Sectarianism is notoriously lethal in politics, especially on the Left. And by the Left, I don’t mean the right wing Democratic Party we have in the United States, but the marginalized socialist Left that every good, god-fearing American loathes. Anyway, that’s fodder for another post. My point is that this same self-defeating dynamic, on occasion, plays out in literature. To wit: over the last few years or so, I’ve been following with increasing interest the Great Poetic Schism, pitting the proponents of traditional lyricism/feeling against the hyper-intellectualized praxis of the Conceptualists.
Truth be told, I’m not qualified to speak on the matter, and I have absolutely no skin in the game. I’m not part of an elite academic salon, and I don’t have an MFA. I’m just a middle-aged suburban burnout with a shitload of credit card debt and a depreciating 401K. A dabbler, if you will. But I do have a solution to this fascinating imbroglio, and it has developed out of my own experiments.
I advocate a new, hybrid form, blending lyricism/feeling with Conceptualism. You won’t understand how this works, unless I show you an example from my own work:
This is a a cut-up technique (advocated by the Conceptualists) with lyrical flourishes here and there (advocated by the traditionalists). The cut-ups are from disparate places. There is also some vispo (visual poetry) in there, to break up the monotony.
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