Distribution Automatique

Saturday, November 5

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Blogger

I was surprised to hear myself say, at lunch with a very
close friend, that I didn’t care for blogs as much as
I used to. Then, when I found myself yesterday and today reading and re-reading
this post, from Cosmopoetica [click here] and this one from Equanimity [click here] I wondered what I could have been thinking the other day, chatting with my friend, who does not happen to be a blogger, but who is otherwise intensely involved with poetry and the internet. Maybe part of the feeling had to do with the conversations I had read recently on Limetree [click here] about Dead Kitten poetics. This discussion has to do with a Mary Oliver poem that KSM, Drew Gardner [click here]and others, possibly including Mary Oliver herself (never can tell with these comment signatures)have been intensely discussing. The issue is an all too familiar one in blogland: can anyone say with certainty that this or that poem is “bad.” Kasey concludes that you can say a poem is adequate or inadequate. I’ve succumbed to this discussion too many times already (usually with Jonathan Mayhew- who, as has been once celebrated in song, is back in town again -I’m sure to see him tomorrow at the Bowery Poetry Club where Alan Davies and Drew Gardner are reading).
My point, during the last go round with Jonathan (or was it the one before?) that a poem is sort of like a prayer, and what would be a bad prayer? I think Jonathan’s response had to do with the possibility of opening a ball game with one, or praying that your team might win, I’m not sure which, or if I got his point right at all. I guess I got a little impatient, along with Drew, that the whole discusion seemed a bit too reminiscent of the dark side of the poetics list .

The thing is, I really liked Jordan’s little essay above, as I did the one above that from Cosmopoetica. I remember recently that Ernesto Priego [click here] made the comment that blogging is evolving its own form of literature. And I think of the somewhat damaged copy of Rousseau’s confessions deposited now in the smallest room in the apartment. Gertrude Stein famously said that remarks are not literature. Sorry Gertrude. But, sometimes, at least, in blogland now, they most definitely are, despite the occasional gusts of hot air. We pick and choose, we like and we don't like, and sometimes we talk about why, why, why.
Ernesto Priego (Never Neutral) [click here] expands on his thoughts about blogging as a form of literature, with a few understandable, and crucial, caveats. Thanks, Ernesto for dedicating your 1000th blog post to me! I am moved and eagerly looking forward to the next 1000, and many more.

Tony Tost's The Unquiet Grave [click here] hosted a discussion on Dead Kitten poetics, replete with rewritten versions of his own, Thomas Basboll, et al.
Laura Carter [click here] weighs in on Dead Kitten poetics.

Guess what Jonathan Mayhew [click here] would say about the Mary Oliver kitten poem.