Saturday, May 12, 2007

I guess it bugs me when something is quirky but not quirky enough. When something is sufficiently quirky. You can look at it as a manifestation of capitalism. This will make you feel different. Like the difference between someone pretending to be interested in 'what you're up to', and then leaving at the first oppurtunity. No more than a transaction. But there's no engagement. I guess, and I hesitated to mention him, Billy Collins is an example of sufficiently quirky. Poems that excuse themselves from association with a certain unquirkiness. I mean no one wants to be identified as one of those terrible academic creatures from Kenneth Koch's Fresh Air. So we get poems that are a reenforcement of the difference between normal and weird. But there is no normal. There's no escaping that, and the only pleasure is in the effort. Well yeah, that's obvious actually. It's not about the endpoint. I hope I've somewhat explained myself.

3 comments:

Jordan said...

It's capitalism's fault, is it.

I can usually tell when the poet's screening calls instead of writing the poem -- but I've been told a dozen times that my answering-the-phone voice sounds exactly like my voicemail voice.

Be a real person talking about something consequential, and don't check out -- it's not that hard. It's impossible. Thank God. Whatever that is.

Mike H said...

I know don't whose fault it is. I don't really even know what I'm talking about to tell you the truth. I don't really know how to be 'real' either. Half of the time, I'm a phoney.

Mike H said...

I think I originally posted the 'quirkiness' thing out of a resentment at the idea that NY School poesy, which I still somehow think is 'secret' and 'mine', is now the norm. (I still don't necessarilly think it's true.) Of course in Milwaukee it's easier to have delusions that no one else reads Ted Berrigan. If I lived in New York I would probably try to be a contrarian by reading only John Greeleaf Wittier. (sp?)