One of the perks of being employed by a taxpayer-funded discothèque is all the unsolicited swag we receive, 100% of which takes the form of *shock* the printed page. We might have gotten a t-shirt once, but since it was for Transformers 2, we threw it out. Anyway, of these pages, some in Chinese, some hawking scholarly wares or office supplies, most come in the form of literary and/or poetry journals.
The summer issue of Fence arrived yesterday & the editorial caught my fancy. 'tis perhaps a bit long for you AD-addled youth, so I'll summarize: some organization/coalition/group of slackers calling themselves The 95 Cent Skool apparently declared a jihad on an individual poetry; social poetics is the wave of the futurama. The editor proceeded to go apeshit, but intellectually.
Given how 99% of my awful verse is individual, personal, I was, on the surface, inclined to immediately agree. I'm not a smartypants but since I play one on TV & the CRT, I felt it best to dialectically dive & see if the other side was as single-minded as 'down with The Man!' (a sentiment I share) or whether the situation was a bit more complex.
Thus, a response from a member of the
school skool whose seminar is now scattered to the four winds. Shorter, encore: we know change is bullshit, we just wanna hang with folks who hate The Man. Oh, personal expression takes precious time away from imaginary revolution.
C'est-à-dire, slight miscommunication of a Three's Company variety, without Mr. Furley and babes in hotpants, of course. Aside: Joyce DeWitt was the finer; go play in the street if you disagree. Raging against the machine in bricked stanzas or chronicling on stray strands the beautiful & maddening genetics of the quotidian, you, I, both sides know the inexorable, unquenchable accumulation of capital & the wages of this sin being the fuckery of everything below the penthouse will continue unabated until an ostentatiously theatrical (I hope) apocalypse of our own creation.
Think global, act local? Perhaps. Let me steal & apply famous Benjamin:
Opinions are to the vast apparatus of social existence what oil is to machines: one does not go up to a turbine and pour machine oil over it; one applies a little to hidden spindles and joints that one has to know.The sphere of influence is inverse to the distance traversed. No one has more influence over me, someone I ostensibly have to know, than me -- except when the opiate of new music purchasing proves too strong. Well played, oligarchy. I have less influence over my wife & children (that's for sure), even less over city & county governments, state bwahahahaha. I won't even insult your intelligence by going any further in this mostly evidence- & anecdote-free demonstration.
My personal, obvious conclusion: write whatever the hell you want to write. The only thing you can ever hope to change is yourself & if you get lucky -- really really lucky -- you might be the spark for someone else's inferno. Marxist red, or lovelorn blues, that's their call.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to implicitly support the system by writing a love sonnet.