“Dans la poésie c’est toujours la guerre.”

– Osip Mandelstam

“A poet is not a cable car.”

– Jack Spicer

PoBiz Stock Index Update, 21 April 2018

Trumpist NEA to the Poetry CommunityTM: Immigrants Keep Out of American Poetry

 

As controversy raged over Robert Mueller’s continuing investigation of Russian meddling in US elections — as opposed to US meddling in Chilean, Cuban, Venezuelan, Ukrainian, Uzbekistanian, Iranian, Lower Slabovian (add your own country and take your pick) elections – President Big Yam continued his all-out assault on US democracy and culture in general, generating shock waves that reached as far as the otherwise self-satisfied and somnolent Poetry Community. The price of shares in PoFo, Inc, the venerable Blue Stock Bastion of Corporate-Managed Poetry, plummeted as it found itself exposed on the markets to criticism of its co-sponsorship with the NEA’s (National Enema for the Arts) Trumpist attack on Zambian refugee, Allan Monga. Monga, who sought asylum in in the US in 2017 to escape continuing widespread violence in Zambia, won the Maine state Poetry Out Loud contest, but was denied the right to travel to the Imperial Capitol to compete with his prize winning recitations.

NEA spokespeople, while eschewing the administration motto, Make America G(rabby ) r(acist) e(agle-fucking ) a(tavistic) t(hugs) Again, nevertheless cited the fact that Monga is not a US Citizen as justification for excluding him. PoFo, Inc. meanwhile, maintained silence as worldwide outrage grew.

* BREAKING NEWS *

PoFo, Inc. shares continued to fluctuate wildly on the Poetry CommunityTM Poetry Exchange (PCP-X) in response to a US Federal Court ruling that the NEA cannot exclude Allan Monga from the national Poetry Out Loud contest because his exclusion amounts to discrimination against asylum seekers and is a violation of federal civil rights laws. Many other, less legally minded folks, felt the selective exclusion was just plain jingoistic, heartless, and opportunistically in line with the growing nationalistic fervor fanned by the Trump administration. The NEA acquiesced although its spokesperson was heard to mumble something about building a culture wall as they left the podium. PoFo, Inc., in a desperate attempt to salvage their crumbling reputation, issued a press statement saying they were “happy” with the decision. When asked how the PoFo could now be “happy,” after having quite fully and “happily” endorsing the right-wing rules of the contest, the PoFo spokesperson left the dais quick as Sarah Sanders.

AvantPo, Intl., meanwhile, was on holiday in China and couldn’t be reached for comment.

 

 

Deering High School Allan Monga reads “The Song of the Smoke” by W.E.B. Du Bois.

Cherished DPW Readers, Who Do Swell with Fine Increase by the Season,

At start of National Poetry Month, and, none too coincidentally, the 2ndanniversary of Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, we share with you what has been revealed at Dispatches over a very busy March. Because there is so much, we’ve taken time to list all new contents from the past four weeks by category, and with direct links to each item.

We want you to know we have labored away, this past fortnight and more, in midst of sudden financial crises for both DPW editors: Fric flipped into the air and fell on the ice, breaking two ribs, then lost a crown of gold to a plum seed; Frac bought a fine, signed first edition of Marianne Moore’s Collected and lost it at a bar, then also lost a bumper, grill, and lights in a rear-end on a bridge. Each has been set back a bundle. So if you feel some sympathy for a couple of gimpy, increasingly toothless poets struggling to keep their website going, please feel free to write the Poetry Foundation and encourage them to send us some of their dough. Maybe just one day’s interest from the dragon’s hoard stashed in their numbered Swiss accounts. And Fred Seidel, fellow geezer, now is the time to slightly postpone the purchase of your twelfth Ducati.

Someone wrote us recently and claimed he was challenging us on our “tactics.” We found that amusing since the only tactics we are interested in are syntactics. Or is that sin-tactics? In any case, we see ourselves as more tic-tactic-toe kind of guys, eager to put down the next X or O, always hopeful the game will turn out differently. Poetry does make a difference, on many of the multiple levels we wander in and out of every day. Of course we know that as soon as we say poetry makes a difference, some smartass out there will go, Yeah? Is Poetry going to bring world peace? Can poetry defeat a national army of racist cops shooting unarmed black men? Can poetry end hunger? Can it end hemorrhoids? And of course the answer is no, it can’t do those things. Because nothing can do those things. We learned some time ago, hunkering in the Nicaragua rain forest to teach peasant soldiers to read and write, or preaching the gospel of utopian economic justice in union halls and on shop floors, that you can’t fix the world. It is, as Robin Blaser liked to emphasize from his reading of Agamben, irreparable. So get over it.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. The world’s whirlswirl is a dynamic emerging of complex entanglements, and little things here and there end up later magnified in ways no one can predict or even imagine. Poetry has the capacious capacity to open the heart, mind and soul to the tremendum as it vibrates in language composed to maximize acoustic and sub-acoustic vibratory gnosis which itself can set off morphogenetic resonances that profoundly affect the forms of emergence. It offers a jail break in the midst of the Administration’s Detention Centre. And it has the capacity as well to convene synergetic gatherings of the different minded in being-together in poetry’s work. That’s something.

We could and want to say more. We will, of course. There is still time. We hope. May God(s) &/ or Goddess(es) Bless and Protect Us All. Happy or angry reading. Thank you for being there, camerados. Down with all poetry institutions. Long live the poetic resistance.

Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, a veritable barrel of apples on a pirate ship (Yo ho ho . . .

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Index – 1 April 2018 Update

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