- March 11th, 16:46
The failure of current poetry
I have something to say...
The mask is coming off. I will carry
a torch for
no one, while moving forward in this dark cave, til I fall into the pit
when it is my time to die.
And so if you cannot see me; cannot see
where I fit in. I don't. Morons.
See, the best poetry
is that which falls deepest into the chasm between fact and feeling.
Too many feelings
and you end up slamming your fists
against your own anecdotal demons.
And purely factual statements are
textbook; without breath - without a life
of their own.
They might as well be ghosts.
Both are still poetics; these
demons and ghosts - but superficial
and lackluster in their stopping power; it's the difference between
And if your words do not resonate; if they do not ring true
beyond an auditorium;
beyond the narcissistic mob,
they will not illuminate the monster’s scars!
The monster’s scars are what is real!
Pride in what you do not control;
what you have not worked for,
is wasted words.
What wasteful poetics!
And the purity of fact alone,
is like gods without religions;
like stars without constellations;
like virginity without the ever looming possibility of fucking
the next thing that drives you to pleasure!
What useless words those are; what useless poetics!
I would sooner know nothing,
than know everything
without knowing the reason for anything!
Still, your answers
are not right, simply
because the world cheers you on; the tyranny of the majority - the tyranny of one.
Do write poetry.
be acolyte to a
or serve your time; your sentenced life, in a
***Excerpt from “Let them eat chaos (but you cannot force them to swallow): a review and general ideas on art and aesthetic and the myth of "the myth of individuality"***
...herein lies my greatest frustration with the misappropriation of poetry nowadays: it is the literary genre of the absolutely personal; the absolutely confessional experience, and as such, contains no objective fact. It contains no sources, contains no substantiation except the personal. But, in recent years (though spanning decades), the political has become a focal point of poetic license, because of the commonly stated claim (that most certainly is true) “the personal is political”. Now, with this, we can see why the political has invaded poetry with such force. To repeat, of poetry: it is the literary genre of the absolutely personal; the absolutely confessional, experience, and as such, contains no objective facts. Now, this is not to say that poetry contains no “facts”, but, to engage in the political, the criteria for “fact” must be in accordance with a more warranted criteria than opinion and personal expression. We want our laws; our politicians following warranted facts; facts unconcerned with feelings - untethered to the whims of emotion, otherwise the side with the greatest emotion would get it's way. Here, loudness becomes political clout. In an analogy, we want poetry read at the inauguration, but not in the White House, Senate, Congress, or jury, in defense of verdict or legislation. Imagine convicting a police officer of police brutality or murder, with a slam poem written by a black person who has experienced one or both of those horrendous acts. Imagine impeaching a president, or convicting a rapist, with a poem written by a rape survivor, or your average feminist. Imagine convicting tobacco lobbyists with “Put down Your Cigarette Rag” by Allen Ginsberg. I can almost hear the snapping of the jury reverberating through the courthouse.
Poetry does not meet the standards of scientific inquiry; the currently best standard of evidence. It only meets the standard of the opinion of a single “expert” (using the term broadly). If poetry had footnotes; if books of poetry had bibliographies to other sources (not just other poetry books), it would be more like scientific papers, but would it still be poetry? We do not want a melding of the two because it seems to me that if poetry became more “scientific” or if science became more “poetic” we would lose the best things in both: science would become too fantastical and obfuscated in creative prose, and poetry would become too dry, disjointed, and less prevalent, due to footnotes, plain language, and the communal trash bin of peer-review.
To quote Christopher Hitchens, “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” This has nothing to do with the truth of the statement, but everything to do with whether or not it should be believed, given its lack of evidence. And that is the danger of poetry exceeding its grasp: the political left contains the vast majority of political poetry. This can be seen by asking the question, “when was the last time you heard a poem about socially conservative values?” And not like family values, but “Christian family values”? I am not aware of that poem, nor I believe, would it be allowed in the safe space venues of poetry slams or open mics, or coffee shop writers groups. And with slam poetry we see the most egregious violator of expressing political ideas without evidence. The best slam poem, is merely a manifesto; an expression of political opinion, that should not be accepted as fact for just being read or heard. And since this art form is so prevalent within leftist political discussion, and social media virality, I fear, like a virus, it is breaking down the left's ability to defend its ideas with any sort of credible persuasion. If we are run by the whims of our emotions, we will be penned in with our toys, to play amongst ourselves, while all the important ideas are left up to the grown-ups.
Poetry is a great outlet for the personal reflection, expression, and creative zeal of the mind, but is a poor form for credible persuasion in fields of discussion that demand evidence for claims. The only people who are persuaded by poetry are those that are enslaved by empathy.
This is what it feels like to be in an echo chamber:
Imagine you are at a dinner party, surrounded by all your best friends. The decor and plating is aesthetically beautiful, and the room is full of laughter. Now, imagine you want to get some fresh air, but you find there are no doors, so you look for a window, but you find you cannot open it, and in fact, when you try to look out the window, you notice that it is opaque - smeared by untold hand prints left from the repeated slamming of palms, bloody, on the glass - and then you see, that all the hand prints mirror your own. And you are left with the question: “What is reality?”
“...Give me solitude, Give me Nature, Give me again O Nature your primal sanities…”
Poetry is the artistic expression of the beauty of language. Its strength lies, not in argumentation, but in aesthetics; in the beauty of personal expression, creativity, and the universal grammar of imagination. As such, it is unfalsifiable, and not bound within the stringent controls of logic. But now, here is an apothegm; an aphorism: Poetry has more in common with religion, than rationalism (and perhaps this is why one of the best and most common arguments for religion is the beauty of its rituals and the beauty of its poetry). But when it comes to keeping an open mind, we don't often think of religion.
Here is a question to explain where I am going with this: “Why is poetry read at inaugurations, but not drafted into legislation?” The answer appears simple to me. Do we want personal feeling to take precedence in matters of law and order, or do we want proof? Poetry deals in only one type of proof, and that is proof of consciousness, not facts or events.
Here is the crux of my frustration. I have observed that progressivism (and the Left in general) has a stranglehold on poetry. Which leads me then to wonder, “How have these two, seemingly independent things, influenced each other?” I fear poetry has become an echo chamber of progressivism and the Left - but I also believe, that it doesn't have to be.
This is what it feels like to *not* be in an echo chamber:
Imagine you are floating through space, surrounded by a random assortment of scrabble pieces - each one like a fleeting, cursory meteor. Now, imagine you are trying to write and prove a thesis. The best you could do is L+S=D. And you are left with the question again: “What is reality?”
“...Give me solitude, Give me Nature, Give me again O Nature your primal sanities…” - Walt Whitman
Clandestinus Raptum Mentis
Perhaps this is where the poetic mind and science meet most violently: that place where your current pleasantries are upset, where your mind begins to salivate, before the vomitus sick; where poetry brings you to the point at which; the point on which, you can no longer stand upon your gods; your sensibilities and passing fancies that lead you to experience poetry but not consume it! Where you experience poetry out of some high class casualty (and poetry truly is a casualty of high class, popular poetry); a causal sense of the celebrity which sits astride the dregs of poets not quite worth your time, or your pomp and snobbery; the five course meal in some foreign tongue that has already settled in the toilet bowl, while the leftovers, created with the same amount of care and nutrition, sit truly wasted yet still crying out honest realities from your local poetry dump. And when you have thus been shown reality - that is science! Because science has always come along and said, “not god”; because the methods of discovery and the answers that gave humanity comfort are fleeting and foolish, and miss the point of life entirely! - like errant mortar fire, not aimed, that falls with a dud. The dutiful appreciation of poetry as a matter of social pride and identity misses the point. Action that is meant to demonstrate that one “appreciates poetry,” is a self-pleasuring action akin to sadism. The masochist is the poet, held to leash by the whims of popular culture. And O, everyone has their favorite pet poet. And when that pet kills itself (and suicide to the poet is like auto erotic asphyxiation) what a spectacle that is! A killer’s writings are treated with such reverence, and the posthumous poetry of a suicide is treated no differently...this metaphor has devolved too far into factual history.
To get back on track what is needed within poetry and its mother, the poetic mind, is a resistant force; an uprising in purpose and practice; an expulsion of the invading forces of comfortability, ideologues, popularity and prestige and celebrity, authoritarian politics, high minded pride, simple and byzantine sentences, virulent agreement, cowardly “feelings”, altogether truth devolved into mindless snapping, and altogether the absolutely baseless and debasing logics of “agreement, therefore truth” and “enjoyment, therefore truth”; such forces attempting to “democratize” poetry. But such purity already exists, in the underground of title-less human birth. What is needed is the catalyst; the precipitation to flush out the spiders; the web-weavers and story tellers and silken dream catchers, so that the poetic mind can no longer recognize that which it has, up til now, been deformed to become; the mask it forgot was stapled onto its face to make it prettier by the commoditization of singular and easily digestible reflections. Let's call this catalyst: Clandestinus raptum mentis or, Guerrilla mind rape, for what destroys a things reflection more than rape? Only now, the constant washing away of the defilers touch and impurity is to show what is truly underneath, penetrating the holes in the mind to find what is in there; what is begotten as “immaculate conception”, and to that poetry, science is akin: finding what “lives and breathes”; what can be identified in verse, without catalyst deep in the trenches of existence. There needs to be a war; an invasion to remove and reform poetry, by finding it again. Like cave paintings, only ever able to express, what is - a priori - And this can all be said of any sort of human mindfulness nowadays; any attempts at finding truth amidst all manner of stupid pageantry, any art or literature; any breath allowed to escape the lungs without so much as a molecule; an atom, of dreadful power; without the proverbial splitting. Even the most simple, yet still honest, observation of nature can have the same resonating power as the thermonuclear radiation of a star.
Guerrilla mind rape
make the mind no longer whole within itself; make it
slither and squirm,
like a snake
that cannot shed its skin; that can only burst
from within itself, like sausage
from overfilled pig intestines;
make it question
whether it is still whole;
make it question
whether it still exists,
whether “I” exist,
whether these words exist - let it expel napalm, til it can no longer recognize
Fill every single hole; every whole memory and Holy identity,
every single trap door, hidden, fill them
with the seed of villains and heroes and mad men
and all other manifestations of the human spirit. Swallow it
all, and regurgitate what no longer sits well
within your stomach, and then swallow it
all again just to be sure, if you have a mind to - unless you have already gorged yourself
on the fat of your own goddam ego.
And then whatever is left
within the belly of your mind; whatever
has been digested,
that is not causing your mind
and all subsequent organs to fail, that is the native tongue! That is the forces,
by foreign artifice! For due to the oppressive societal ideals, that lead you to assimilate
for your own benefit, have suppressed
the candor of the mind; your minds majesty,
open to all, but was conditioned
to reject much.
The benefit of the individual
should not, and cannot, if
we are to remain mindful,
be in opposition to
the benefit of society.
Individual tyranny is never the problem,
to those that follow the tyrant
to his own self-fulfilling, and
Lies and engendering prose
I have lied, and will lie again.
The inevitability of it chokes me; it chokes my reason
and faith in the facts being enough.
Lies are manipulative -
like hatching an egg with your fist. Yet, I still lie. Why? Whether the egg is hatched via force or time,
the bird will be revealed (possibly too soon).
The truth begs to be known. But no,
this is no fascistic absolute - there are truths
that will forever be hidden.
That is also an inevitability. I will inevitably lie,
and inevitably I will get away with some of them.
The problem with hidden truths
is you cannot know they are there,
or that they are hidden.
And that knowledge gives,
those that harbor the hidden,
(This was supposed to be a poem, but i have nothing creative to say anymore about lies - and poetry is a rather benign form of perceptual reality manipulation.)
The manipulation of facts gives the person the power to manipulate reality to a possible outcome desired. Which is beneficial to a person, but not the bird’s egg. For some reason, it has been determined that dishonest manipulation of reality is wrong, but honest manipulation of reality is right. What is honest manipulation of reality? Look back to the parenthetical comment on poetry. We manipulate reality, through language, to change its perceptual nature - a cloud is like a platform to the divine mind. “That cloud looks likes a dog,” - and for many, who before it hadn’t, it now does. Yet, what makes this honest manipulation of reality? The poet actually has the perception presented, which is a subjective perception. The reader (or listener) may have no such perception, even after having it suggested. So, what then is the nature of honest manipulation, in contrast with dishonest manipulation, that makes it morally acceptable, and the other, morally unacceptable? Perhaps it's due to history being riddled with dishonest manipulation, to benefit an individual, at the same time, harming another (or, or in addition to the dogma of the ten commandments). But how has honest manipulation avoided hurting others while benefiting the author? Perhaps it hasn’t. Look again at the parenthetical comment on poetry (and should be understood as creative writing in general). I would argue that poetry that overuses pathos and empathetic language does hurt others, regardless of how honest the manipulation is, because it can lead the reader, or listener, to perceive the reality the poem is set in irrationally, or, as it subjectively is in the prose, but not how it objectively is in reality. The spin of a poet is inextricably linked to their poetry, but in that way, it is like “fake” news - when a poem is used to assert a truth claim about the reality of everyone. And like was stated in the beginning of this piece, “I have lied, and will lie again.” Poetry is a creative force that has merit, but is based on a premise that the facts are not enough. And where the honest manipulation of reality, through poetry, finds that it is just as hurtful as dishonest manipulation of reality, is where discourse must deal only in obfuscated facts. Nothing more; nothing less.