Searching for a Heartbeat in Poetry & Music
I've decided to stop making or thinking about art, but to go ahead and continue anyway.
posted by John Gallaher @ 12:23 PM
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That is more like it.
Interviewer: "What is art?"Keith Richards: "As far as I'm concerned, it's short for Arthur."
The white background is cool. Like a Barbara Kruger slogan on a photo. How did you do that without thinking about art?
David, The short answer is cut & paste.
amen to that!
John,You seem to be going through some profound disenchantment with poetry...I never have this problem, because i'm hyper-critical...you are not...you like so much...so what happens is you get overwhelmed...i'm luckier than you...
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Actually,the non-discriminating eater is the one who gets fat. Having no critical sense, one consumes sugar and carbs for the uncritical pleasure these foods provide. To eat many foods and gain an appreciation of them is not a matter of quantity, but quality. To shape one's diet takes nuance, taste, and---criticism.John lacks the hyper-critical nature to read poetry with taste; thus he is sated---but not happy, and does not know why. His writing over the last several months reveals this condition quite obviously.John, I feel your pain and wish i coul help you!
If John is too non-discriminating, I only see it in his generosity in allowing absolutely anyone to post comments.
yes he generously allows underbelly to say whatever he wants!but of course, john is generous and kind...i suppose that might go hand in hand with not being critical...but of course i'm hyper-critical when it comes to poetry and i never censor on my blog...i welcome everyone's opinion....so the issue is a little more complex than that...
"but of course, john is generous and kind...i suppose that might go hand in hand with not being critical..."Now I understand perfectly. Hyper-critical = being an asshole. Yes, I agree that John is way, way less hyper-critical than you.I also much prefer his taste in poetry, but that, of course, is a matter of mere subjectivity.
underbelly,i don't see what 'taste in poetry' has to do with it. 'taste' implies discrimination, and that's the problem here: if you like everything, you get overwhelmed and you go through the kind of crisis john is going through now.hyper-critical simply means (i don't know where you come up with the slur of 'asshole') you filter a lot out, and thus avoid getting overwhelmed, as john is.i didn't say i was better than john, just more fortunate; i didn't choose to be hyper-critical; it chose me. that's how it works.
I find your assertion that I'm overwhelmed underwhelming.
David, Nice moment for Nietzsche to enter!
There is an old illusion. It is called over and under.
And Derrida said he could tell the differance!
how much underwhelming before it's overwhelming...david grove seems to be losing it, too...are you OK, david?
"i don't see what 'taste in poetry' has to do with it. 'taste' implies discrimination, and that's the problem here: if you like everything, you get overwhelmed and you go through the kind of crisis john is going through now."That's quite a straw posse you're asembling. John has often, and I have occasionally, spoken about poetry we don't like.My list includes most of what I encounter (including some of the work you've championed), but I don't find it all that constructive to dwell on this. I'm more interested in the what and how and why of the stuff I do like. Poets and poetry have a hard enough time without lovers of the medium putting their energy into shredding it. "With friends like that ..." etc..
It is so important to have a sense of humor. Taste too, maybe. Above all, self-respect.The internet is pretty hostile to one of those.
Or all of them.
Oh come on, John likes everything.My thesis is sound.You're all intentionally getting off the point.
Tom, Everything goes on forever while we don’t, why should anyone like it? It would be as impractical as liking nothing. And why like nothing, then? It’s not even there. What a waste of one’s energy such universals are. I find I do like many things, many poems and poets. I find that the things I don’t like, I also don’t feel the desire to talk about. It seems to me at some point it would pollute the value I find in the things I do like. Occasionally I find I can’t look away from something I dislike, and I have to comment on it, but I’m finding it easier these days to sidestep those things. If I do it quickly enough it feels a bit like dancing. Your points are yours, and they are not essential for others to engage if they feel disinclined to do so. Good luck on your mountain. Enjoy it.
we can't last forever, but we can participate in what lasts forever, and though no poem lasts forever the ability to discriminate between good and bad poetry is forever; the sun is good, but would burn us if our bodies were not made to take it in so it does not harm us. Poetry, like the sun, does not care if it burns us to death or not. We have to let in the little bit of poetry that is good, or we die. You are being burned to death by poetry. You are drying up. I only say this based on your blog. It isn't the poetry---it's the filter. My hyper-critical filter saves me. I don't mean to be cruel or glib, but i think i've struck on a truth, and i want to share the joy i've found, if possible...
Looking at your comments here and on your blog, if that is what joy looks like, I will gladly choose a different path.
Weird. I've never seen joy used as a synonym for narcissism before.
True, Fuzz, but joy can be a component of sadism, which is a component of malignant narcissism, which I am qualified to discuss because I just read about it on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malignant_narcissismIf by sad chance there is no flower by the name of malignant narcissus, I will invent one and write a poem about it.
Criticism as sadism? Ouch! You are too thin-skinned, gentlemen.I've never seen narcississm called sadism.That's even more thin-skinned!
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John Gallaher is the author of the books of poetry, Gentlemen in Turbans, Ladies in Cauls, The Little Book of Guesses, and Map of the Folded World, as well as the free online chapbook, Guidebook from Blue Hour Press, and, with with the poet G.C. Waldrep Your Father on the Train of Ghosts, BOA, 2011. His next book will be the book-length essay-poem In a Landscape, coming out in 2015 from BOA.
Other than that, he's co-editor of The Laurel Review and GreenTower Press.
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The 2011 Sarabande Reading Series
G.C. Waldrep & John Gallaher
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G.C. Waldrep & John Gallaher
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G.C. Waldrep & John Gallaher