Monday, October 27, 2008

Plaxico Burress

Though I think Steve might have some anger issues, I didn't mean for anything to come to fruition in that post except for the fact that the list poem is mostly an easy excuse out of putting yourself, the human writer, behind the poem. Few writers have done that successfully in the past with the list poem. Few continue to do it now. And I'm sure anyone can throw stock things into a list, call it a poem, and get it published. You've seen many in journals if you read them. But thankfully it'll never be me.

Two recent writers I can mention are Jason Bredle and Blake Butler, who actually seem human behind their work when they're dealing with the "list poem," or a poem involving lists, or Blake's lists of 50 that he needs to get on the ball with and finish. Slice it any way you'd like.

That example by H.L. Hix really bugged me particularly because it's a bunch of stock headline tragedies, and because there are a few lines like "So many names fit" and "Every breath / matters." Seriously? Destination: Cymbal Crash City. Plus I have some pride in the fact that my first manuscript is attempting, in many poems, to actually explore tragedy, many specific and revealed, and not be comprised of stock phrases. Maybe I don't succeed and maybe people don't like them, and that's fine.

But any poem that my name would be on that could've been generated by a computer (ForGodot anyone? And I mean real poems written like that -- not the fake ForGodot poems, though many of them probably could've been real, which is an entirely different story) I never want to be a part of. If you're going to write, write with some balls, some honesty, some blood flow, and show me that a human is behind the words. Even if it's a hilarious poem, because not all honesty has to be built out of tragedy of course.


On an entirely different note, Entourage is finally kicking ass again. Since the beginning of the season, there's been a lot of disparate story lines, a lot of them kind of uncharacteristic for where the show seemed like it was going. I won't reveal any spoilers, but I can't wait for the rest of the season.


And in a few days another First Book Interview will be up. Received some from other poets in the last few days, and now I'm working on getting a bunch out to other poets in the next week.