"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Jonathan's talking irony with Jordan.

...and he mentions that the New Sincerity seems "staged," is ironic.

And I say--

Though the New Sincerity seems "staged" it both is and isn't sincere. I mean, it is a "joke" movement that is more than a "ha ha" joke. Its intent is pure. We believe what we jokingly proclaim. So I guess that's irony, but it's against the wink-wink irony that we see in so many "post-avant" poems. We don't try to be clever. We just are. Ha.

But seriously, the above paragraph is about as sincere as I can be. The New Sincerity acknowledges that the comic IS the tragic, and vicey versey. We write dicey verses. We want some feeling with our wisdom. Some smile without the wink. We are open to poetry of all types--poetry about one's background and heritage, yes. "Tortilla" school? No. Elliptical? If I can ever figure out what it means, maybe.

We acknowledge that Jess Mynes' prose-poem chapbook is a work in the spirit of the New Sincerity. We acknowledge that Julia Mayhew's poems about animals are pure New Sincerity. We acknowledge that no one, pound for pound, writes better lunes than Joe Massey. We would like Charles Jensen to appear nude in the New Sincerity house organ, "Why the long face?"

We laugh because shit's funny and life is too short. We are deadly serious. Our Mecca is Manhattan, where we face east and shout out cheers twice daily. Our Mecca is also Kansas. And Chicago. We cannot decide where we want to live. We put people's names in our poems because Paul Goodman told us to, and we decided it was a good idea. We have a lot of nerve. We are all former track stars.

We don't ignore social ills. We are social ills. We drink well whiskey. We drink whiskey well. We are not afraid of cliche. "Sentimentality" is not a dirty word. Sometimes we beat people up. A bird in Brooklyn reads our poems and cries in Central Standard Time, an hour east.

We have no enemies. Babies and cartoon mice are our mascots. We are various. And sad. We are like tigers helping the sick. We believe the birds because they still are flying.


C. Dale said...

Oh my. That is quite a manifesto. I guess I kind of believe you are being sincere without winking. ;)

Whimsy said...

Right on, Tony. I'm with ya.

Anonymous said...


I am the Public Defender of the New Sincerity. Just wanted to introduce myself.

Sandman Simonds

Reb said...

T-Rob, this is why I'd have your baby, if I was ever dumb enough to get pregnant again.

dennis said...

Is former track stars a reference to Belle & Sebastian or Frank O'Hara?

Also, I just came across the phrase 'new sincerity' in an LA Times article about the end of hipsters.

Tony said...

That would be Frank. Minneola Prep, don'tcha know!

I am not familiar enough with Belle & Sebastian to make that reference.

In one of our collab poems, I wrote a line that went something like: "I'm much to old to be making out on the couch to Belle & Sebastian," and Andy changed "Belle & Sebastian" to "Echo & The Bunnymen."

Which is more sincere?

Reb, you don't want my baby. It would be short and brutish.


Thanks, Whims. I tried saffron again the other day. It still tastes like plastic.


Sand, thanks for your work.


C. Dale, you can't kind of believe. You must commit.

Tony said...

much TOO old, that is.