So, what we need is another “pope” issuing excommunications from his pulpit in the avant-garde, after Breton & Bernstein: Johnson? Just shoot me.
I’ve just overseen (w/ the help of my bro who came down from Boston) the funeral arrangements & ash dispersal (yesterday, in the rain) of a beloved family member, who knew more than her fair share of tragedy & with whom I was bound in a deep karmic knot. What’s interesting, working my way through the various emails these past few days from the geniuses at Dispatches, is how much of what now passes for avant poetry of value (from Bok to Watten to Asian-American work in progress on your back & Barthes’s (a former teacher btw, introduced me to Bataille) is so radically disconnected from primal experiences like birth & death, love & friendship. I mean, really, this “poetry” is of absolutely no use to anyone outside the career track of the American Ivory Tower. Am I right or am I right?
Ironically, getting pirated in the company of Barthes makes you, Kent, a more famous US poet: so congratulations are in order. Said congrats + $2.50 & a Metrocard get you get you a ride on the NYC subway.
Berstein’s “resentment” & the whole take-down of you & Barthes recalls a post on Mike’s Facebook page, which picks up a post by Joe Amato, in which he basically agrees w/ this editorial in NYTimes, about how (extrapolating) the forces of poetry & poetics have taken over the English department, while become irrelevant everywhere else. I think the issue does have to do w/ poetry & philosophy, but goes past Jena to Plato’s Academy & the (self-)banishment of the Ivory Tower poets, who have effectively accepted Plato’s dick up their ass in their philosophical pursuit of truth & their subservience to philosophy as a discipline eminently at home in academia, indeed on which academia is literally constructed. The diminishment of poetry happened in that well-known American abyss in which Comparative Literature morphed into Cultural Studies & American poetry became to French theory what Warhol is to Duchamp, or The Monkeeys are to the Beatles, etc. Old stuff. It is what it is.