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

Monday, March 13, 2006

Post-AWP Self-Loathing

Creeping up. About a 5 of 10 right now.


In other semi-icky news: thanks for stopping the warring in the comment boxes.

Note to Seth: you don't know how I feel about you, despite your claims to. I don't know you, really. You seem like a nice guy when you aren't talking about poetry. When you talk about poetry, you say a lot of things that amaze me in what I see as their short-sightedness and narrowness of sensibility. That's fine, really.

Note to Seth 2: Despite your belief to the contrary, I REALLY REALLY did not mean "traditionalist" as an insult. I don't know what other term would apply in that particular context, and frankly, that seemed the least offensive at the time. Of course, I could have simply said "conservative" but as your political leanings are anything but, I was hoping to avoid confusion by not using that term. So, if you're really concerned, just let me know what I should call you next time.


Note to Ginger: Thanks for the comments and emails. I'm glad we all can more or less get along even when we disagree.


Note to Jimmy: I'm a "nice kid"? Sigh. Hey, it *is*, I guess about as good (or at least no worse) than "modest and well-spoken."


Note to Tom: Thanks for stopping by. I like your "Snarf" poem. Visit Tom's "Snarf" poem over at 3legged Cat.


Seth Abramson said...


Honestly I don't think I've read enough to know what I like, or written enough to know exactly how I want to write. My writing has changed over just the past three years, in some part due to Ginger's influence. I don't know where things will be three years from now, especially if I should decide to go in for additional schooling.

As to my reading habits, I tend to enjoy or at least feel neutrally toward much more work than I don't (I'd say a 75% to 25% split, if we're talking about advanced composition), though a) I never find myself wildly enjoying "all" or even "most" of any particular poet or movement, and b) I rarely find myself emotionally moved by poetry--it takes a lot, I find. It's a chaotic relationship with poetry and one I don't fully understand yet. I read Matthea Harvey and I enjoy her, I've read recent New York School-type poetry and enjoyed it (cf. Shanna Compton), and from Jordan Davis to Ada Limon to Victoria Chang, I always find something I significantly admire. I loved the most recent issue of The Canary and seem to be one of the few who enjoyed Best American Poetry 2005, even if I don't approve of the methodology used to select it. As far back as 2000 I was defending Jorie Graham against what I felt was a knee-jerk, on-line workshop mentality against her complex metaphysical writings.

I only write about poetry on my blog when I'm either a) posting a draft, or b) feeling particularly worked up about something. Hence it's not a good reflection of what I believe about poetry in any broad sense, and my emotion often gets the best of me, as it did with flarf; once I'd been pointed to Jacket (rather than other on-line resources), I quickly found some flarf by Gary Sullivan I enormously enjoyed.

I'm skeptical of all movements, clubs, cliques, modes, methods, cabals, collectives, trends, and schools--mostly because I don't want to suddenly find myself expected to "like" all or even most of any one of them.

As to what you should call me, give me ten more years and then I'll have a better idea.


girliedog said...

Woosh! Picture a hand going over my head, which means, I missed a lot in the last few weeks I haven't been reading your blog. AWP came and went? Sorry I could not be there. Would've been nice to meet you in person, Tony! I can't get myself too worked up about poetry these days. It killed/still kills my love of it so I try to avoid all this stuff. I likes what I likes. Don't let shit get you down.