Notes 11/21

I feel bad having not written here in a little while, though I know a) it hasn't been that long and b) I haven't had much to say.

1. Johannes has a post about how he is tired of how people tend to publish their "pals" and sort of the "community". I don't disagree, though I do admit some of the published stuff I have seems to because of people knowing me, and not always merit based (but I can dream, can't I?). I, however, have been disgusted by poetry the last few days in another way:

Frankly, of late, I can't see the point. Even if I'm *wonderful*, and people do paste it on their websites or even publish it in print, who is out there reading? There's such a flood of poets and other writers now that you are literally one fish in an incredibly large pond. It's like running for office!

Think about the people in generations before us. Would we have heard of Ezra Pound had he had to compete with other folks? I feel there almost used to be a class of people who were poets and artists. My Dad jokingly told me to tell Cole Swensen that we are from the caste of Indians who are poets and thinkers (I didn't mention it, obviously, mostly because I don't believe caste is real). However, I do realize that at some point, it was a class that "ruled" poetry. I can't imagine that if Keats had to work in a coal mine, it would have had time to sit around and write poetry. Shelley, to continue with my Romantics point (being that these guys ARE the high school poetry canon), is an Ox-Man and certainly not a dock worker. My point being that these guys were of a certain class and therefore allowed and able to write.

That's different now, and that's good, but I think that there's an elitism that still exists, perhaps more so now. In the post Eliot era, poetry, I feel, has become an academic endeavor, so perhaps that's the new class of poets.

With that, though, comes a hopeless feeling. What's the point in writing if you aren't doing anything new? What if you're not really contributing anything to poetics? I can say certainly, that I am not. As of today, I have yet to do anything that makes me stand out as a poet. That's not being self-depricating: that's understanding that, as a poet, I have yet to change poetry.

But I'm young. There are some forty-year olds, flooding the market with their stuff, who have also not done a damn thing to advance poetry.

Which is why it makes me sad that Johannes is upset with poetry today. He and Joyelle are two of the only folks known to me that are doing something really interesting. Johannes has even said about his wife that she *might* be the poet of our generation (or his generation? somethin').

If I'm upset with poetry, it's bad. I'm young and I should be a little more hopeful with it. I'm just getting started and it's certainly not easy, given "community", of course. Johannes, however, is establishing himself and is doing something really exciting, which is more than most folks with multiple books can say.

There are others, of course, doing interesting work, so I don't want to get a list of "awesome" poets. Save that for Siliman.

2. I was supposed to work last Friday (I normall have Friday and Saturday off) because we were closed this weekend as this week is Thanksgiving week. We're only open 9-5, Monday through Wednesday. I'm off Wednesday.

Anyhoo, point being, I was going to work on Friday, but around 10:30pm Thursday night, Jennifer told me she was feeling pain in her chest and pain in her left shoulder and that her left hand was a little tingly. So we went to the ER.

The gave her morphine (woohoo!) and we hung out there until about 2:30am, when they told us to go home and come back for an ultrasound at 7:30am. They thought perhaps it was her gallbladder.

They didn't really find anything wrong and what not, and she's about as good as she normally is. We were certainly scared for a while, but there's no reason not to have gone to the hospital.

My boss's first concern, of course, was "When are you going to make it up?" to which I told her I had over three weeks of sick leave, so I am not going to be making it up AND I'm still taking Wednesday off (which is due to me because of my strange schedule and is a much longer answer than needed).

3. I'm getting my application for the English program ready. I wrote a PERSONAL STATEMENT OF PURPOSE and stuff and I've got to go back over Jennifer's edits.

I have yet to write my one for the Writer's Workshop, but I'm not too worried about it, especially on a day where I think I'm upset with poetry.

4. I have 1 hour and 15 minutes before I'm off of work for FOUR days! Our friend David, one of my groomsmen will be here late tomorrow afternoon for Thanksgiving. I'm excited. I think I need a good night of drinking with my old friend and first college roomie. I think it'll go a long way to making me feel more...human...again. I've been considerably bummed out of late, and I hope it helps. I think he's been feeling the same way, too. I think Jennifer's going to kick us out for a night and let us have some fun.

5. 1 hour and ten minutes now.

1 comment:

Fran├žois Luong said...

Can I say I knew your work before we started corresponding? You know, in Backwards City Review?