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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Language Poetry

I spent years defending language poetry. It wasn't through any indiscriminate love of all language poetry. I had my favorites and others I thought weren't as good or interesting. I was no member of the movement. What I objected to was simply the utter stupidity of people who were attacking it. If you were attacking language poetry in the 90s, you were probably of low intelligence, or of malicious bad faith. When I look back now, I am glad I defended it, because I was right. I did the same with flarf. There were friends or acquaintances of mine in both movements.

I won't attack the new conceptualism for the same reason. Everyone wants to attack poetic movements, anything, really, that anyone want to do, creatively, or uncreatively, will be attacked.

Nothing anyone creates does any damage. Nobody can ruin poetry because poetry is above all of us.

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