2 nov. 2005

I agree with this post by Josh. I don't particularly care for that particular Chiasson poem, but I agree with the general principle that you can't discuss tactics without discussing strategy first. Do you think one of my favorite poems from Notley's Mysteries of Small House could survive a good poetry-board hashing out?

Chiasson has written some children's books that my daughter has enjoyed. (Is that the same guy?) I'm willing to give him some BOTD. The poem did seem odd to me, because I didn't know what code to read it in. Is it in the Dean Young/Albert Goldbarth mode, but aching to be Jim Behrle? The tone of voice is way out of control--I'd just bring it further out of control. Why stop at clubbing baby seals and hapless college students? The poem needs to be even wilder if it is going to go this far. Otherwise it risks cuteness.

In a culture that puts ice in all its drinks, it seemed odd to suppose that someone might prefer to become dehydrated than drink frozen water. I myself would rather drink muddy water and sleep in a hollow log, before joining one of those "poetry boards" that Jeffery describes. I didn't know such a thing existed. It's not that I can't take criticism (well, ok, I can't, but that's another discussion). It's that I would never take criticism from someone that I don't fully respect. If someone liked that Mary Oliver poem about the Cyclops poem, why would I accept that person's criticism as valid? I would only actually take criticism or advice about my poetry from a two or three people in this world. No offense to the rest of you.

3 comentarios:

Tony Tost dijo...

Your thoughts here echoed mine both on the Chiasson poem (hadn't heard of him before), and also your critiques of Linh Dinh's poem at Lime Tree a month or so ago.

I disagree with you though on pushing the Chiasson poem into further wildness, which I think would probably create a safer poem than the current one: it's the awkwardness of the piece that I find really interesting, it's not too securely encased in any kind of aesthetic or stance: with the too overtly wild poem, you could say "he's just purposefully being nuts here," which I think is less interesting than the creepiness of the current poem where you're not sure what is really going on. I wouldn't necessarily want to write a poem like that (at least not today), but I enjoyed reading it.

It creates a similar kind of weird vibe as in the Linh Dinh poem, where the lack of typical poetic 'mastery' evokes a kind of psychological realism I think. A limit of that approach is that very few poems that evoke that sentiment work at extended lengths; I guess an example that does would be Nijinsky's diary, though it is buttressed by the fact that the author was going insane as he was writing it, though I think Nijinsky's text would be just as affecting regardless of the bio.

Laura Carter dijo...

Mysteries of Small Houses gives me hope.

Jonathan dijo...

Good points, Tony. I'm changing my mind about the Chiasson poem every time I read it.