Distribution Automatique

Tuesday, March 2

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Blogger

At the same moment that Jack Kimball, who both captains
Pantaloons:Tykes on Poetry (Jack Kimball) {click here},
a sure and steady blogship, and sails a sharp and
swift publishing racing craft he calls *Faux Books* is
publishing an excellent series of book reviews on his blog
(he complimented Cori Copp's recent chapbook with
a comment very mildly disparaging blogging in favor of books
of poetry), on the Buffalo Poetics list the old theme of blogging being
a drag on the energies of the vivacious and glittering poetics list has once
again emerged. Unfortunately, we rose to the occasion with a
post to the poetics list, but fortunately so did Tim Yu and Chris Murray.
Tim's much clearer and more insightful post is available right now
on Tympan (Tim Yu) {click here}.
tex files (Chris Murray) {click here}
has not republished the comments she made on the poetics list,
but she does have a thoughtful comment to make on
last night's poetics brouhaha.

The subject line was: "Start an Argument on the Poetics List."
I may have been mistaken, but I thought Alan Sondheim
had called for more argumentative discussions on the
poetics list as in days of yore.

Here's my rather grouchy and pious ourburst:

Blaming the blogosphere for what is lacking on
the poetics list is an old tradition,(old in internet-time)
and sounds to these old poet's ears like a cry of pain. This
is not unusual from Mr. Sondheim, whose precision
of perception is not the least bit
lost on a great number of poets, despite
its many fascinating, complex camouflages.

What a poet needs, especially a long distance marathon
poetry runner, is response. Some say
there is never enough response for an artist, and that
might be true, especially for those who crave the energizing,
potentially infinitely expanding cycle of signal and response
between artist and audience.

It may sadden, alarm and confuse some to hear,
given its tawdry, tinny surfaces,
that this is exactly what is delighting and challenging
many writers in Blogland. But the cycle (of signal land response),
that is occurring in this situation is unlike any
that has ever existed before, in the world of
letters, it seems to me, and is not at all
subsumed under the model shaped by the
cycle of argument and debate, the taste for
which is no doubt being stimulated (for some)
by the pathetically tired old clich├ęd debates now
going on in the mostly false and fraudulent
US election process: another kind of
Academy Award ceremony that is not even funny anymore.

Though many realize all of this movie
academy and election academy sturm
and drang is almost completely devoid of
meaning (not significance, of course),
does not prevent the emergence of the
mentally stimulating, imagination- appetizing
aspects of the spectacle of debate, an ancient
mode of provoking the discovery and identification
of greatness. But this election process is the
clearest proof of Guy Debord's theories
anybody could ever want to see.
The Society of the Spectacle is beyond crisis; it is moribund.

Can I wonder aloud if this argument and debate method of exchanging
knowledge and inducing change, discovering truth,
and uncovering greatness is totally bankrupt?
What might replace it? What could replace it?

Something is happening in Blogland and you don't know what
it is, do you, Mr. Jones?

affectionate regards to my list friends and literary comrades,
Nick Piombino