Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Barbed and Stupid
You are likely to be one of my 7 daily readers.
I'm probably either related to you or got all sweaty with you sometime in the near or distant past.
If you aren't one of these people, then welcome! I apologize for the sticky sweet intimacy of my greeting.
I'm tragically distractable. That's why my posts aren't as prosodically vitamin-packed and irradiated with x-ray infrared theory missiles as my confreres, peers and fellow pack-mules.
They call this an attention deficiency. I call it a tragically distractable mind.
Or maybe I have a hyper-acuity with no dissertation to write meta-order.
Wouldn't it be good to consider our distinctive pathologies meta-orders rather than a dis-orders? Maybe I write the kind of writing this text-box and the internet likes best. Or you.
I'm definitely NOT trying to sustain an elegant thought here.
Today At 4:00 p.m. a blue dodge pickup truck NY license plate DYB 1200 used a weapons-grade sound device (that really should be classified as a military weapon), in order to "honk" at a car in front of it on 3rd ave. at 77th street, while I was carrying my warm and clean towels home from the laundromat. I'm really scared that our society is in serious collapse, because some fat 20-year old dickhead can buy and install an ear-drum shattering device like that in his redneck pickup truck. As I turned the corner I looked back to see him smiling and laughing, while my eardrums felt like ripped shreds of tissue paper, and my head hurt.
Back when I thought I was going to be a life-long professor and poet, writing a book on Animals, Philosophy and Literature, a critical biography of Kenneth Patchen, maybe even a book on Ethics and Literature, I used to spend my sleepless anxiety-ridden nights wondering what was so wrong with me that I couldn't get a tenure-track position. Back then, I used to believe people when they told me, "oh, the job market is terrible right now."
It's only been in the last few months that it dawned on me that the ONLY people who would tell me this are either tenure-track or full-time professors. I sleep quite happily now. Usually. Yes, the job market is terrible, yes higher education is now exposed for the debt-and-indenture system it really is, and yes, universities gave me a purpose in life, introduced me to high literature and culture, and are the most thoroughly treasure-packed humanistic resources we have in our society.
About six weeks ago I wrote this:
"Whatever this spirit or style or mood may be, it's a good thing--something I may or may not be able to characterize in the near future. And now I'm afraid that today I'm going to be going around LOOKING for it, or something."
But really I was trying to describe the feeling of cumulative meaninglessness I experienced after speed-browsing about 50-60 poems at a book fair. When I said, "it's a good thing," I think I was just trying to be nice and accommodating. But I think what I felt was akin to what this author is trying to describe regarding "The Best" American poetry of 2009. I think I will be going around trying to AVOID it, or find something else. I think there's a meaning to meaning, even if Avital Ronell thinks "meaning" is a fascist plot.
I think I'm just feeling a little restless. Restless about a play I can and cannot write. Restless about planning and budgeting my next year as a publisher. Wondering if people can still get the kind of news from poetry that Dr. Williams was talking about. Feeling a little bit wedged between eras. My own eras, and what's wedged between my ears. What Robert Huillot-Kantor calls an emerging, "completely stupidifying situation". About the very real connections between a car horn that works like a bomb, the Eisenhower interstate system, the Gulf of Mexico turning into a tar blob puddle, and the kind of endless wars that I wish Orwell hadn't foreseen. The stupidity that I wish Kathy Acker hadn't foreseen as the way write in our era--to "write stupid," as she does so well in In Memoriam to Identity.
Okay, all I want to say is: we aren't such cheap goods. I hope you will kiss someone deeply and lovingly very soon. And I hope you will eat either dried or boiled seaweed, too. That stuff is amazing.
I promise I will wander the streets of Brooklyn and Queens all day today looking for my lost spiritual son, just like Leopold Bloom.