Monday, August 24, 2009

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew on Vimeo.

Yeah, that's awesome. You wanna know what's not awesome? Missing the first big meeting of the really prestigious writing program that you don't deserve to be in in the first place and then confusing Cole Swensen when you show up for the class you thought you'd registered for, but had actually just place held and were supposed to sign up for at the meeting, but didn't 'cause you weren't there...SUCK!

Have you ever fully realized your situation and then looked around, the whole time thinking, "what the fuck did I get myself into?" Within seconds of my first class starting, every bad feeling I'd ever had towards poetry in academia came rushing back in all its rawness and badness. "What the fuck did I get myself into?" Plus, my feet hurt...I don't own sensible shoes.

You know what I really hate? Not being the guy who knows what's going on. You know what I hate even more? Literary criticism.

Today, we were asked, first thing, to write a sentence on our poetics and then to boil that down to a few words, and then again to one word. This is what I wrote, but was too embarrassed to say in class (thereby, leaving me squirming in my chair blurting out, broad and vague to the point of idiocy, statements that I didn't really believe):

Sentence. Poems should cut open cats and show you their lungs...a revelation.
A few words. Cat lungs.
One word. Meow (sigh).

I started re-reading Noah Eli Gordon's "The Frequencies" today. I haven't read that book in 5 years and think the last time I tried I was too ignorant and not at all literate enough to do so. My notes in the book are trite at best and are clearly clinging to the easiest phrases and images in the poems. Now, it almost seems easy, especially for a Gordon book. It is my opinion, that NEG is very much a language poet, only, with a penchant for odd, occasionally impossible image. "Frequencies" is not that kind of book. To be fair, this was early in his publishing life, but to read this book now and realize that a good chunk of MFA students are now doing exactly this kind of thing makes you see just how ahead of the curve Gordon usually is. He's like the Jay-Z of poetry, by the time you start writing prose blocks, he's "Off That."

Whilst on the subject of hip-hop, beat-boxing is totally rad and I wish I was better at...or at least had a comfortable place to practice. Seriously, where does on practice beat-boxing?

1 comment:

Jonathan Barrett said...

Meow. That's brilliant. Not the awkward stuff but the poetics; brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!! My wife read you blog with me and said you should have shared it. And Megan said she hope things go better.