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

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Some More Notes on the NS

We're here, some of us are queer, and we aren't going anywhere.

The New Sincerity had its genesis in December of 2004. It began when I met Andrew Mister in San Francisco's Tenderloin district and proceeded to drink him under the table. He lost concentration during our last couple of rounds as he was trying to chat up a girl at the bar. I maintained focus on drinking my beer and whiskey. A photo-documentary of this event lives in the archives. After drinking, I had Thai food at a nearby all-night eatery. I left Andrew at the bar.

We talked a lot of shit about poetry we didn't like between drinks. We also sang David Bowie's "Life on Mars," though we couldn't remember all the lyrics. We watched a drag show. We almost broke a table. We also talked about what we wanted in contemporary poetry. Frank O'Hara said that only a few poets were more interesting than the movies. We believe that only a few poets are more interesting than David Bowie. At least right now. We're hoping to pull a few more New Sincerists out of the closet, those who are afraid of losing post-avant cred, or appearing too sentimental. Sentimental means "relating to sentiment." Sentiment means "feeling." We feel, dig?

Before our drinking battle, we exchanged manuscripts. The next morning, hung over and sipping Emergen-C, we read the poems and discovered that each of us was the other's favorite new poet. We seemed to see eye to eye on matters poetical. We wrote the sorts of poems that we wanted to read. We continued our correspondence and friendship. We began to notice other poets who seemed to want the same things from contemporary poetry--Joseph Massey, Charlie Jensen, Reb Livingston, Gina Myers, Laurel Snyder. Jeff Bahr, though not a New Sincerist, photoshopped a NS teeshirt on himself. Josh Hanson criticized us. Lots of other people just don't care. So it goes.

The New Sincerity went public in the late spring and early summer of 2005. I began writing little blips about it on my blog. In early July of 2005, Joe Massey wrote a controversial manifesto. Since then, not a day in the blogosphere goes by without a mention of the NS. I like this. It means people are paying attention. Not everyone agrees with us and that is okay. There are a number of skeptics. That too is okay.

We are not going anywhere. But we promise not to take over your town.


Greg said...

For what it's worth, and keeping with the intent of your school, and despite the fact that you probably couldn't care the least, or maybe not, but I do care.

the machinist said...

come to New York

we need some sincerity out here

Tony said...

Thanks for caring. We do care.

I'll be back to New York soon. In the meantime, Andrew Mister & Gina Myers represent the New Sincerity, Brooklyn Chapter.

Whimsy said...

Actually, Tony, I think I am a New Sincerist. I'm finding that as I flounder around in various modes, that what stays constant is a desire for integrity, even in the midst of flippancy and faux-wit. In the same vein, I consider GC an old New Sincerist. Probably a lot of other people, if I were forced to think about it. There just hasn't been an umbrella to dwell under until now.

Aaron Tieger said...

You'll be in NY? When?

Tony said...


When I can scrape together the moolah.