Friday, January 9, 2009

Manifesto 2 - The Revenge of Manifesto

A new manifesto based on a class discussion of clarity...

Poetry is Undermining

Poetry is undermining. It takes something—language—so familiar, so comfortable, and makes it difficult, hard. It is cheap usurping. The poet is anarchist. Why doesn't he—or she—or the divine inspiration, or whatever leave it alone? No. We want meaning or, at precisely least, clarity. Then, externally, the poet with his (or her or its) guile and uncomfortableness, out of nowhere really, disorders and spills. Somebody (and let me tell you it isn't going to be me) has to clean up the strife. Let me be clearer—this schism, this rift, this chasm. To put it simply, poetry is the demilitarized zone between the known and the understood. That's definitely not specifically analogous enough for you. Poetry is violence. So, in that way, it is accumulated carnage. It is not de-militarized, in fact, at all. It is post-actualized discharge. Poetry isn't connection as much as can be deliberated. It is subterfuge—an act, you may have heard by now, of undermining. It is tearing and littering. A land mine buried under pleasantries and would-be's. A poet, as he or she or it (let's just quit laboring around and call it shit) is no innocent, no refugee, no witness. Not that. A poet is a terrorist, or worse, enabler. It is not energy along points as Olson exacts, it is, moreover, energy dispelled, not to the reader, or even other poets but at, more specifically, me. Sometimes you, but mostly me. It exists in and without politeness. I surmise this “society.” So it is as nuclear as it is unclear. It is vile earnestness. In as much as it is “form” (and certainly not applauded by Plato), it is kilterless and defiant. Honesty is important here.


Mo said...

I hate to disagree, but I think there has to be a chasm between "sides" of poetry. I think having an enemy is useful. All poetic community are raised in defiance against (in part) the community that preceded them.

And I just don't have faith that everyone can be "good" at poetry.

Michael said...

It is good, then, that we both disagree with me. I particularly abhor the sentiment that everyone can be good at poetry--whoever said that (especially if it was me) should have gravel ground into and about their taint.