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“So, in a nation in which face-to-face interaction in general and public oration specifically is becoming less and less common, and in which the opportunity to speak to a group of people about art is even less common than that, I’m going to perform for you now some joyless, self-aggrandizing, derivative ephemera? Instead of telling you that (a) Poets are the very worst readers and synthesizers of poetry, as they feel the most entitled to its history but are by far the least avid or tutored consumers of that history; (b) American poetry in particular is suffused with a terminal smugness born of the cultural oblivion to which it has willfully, self-righteously, and even orgasmically confined itself; (c) avant-garde poetry in America has, in plain view and for forty years now, been the stillborn bastard of careerist scholars in the American academy, its ambitions so lifeless that even those who crow about it on social media and at listless circle-jerk quasi-scholarly conferences can’t be bothered to even pretend to harbor any plausible enthusiasm for it, it’s [sic] readers, or its ostensible ideological underpinnings, other than to hope upon hope that some turgid nugget of Continental theory or warmed-over Cagean experiment they orate at a Bed-Stuy cookout next month will somehow score them half a page in the third edition of the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry; (d) worst of all are the many publishers of so-called “experimental writing,” who obscure their provincial and retrograde formal biases with a skin-deep commitment to risk that somehow never arouses even a modicum of emotional consternation or the slightest suspicion of real courage from any reader anywhere; and finally (e) all of the above is performed with such a noxious and nauseating faux sincerity and/or fey irony that it’s become impossible to believe that any poet still uses daily and with such simpering good cheer the very social media platforms that are so evidently killing their spirit, their ambition, and their clarity of vision regarding the only abidingly important task their art has allotted them: fucking with not just literary but cultural conventions?



Here’s a poem.”

Posted 07/02/14
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