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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

It's De-Lovely: Fragment of a Treatise on Aesthetics

and loveliness... what of prettiness, is that the same thing?

Being easy on the eyes? (But that won't apply to the lilting tune.)

Glamour? Sex appeal? Those are separate streams

Like attractiveness and the handsomeness of a "handsome woman,"

applicable only to human beings and other living creatures

where sexual attraction needs strikingly gorgeous visual feasts.

 Beauty itself is none of these things, though not separable from them either...





 





Saturday, September 23, 2017

MY JA (2)

Ashbery published acclaimed books of poetry in 7 separate decades:

[50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 00, 10...]

What is not quite as remarkable, but is remarkable for me personally, is that I bought and read books by him during 5 of these decades, over and approximately 40 year span of time.

I am a poet

I am a poet








but care little for my archives

Similes

The way liar and lyre are pronounced the same way

is like the way I once used to confuse "In a Mellow Tone" with "On Green Dolphin Street"

Or "On Green Dolphin Street" with "Stella by Starlight"

as forgivable as losing one's train of thought in the crowd

as the misuse of baking soda

***

Writing bad poems was no defense

just a defense mechanism

he said

when people were yearning for quality

***

So it is with you




Mary McCarthy

Mary McCarthy

read my poems aloud

in her Dublin accent

and made them seem

not written by me

in my dream

including this one

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cleaning Poem

What if cleaning was your hobby?

You could subscribe to magazines, take classes,

(maybe teach them yourself in night school

once you got really good),


indulge in fine cleaning materials

and tools, treat it like any other pastime

like bridge or mountain climbing,

crossword puzzles or playing a musical instrument,


with the added benefit of cleanliness.

Why do we call some things work and other things hobbies?

You might think I'm being facetious, but this might be a good one for you

or, if not, for someone utterly unlike you in all respects.




“Let me just say that nearly every academic I know — this includes feminists, progressives, minorities, and those who identify as gay or queer — now lives in fear of some classroom incident spiraling into professional disaster,” Kipnis writes in her book. “A tenured female professor on my campus wrote about lying awake at night worrying that some stray remark of hers might lead to student complaints, social media campaigns, eventual job loss, and her being unable to support her child.”