Oct 5, 2008

a new anthology

Some people feel that their poetic reputations are being threatened by the release of a new anthology. I think we just need to take a moment and put things in perspective. We only have the foundation on which we prop ourselves up, and to criminalize an artistic act only furthers the fear and creative inhibitions of writers and artists. No one outside of the poetry community will download and read this anthology, and if they do, I seriously doubt that they will know who I am or what I write or even judge me by what I have "written" there. Those inside the community are already in on the concept: no one will judge me by "my poem" in the anthology. (That is if you want to read it that way: if you can't be open to the fact that a name appears just to appear without ownership or claim, as if the name itself were a happenstance or a moment. Besides, I like the poem on the page on which my name appears or is collaged.) What you will be judged on, however, is how you react to this art book. Instigating a witch hunt and threatening a lawsuit will make you look one way in the end. Some may even judge such reactions as stemming from an inability to think in theoretical and metaphorical frameworks. (Say: isn't that what poets do?) Me? I'm basking in the joy that I'm included--that somewhere in this haze of a "community" I am there; I exist; I produce; and maybe even sometimes I am read. (Imagine that: to be read!) I think it's interesting to ask: what does this compilation say? And perhaps that is why there are so many adverse reactions: people don't necessarily like what the issue says--or maybe they haven't gotten that far yet.

Although the reactions and the commentary surrounding the anthology are now part of the art, I'm not going to link to the blogs where the witch hunts are taking place. I will only link to the anthology itself, in case, you know, anyone wants to read.

I normally wouldn't be so free with my thoughts: as a poet you have to go humbly to get your bread.

I am not writing about this to start a discussion about how terrible this is: so please don't leave any comments if you happen to disagree with me: there are other blogs you can do that on. I am more interested in uninhibited artistic expression and metaphorical frameworks--the polemic and theory that can come out of that. But I do think there are people out there who do agree with me, and I wanted for those people to have a safe place to ponder.


sea said...

...okay, wow.

"Of wilderness" isn't half bad. I'm not suggesting that it's half good. But, well, I'm not worse for wear for having read it.

I wonder: are you tempted to do more with it? Would you footnote it, revise it, dreamscape it? At what point would it actually become yours? (Or perhaps it is already yours, by mere attribution, even if false?)

In any event, I admire you (again). For having proper perspective. For not getting the poetic panties in a twist. For just allowing. I may be "outside of the poetry community," but I agree with you that "What you will be judged on, however, is how you react to this art book." :)

Take care, Jenny.

chall gray said...

I like both of our pieces.

Nina permata sari said...