Why Poetic/Artistic Schools of Thought are Limiting

art / writing

In my previous post, I explained what I believe is a way to bring two schools of poetry together.  Why it should matter, I have no idea. Honestly, I don’t care. I mean, yes, I am amused by how both sides take it so seriously–but, in the end, it’s all a bunch of palaver and bull-hockey, et.al.

People try to direct a trend or tendency into a movement or school of thought in order to attach importance to it, and a lucrative career, but that’s bullshit too.  Unfortunately, the edifice erected by the Conceptual Poets and School of Feeling may crumble and turn to dust at any time.  Art is ephemeral. These artificial schools of thought mean absolutely nothing in the end. In fact, they are counterproductive. They don’t represent what people are really doing in the real world.

I guess, for me, when you try to do anything artistic, it’s not about logic/reason. Kenneth Goldsmith believes it is–that you can plot a scientific course (remember Marx & Engels?), with a predictable schema in hand, and arrive logically at “Art.”  It never happens that way, IMHO. You are surely influenced by particular modes and sensibilities, but the making of art is a completely arbitrary exercise. No one knows what they are doing, and if they did, nothing of importance would ever be created.

And that’s why it’s limiting and counterproductive to fall for the lie of the “dueling poetic schools.” It’s, again, good for careers, and an ego boost for well compensated rhetoricians in the Ivory Tower, but for burnouts like me, it leaves me cold–and bored. I’m sure Dick Higgins would approve.

NEXT: WHY INTERMEDIA IS A WAY OUT OF THE “SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT” MODEL.

 

A Hybrid Poetics

poetry / vispo

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:

Example of Hybrid Form

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.

NEXT: SCHOOLS OF POETRY & ART ARE ESSENTIALLY LIMITING AND STUPID. CLICK HERE.