done when I’m being distracted by people who are calling me or errands that I have to do. Those things seem to help the creative process, in my case.”
From Sue Gangel, "An Interview with John Ashbery"

a few years ago I would have had trouble understanding this. Today it makes perfect sense. By getting distracted yr brain can relax into something else. it can stop cramping over the poem. You can go away and come back to the poem and drink a beer and eat an ice cream in between. it puts social priorities above the poem. Again, I like this. it keeps poetry in its place. You work until you have something better to do. Ashbery should blog. It is a great distraction.

All around us are these movements and talks of movements. I think that the biggest movement, one that Silliman mentioned a while back, is the blogging movement. It has nothing to do with aesthetics, but it has to do with community, and that, I believe, is more important.

I am entertained by poetic disputes. maybe it is only entertaining bc I am not a part of them and can watch from afar. Most feel staged. How can two poets get so worked up at each other? Neither is encroaching on territory, don’t even think a poet has territory besides her keyboard, and don’t think that was what the fight was over. I look at poets, and artists in general, and trust that they are doing their best. This does not mean that I like their work, in fact, it is very difficult for me to like anyone’s work. But I like them. I like them for trying, for playing, for being a part of this thing that we are doing. When I see poets snipping at each other, I figure it must be a personal thing. Two people don’t need to like each other, but to call out each others poetry, or to bring poetry into it, that seems to be missing the point.

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