An appraisal of the new poet laureate, Philip Levine, mentions Bukowski (1 Viewer)

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
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only if I can do a larding piece with Philip Levine!

why? what do you have planned?
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Thanks, you guys. When I have minor doubts about my posts, it's usually within the half hour and I can fix them. When I go completely off the rails, it's always a couple later that I realize it -- too late to undo.

Cranky is the word for what I become at those times. Man, I hate cranky. Cranky has a wire up his ass. It's always good when cranky goes away and my regular self returns.
 

mjp

Founding member
To me it isn't a question of where a poet has been published, but how they live their lives, and/or what they stand for, and that pretty much covers most of what I appreciate in the culture. That's why I don't hate the Levis ad with the Bukowski poem, or disregard anyone who figures out a way to make a dollar doing something creative, even if that dollar comes from The New Yorker, Paramount Pictures or the Beijing Olympics.

It's a personal thing with me, and people who teach writing or poetry or film making or anything else by parroting a lot of boundaries and rules and accepted methodology all rub me the wrong way. If it's a character flaw on my part, it's one I've learned to accept. I need some dirt on my lettuce, and a life of academia isn't exactly the best place to acquire any kind of grit. Or an interesting personality, or anything at all that interests me on an artistic level. It's a safe road, and the safe road only takes you to the mall or the capitol building.

There is a built-in condescension in that academic poetry that makes me want to stuff it back down the writer's throat. And when they reinforce that condescension by making comments denigrating anything that isn't academic or "intelligent," I only want to stuff their work and their words back down their throats further and with considerably more force. They aren't my people, and I think their art - all of it - is shit.

That can be based on their comments or my observations without reading, seeing or otherwise consuming any of their shit. I don't see how that is invalid in any way. I don't have to watch Spiderman on Broadway or whatever it's called to know I'm going to profoundly hate it with every molecule of my being. In the same way that I know I will probably like certain other things because they are in a realm or done by a person that I already know I enjoy. Isn't that human nature? Are we not men?

---

Now I just read back what I typed and I don't know if it makes any sense in the grand scheme of things. I can think of arguments against myself (not uncommon, I'm afraid). But I suppose I'll hit "Post Reply" anyway, if for no other reason than to maintain my status as a loudmouth.
 
There is a built-in condescension in that academic poetry that makes me want to stuff it back down the writer's throat. And when they reinforce that condescension by making comments denigrating anything that isn't academic or "intelligent," I only want to stuff their work and their words back down their throats further and with considerably more force. They aren't my people, and I think their art - all of it - is shit.

Definitely hit the nail on the head. Rarely do I manage to attend any of my classes because of the bullshit that's present. Lots of pedantry/posturing and self-adulation. I only do the work to stave off the eventuality that I'll end up working in a factory. Guess I'm on the safe road, or kidding myself.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
I'm officially retiring from this thread before I get blacklisted from the small presses.

Bill? we still solid? Bill? BILL!? ;)
 
See what you get, hooch? All that "judge something on its own merits" and "think for yourself" nonsense. What a tool. My revised future reading list:

Hosho McCreesh
Dave Donovan
David Barker
That Phillips guy
Christopher Cunningham
William Taylor Jr.
Harry Calhoun
Alexander Adams
Brian McGettrick
Stephen Hines
Etc. < My apologies to those lumped under etc.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
..."You better check yourself before you wreck yourself."

Stop ripping off Ice Cube - the greatest poet of them all.

Seriously, Levine didn't miss the mark by much (in my opinion) but, damn, he could have tightened the frigging thing to 14 stanzas or so. Just sayin'
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Well said, mjp.
I need some dirt on my lettuce, and a life of academia isn't exactly the best place to acquire any kind of grit. Or an interesting personality, or anything at all that interests me on an artistic level. It's a safe road, and the safe road only takes you to the mall or the capitol building.
My exact sentiments.

I think -- in the two poems I read -- he misses by a wide mark. Missing at all in poetry is missing big. It's a high precision art, unlike fiction. There is cloudiness, some almost amateur errors in what I read, surprising in a multi-award winner. He really isn't even very good, at least in those two poems.

Hope I did not wake up cranky today. Checking myself...
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Hope I have not already said this above, but what I see in academic poetry is that it is entirely job related work. A product of the "publish or perish" imperative. Your boss (the Dean or whatever) will see it. How honest can a poet be in that environment? Can he/she write "The department head has his head up his ass" or "This place is run by fools"? Can he be depressed, drunk, insane, lost, pissed off, etc., etc? No. The purpose of academic poetry always seems to be to impress other academics. Nothing else beyond that. Academic poets generally have nothing to say, no real drive to write, no burning vision, no raw guts spilling out. It's all a display of safe and accepted style and technique. I'd rather read the rantings of some lost soul struggling on the margins, something true and from the heart. When academics win prizes judged by other academics, it means nothing to me. Poet Laureate of the U.S. is a jackass award. I would be embarrassed to be in that class.

End of ranting for today.
 

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