Monday, November 01, 2004
good bit on Bernadette Mayer at minor american, now co-starring Ange Mlinko. I know it became more difficult to write poetry the more I committed to that job that I didn't really like. I wrote, but as my time became more regulated, and eaten up, I found myself writing fictiony sorts of pieces, novels even (on the lines of A Nest of Ninnies. and journals. and it was okay to do so but I wasn't writing poetry. and when I did the big fuck you, I managed to get back to writing poetry. both AM and David Hess conjure the anthology of NY poetry edited by Padgett/Schapiro. which is rather dated, as most anthologies soonestly become. there were a few good writers and a lot of hangers on. the city as a school of poetry: come on, let's put more thought into these matters. the excitement and buzz happening coalescing into a dictum. see, that concept fell thru for me. I like Mlinko's phrase, the School of Ted Berrigan's Charisma, but you could substitute Mayer or O'Hara for Berrigan there. the School of Being Impressed. I was once in Grolier's bookstore reading a poem by Berrigan and somebody about being in Grolier's. I like Mayer, Berrigan and O'Hara a lot but the NY buddy system doesn't work as a school. the problem being the conviction that 'it' is happening in New York, but a declaration of what that 'it' is doesn't forthcome. or it's just being contiguous to all this (somebody's) energy. I'm talking here of that anthology. AM's point about Mayer as mentor is a different engine. to look at Mayer as a survivour of feminine snub, then to look at her work. I had a lot of difficulty lerning poetry, tho I understood early that poetry was what I had to write. so Olson's example of poetry that wasn't all this poemy stuff, instead a recharging of convictions, was a useful lesson for me. I'm sure it's not the same thing, quite, how Mayer means for women who write poetry, butI think there is something of the sort in tow. and so to escape the School of Updating Koch, trhe School of NY Bar Talk, the School of Connected Indolence, etc. by the bye, just occurred but: highly recommend Ed Sanders' Love and Fame in New York, about a slightly future NY art scene. devastating and hilarious.