which I will probably double-back on momentarily... probably even during...
I am trying to sort out the drive and appeal of subjects and tones chosen. Why does something matter to someone in the context of their lives? Why decide what someone says is worth saying or reading?
Another has the same pieces to life puzzle therefore one should a) commiserate and congratulate b) compare, debate finer differences c) move on because it is the same-same; only fresh matters.
Another has different pieces to the puzzle therefore one should a) challenge b) find incomprehensible c) marvel d) absorb, internalize
It seems terribly contentious this idea of meaning. If you are communicating, you must *mean* something, intend to persuade of something or else it is gum-flap wasting everyone's time. People are willing to sleuth to code-break if they have to. It's the mentoring/savior urge. There is already too much which is surface and random. Let us impose a meaning or pattern in language at least. The story behind the story. The relationship fodder build on going thru the hoops of Times New Roman, or grabbing the ligature of literature and touching the skin of a person in the process. Poetry is just a convoluted way of communicating and if we can cut past that and just converse, so much the better. Poetry was a kludge that served and can be dropped. That's what I've got from some conversations.
And from this British comedy
. Which puts its finger on the absurdity of the matter.
Our human brains work on significance, on story. How do we absorb otherwise? Too random and nothing registers (except for those who add 9/10 of content to any random object, event, word.)
How do we succeed in denying the right to read between lines? To say there is no story here is seeming to tease some kind of hard-to-get. Nothing is without purpose and people will impose their imagination on stars until some constellation comes. Why not proactively pitch an arbitrary significance so we can move past into the nitty gritty of sound and play and experience of language.
Poetry is fiction and other lies mixed in with truth. Officially, the story is that the narrator is not to be assumed to be the speaker. This is practical. It allows speech to be made at all without losing face, a sort of double ledger; I declare this crafted vision of the world but declare, I don't speak of myself. You can try out ideas without claiming them as your identity. Everyone knows its pretend. People still speculate much like one would over people who are just room mates, wishing for the seeming to be sordid.
Still stuck in my craw is the charge laid against me a decade ago that writers are all liars and cannot be god-seeking with that chosen profession. Cue the boilerplate of lies are more true than truth. He who assassinated my paper silhouette also dismissed English poetry as being inferior with no precedents used, no layers, no need to reference what went before and a readership who are gladly illiterate and cannot recognize their own cultural references. The truth of that gets me still.
I still answer myself to it. But when I read does not comfort or teach. So little can captivate me. And that is my wanting to always be on the high of hearing, the next hit of new angle, of novel take, of special phrase, but that is only meaningful with a contrast of downtime. Nothing can stand out if all things are equal.
I feel largely deaf. And cranky. But I would rather fight to understand than gloss over blankly. I would rather there be something to get, even if it is the punchline of gut laugh at life is a cosmic joke, let's remember it's all nonsense. I would rather get what someone put into it. I can make stuff up without getting anyone else involved. If someone else is speaking, I want to know what they know. If they speak and I talk and impose, neither of us get any gratifaction of being heard.
"The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions." - Adlai E. Stevenson
But looking back at what was written, there are all kinds of filters of cultural distance and my own bias reinforced when I want to break my own bias away from systemic patterns into one-off instances, blown into molocules. I don't want to hear my own assumptions whereever I go. If I could live outside myself, I would. And I try to when I listen.
I'm blind. I'm calloused when I hear some words, some tones. A pattern to dead end of someone going self-pitying, someone being entranced by the romance of fearful beauty, of looking uncritically and speaking at the level of construction sites instead of bricks. I get blocks I don't want but I can't sidestep my bias fast enough to hear the person behind the words. It is a humble thing to hear the person even when the person is angry with pain, or blowhard with insecurity or tremulous with overcompensating against fury. Or whatever. I want to understand where it is coming from. Which is story, which is person, which is too intimate when we want to arms length of words.
So we go to thin-slicing, a piece of salami of world view to the vegan. Another woman dismissed in succession. Embedded presumptions like nails deep in tree buck the saw. If I wish to be irritated, non-poetry life has ample opportunities without being struck by how as female I have the option of pat domestic nice dears, dysfunction-loving suicidals or balanced and intelligent lesbians. Maybe that makes my issue one of tribe of like-minds, coming from and going to the same place. I don't want to be challenged by underlying assumptions or trip at low level but move on to pure ideas, beyond color, class, gender, generation.
We have to speak for what matters and not hide in the sand.
We must play in the sand in what is sensory because all else is constructed and passing.
It seems two sides of the same furtive coin to a) elaborate out a poem to make patently clear what the person means and why by slant and expansion as to what the reader should think as it is to b) be evasive, anti-semantic and make impenetrable poems or oblique that fail is they show the life or ideas of poet or the environs.
Both are poet-fronted. The first evangelically chases to tag passersby and the other stands with cap out, periodically touches and declares no touch-backs. Both are monologues that seek to provoke. Both come from somewhere deep at different angles.
The middle ground that is not near the poet, where there is a retelling a transposed version of ancient story or historical biography, or talking about things out there without commentary such as some haiku seems to be a different coin.
It can be plain-spoken or not, but it's position towards the reader is more withdrawn and in that way allows the reader to approach without expecting oversharing or refusal to engage. It wants to participate in culture, dialogue about what the poet has harvested, rather than conscientiously abstain or hotly lead.
"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider." - Francis Bacon
Maybe what I'm groping towards is this reservedness of mainstream, versus specialized stylistics, experimental or workingman poems.
The attachment of the poet to the poem may be less if taking about a re-vision of a tale, or narrating nature than if it has a political bent or L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E bent. It is about out there instead of hooked so close to identity. When there is detachment is more of a sense of option, less imposition of intensity.
Maybe what one is trying to tell is not to tell to me. It is an eavesdropping on what I don't have the hooks to understand. My life and bias don't overlap enough. Our dialects are thick to one another. But perhaps I am corrupted by the idea of universal translator. I want to understand and then know which way to go on a simplistic dynamic: am I ahead and should lead or am I behind and should follow?