Ladies and Gentlemen, I Bring You MORE MEAT

Collage artist Nicolas Lampert via Neatorama

Which brings me to an actual point. About meat, and critical distance.

Being that poets are not really lionized as cultural soothsayers these days (though ever we have been in eras past!), it strikes me that the poetry I find myself enjoying most on a visceral (if not critical) level is such that the poets take on a carefully controlled Poetic [Anti-]Authority and that these poets are 9 out 10 times of the male persuasion. Mark Bibbins comes as the most immediate example (I bit the hype from HTMLGIANT, I admit, though it was well worth it.) Also Ben Lerner - mostly his first book. These are poets who write poems of Importance precisely because they are Not At All Important (But Really They Are, But Who Cares, Britney Spears Reference.) I like some hipsters for the same reason, but take very little of what they say seriously and listen even less to Deerhunter. Physically incapable of liking that band. Anyway, poets such as these are poets I read furtively (well, not anymore I guess) and sort of chuckle to myself at their cleverness, but the instant I try reading them out loud to someone to share in the revelation of poetry that can also be entertaining (!), the joke has already smothered itself in its Diablo Cody-esque lingo of self-love.

Perhaps I need to work harder at my reading. I've always believed that poetry that's worth a hill of beans should be enamel-tough - it can be viscerally pleasing, of course - but there has to be a lot more depth to plumb and a lot less plain hipper-than-thou-ness.

SO, back to the mines. Will report back.


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