Sunday, March 29, 2009

And a one, and a two, and a three...

Charlie Bernstein hath seen the light. Yea, he did look out upon his audience at the Conceptual Poetry conference at the University of Arizona, and he didst speak of quietude. No fancy semantic bludgeoning of linguistic systems, no strange arrangements of punctuation, only the nobility of the poet who stands above it all, “only poets working in solitude and individually.” That alone what can produce “poems of enduring value.”

Right. No cultural ephemera for him. Just stanza after stanza of "a poetry without limits of time or place, a poetry of universal address and true to the timeless human spirit." Doesn’t this sound overly hygienic, like it was written in Star Trek font? But maybe not. After all, I once had a teacher at a poetry conference who advised me (and the rest of the workshop) that Wal-Mart was more relevant than Orpheus, and would thus outlive him. Big Blue is pretty badass.

But that’s all in the past now for Bernstein, as "official verse culture" (previously denigrated by him) represents “the best and the finest, the most profound and significant, the richest and most rewarding, poetry of our nation." (Now you’re thinking, "Hmm.. three double adjectives, and not so much as a blush to tint his superlatives.") Finally, Bernstein asserts (and this may be where he tips his hand) that "clearly written expository prose, with a delineated argument including a beginning, middle, and end, is the only guarantor of Rational Mind."

Whereupon we wake from this dream of cybernetic Emersonian overlords, and realize that this paragraph about paragraphs is, well, see the photo at the upper right.

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