FROM POETRY MAGAZINE – Whacked Out: A Case for the Advocacy of the Unlisted

Whacked Out: A Case for the Advocacy of the Unlisted

EXCERPTS:

I met the place where art and life converge and began to feel—not just intellectually consider—the potential burn poetry could bring to a person’s entirety, psyche included. This “foreign” poetry was about living, conceiving, and feeling in invigorating and consciousness-inducing ways with words that wreaked havoc on my drive for first-world securities and manufactured defenses against mortality. Only upon those introductions did I begin to understand just how nationalistic and provincial my formal poetry perch had been. I began to hunger. I’m still starving. I worry about the diets of my fellow poets and students now, too.

Stop giving a shit that other poets aren’t writing poems the way you prefer and are more popular for it (unless they’re shitting on you and others in the process; then feel free to call attention to their abuse). Attention will not make you a great poet. Whitman, Dickinson, and Stein knew obscurity well. Also notice how value is often closely aligned and spoken of in terms of capitalist rhetoric. Avoid the pitfalls of shooting for “most popular poet” vis-à-vis most votes for and “best of” lists. We’re not in high school anymore.

Continued @ POETRY MAGAZINE

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