Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Have you ever.....

.....just idly strolled through the poems at Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, a few others of that type thing?


Sometimes I do, and I almost always come away from the experience in a state of bemused irritation.

Why publish a poem at all that is not of similar quality to the great poems? Is it just to fill up space? Is it something about a psychosis of the new? Do the editors of those journals actually think those poems are worth reading? Oh, my god.....

And then I wonder: what has happened? I answer myself: people no longer got any soul, and culture has withered on the once-vital, darkly colored vine.

Used to be, life was unusual. Beethoven elbowing aristocrats off the sidewalk while Goethe looked on abashed (and later pondering the sad macabre of crystal growths). Nikola Tesla dreaming impossible energy bursts from his tower to across the continents. Surrealists running around inside their strange visions. Novelists writing about the ungodly glow of being beneath the yawn of the mundane. Upon a time, there were film directors with the spiritual and technical audacity of a Bergman, Bresson, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky. And poets of a genius stripe writing "that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time."

Now people are stuffed to the gills with uninteresting stuff to stuff into their poems. Reading the poems being published in big-time journals today is like trying to swallow a handful of sulfur or quick lime. Deadly dry and boring. Instead of something startling and stunning, we are oppressed with dull-written parades of self-indulgence masquerading as profound utterance.

I yell at all of them: "Don't publish poems unless they are remarkable, unless they are aesthetically astounding!"

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