Thursday, May 23, 2013

After the Lecture

It is beyond my reasoning and sensibility how a person in this place and time can stand before a crowd of like-minded individuals and say nothing and call it good.

There is a brand of literary blather that seeks nothing more than to justify its own existence by branding its progenitor as special and unique. By extension, the author's listeners are included. The enemy is Out There, that fellow hurrying home to his wife and kids - he does not get Celan.

What we have are individuals who lift themselves by pushing down others. The formula is perfect, untouched for decades, whereby one ululates over the profundities of a given author, offering to the masses one's pleas for self-minded comprehension. The high priest effect. We apparently have not tired of it. Why? Because people like US, the listeners and readers, are always INCLUDED in the elect. WE understand the author, the subject of the progenitor's special prayers. We are okay. It's the OTHERS who must be made to suffer, who are the cause of all this, whose callous disregard for the special circumstances of the subject-author's compositions has prompted all this hand-wringing. We are here after all for THEM, and if not them, then for their children.

I see this, and I wonder. How is it that such self-serving, bludgeoning efforts can go without question or doubt? How do we then turn around to point an accusing finger at the Bank of America, or the Congress, or Monsanto, when the high priests of our own tribe are so blatantly, offensively, emotionally and intellectually oppressive? If I soil and sully an idea, am I not worse then one who merely takes money and makes more from it? But make no mistake. Our lecturer is doing very well. We all admire them. The publications, the awards, the hermetic lifestyle.

What Amurica needs isn't everyone reading everyone's poems. It needs fairness. Let's turn our eyes toward ourselves - just a thought - and consider our assumptions and what we are willing to guarantee to others. At the lecture I attended last night, I found myself wishing one wish, that my presumed output never be employed to sponsor such efforts at self-justification at the expense of others. Elitism. It's a flavor that has not worn out on the tongue of the supposed smart and dainty.

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