Several people have written to the Buffalo poetics list to thank the listees for providing so much valuable information and useful debate on the war against Iraq and the Bush administration policies on civil rights. I couldn’t agree more. When you compare the poetics list and what is available online to mainstream media coverage it is clear that the information gap is widening every moment. A demonstration in Chicago on Thursday led to the arrest of 800. These were not provoked or planned arrests. Another link provided on the list reported on a demonstration in Greece numbering in the hundreds of thousands. These were hardly touched on in mass media reporting. Michael Moore's courageous statement at the Academy Awards ceremonies last night may well be prophetic. At one point, a Mexican show business professional -worked on “Frida”- made an anti-war statement and I decided to write to Heriberto Yepez (who teaches philosophy in Tijuana, Mexico and who is a poet who recently visited here and read recently in Lytle Shaw's "Drawing Center" poetry series) about this. When Michael Moore won the Oscar for “Bowling for Columbine” (a movie I greatly admired) and made a rousing speech against the war and Bush’s illegal coup I wrote to Heriberto again. I didn’t at all expect the answer I received but it made me think. I wrote for his permission to publish it on -fait accompli- and on the poetics list. To view "The Tijuana Bible of Poetics" go to the links on the left.
I am writing a blog on the Oscars/Frida/anti-war involvement and I just read your email, and I was also thinking of you when was seeing that-"you" meaning American poets. You need to do something. I don't know what but this is a moment when the intelligent people of America need to do something radical to stop the meaning "America" has now to many many people on the world. Stop this government. Nick I think your community (LangPoe, Post-s, NY, etc) needs to do something visible against this goverment you have. Those protests agains the war in NY are great. That's helping a lot the way the outside world, the media, etc, is seeing what America really is.
I think it was Adorno who said what a nation (people/culture) is not what the norm is_does but what opposes that. So I know the Americans are always intelligent. The sleepwalkers need to understand they are not being American, they are damaging not only countries like Iraq and Mexico but also America itself. Being a Mexican or being an American or being a Iraqi needs to be being-totally-intelligent.
As a reader of contemporary experimental writing and I self-made-expert on wanting to understand what "America" really means, I need to tell you this is the moment experimental writing needs to be socially relevant to your culture. This post 9-11 world is a new Vietnam situation in which writers need to act. In Mexico we had that wake up moment in 1994, with the NAFTA and with the zapatista movement. Even though still we need to wake up even more, because too many Mexican writers and artists are so fucking boring and conservative.
What would an experimental writer from the best avant gards do in times like this? The Mexican and the American writers and every writer needs to do something, is not enough to be so complex
˜ you're complex, get over that fact, go beyond˜
now you have to be so much more than that. Talk with the other langpo people and beyond them, this is the historical moment when we are going to know if the LangPo and beyond scenes are a real avant garde or just literature-as-usual.
You're a person who I respect a lot and I think the American writers can find a way to do something versus the war˜go to the Media or something, put the experimental writing history into real political public debate.
Saludos y muchos abrazos,