Saturday, November 27, 2010

SEE the poem!

I am in a fairly healthy state of wondering about myself. Not in a self-evaluative way, but looking around for more obvious bits I've missed and can profit by or which might entertain.

One bit of obviousness is to say, I am a formalist. I don't know what I can add to that. It shows in the fact that I write in form, one form. I am a formal formalist. I am formal but not too formal, for instance, I do not wear gloves. I'm a ruddy, hale formalist. I care about all sorts of things. I am not exactly a snob. Well, yes, I am a complete snob. You wouldn't believe what comes out of my mouth. But not really. I simply will not traffic in crap. Nothing wrong with that! I am a Mets fan - name one Mets fan who is a snob; name one Yankees fan who isn't!

What is the poet who is a formalist and who blithely alienates Yankee fans? He is a self-destructive formalist. Ooo. Is he self-"deconstructive" of the form of his (un)doing? No, he is simply dwelling in a particularly unhelpful form - a hammer where a butter knife would do.

I love being a formalist, but I dislike being stupid and not doing a good job with being forthcoming about it. All I need to do is browse the Internet let's say for interesting or funny "formal" things - poetry-oriented or other - and post these and comment, etc. My not so formally inclined friends could take or leave these bits and everyone would I hope get something out of me being who or what I am beyond what has been, up until now, an incomplete effort.

That being said, everyone has been understanding and nice. I think my friends know me for what I am and accept me in the same vein in which I understand them. Things are convivial. Part of that is being of a certain age in Portland, Oregon and being very lucky in many ways. But the way poetry is, and it has no doubt changed since I began writing this piece, the best tack seems to me to demonstrate who and what you are to the best of your ability and let everyone sort it out. The demonstrations will vary according to style, mien, and age. We need not all blog, or mix, or read aloud, but there should be a way somehow to be amidst. And we can change our minds, etc.

Funny - you sit on thoughts to Blog, then you write almost nothing at all, but feel compelled to post it. There is something to this form of communication that elicits frankness and ease.

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