most of what poetry is is presentation, as though the poem were standing there in your head and telling itself in a certain way. imagine your poem reading itself in front of congress, in a macdonalds, at a beatnik coffee house… or, even more so, intimately, sharing itself with sylvia plath or ezra pound or robin williams. your integrity is how much the ego you, as poet, would try to bend or style the poem to fit the audience, and you shouldn’t have to. for one thing, you believe in the truth of your poem as poetry, and on the other, that it’s up to the audience to combine itself with you. if the poem is good, if it’s written only as it should be written, like you’ve added a new gem or star or flower to the world, then, what? that’s the truth, isn’t it? that you’d dismiss someone coming to the beach and complaining there’s no clowns.
the last moment of the work has to come by accident. if you’re constantly concerned about having your reader like you and keep contact with you, that moment will never come and your work will be transactional utility grade typing.
chance may rule, but chance has to rule on something. writers who say that ‘it’s all chance, what’s to say what art is’, are only as right as their work. people get up at slams and say, ‘give me a phrase and i’ll make a poem on it’ are working the audience, a con, a thug move from a thug soul.
a poet, you write yourself out of your own stupid self-referencing emo bubble and begin to write as two people — one looking at what you love, and the other watching you write. there’s no way to turn the poem into just another opinionated creig’s list ad for the nobel prize.
writing yourself out of your self-love certainty, that’s to enter empson’s 7th kind of ambiguity, where you float in your language rather than using it to scrub your guilty conscience and sense of embarrassment away, by writing what you couldn’t say to someone to their face cause you’re just chicken… ‘unkown’. and why most things posted in pop poetry sites are stories with wheel-chair ramps so the semi-literate can get a story buzz without too much reading.
prose is like a freight train, word after word delivered to your industrial brain. most of what’s emitted as poetry is a short story with funny line breaks. short stories aren’t even that good, so a compacted and trimmed short story dumm’d down for modern readers is less than good.
let’s, let us say the moon beams,
sits and dreams of mayonnaise;
white snow moon and sleeby dreams.
o, let me fly, let me whisper off the wind,
far away, upon that rainbow, of which they’ve so much to say…
this, here is why the world goes bang in time
and many first times more.
why the sky, the sky, starts its ‘doesn’t-matter’ way;
wishing into halo, spinning either/or,
the start of you.
let’s, let’s dream, go on by, don’t stop for inconsequentials;
stop conversing seriously in plastic sentimentals;
let the present pass, it’s gone.
on the sappy smiles of pluto’s planetismal;
those midnight slopes of hyperbolic mystery,
let us dream, surf neptune’s intercontinental’s:
space dust and love in spaceboy fantasies.
you and me, we’ve talked and sang to Cygnus Minor,
breathing in each others glow. we go.
how much, how far beyond the bent horizon,
until this spinning platter starts to slow?