Ron Silliman’s last minute electioneering for Sine Queyras as PL of the B was my 1st notice of this election/gameshow. Yes, I knew votes were gathered in previous years for such contest, but I thought you were supposed to regard it as a trivial internet meme and pass on to the next shiny object to come along. What this thing contains, this vote and contest, seems not just lacking in content, the notion of such playground play seems antagonistic to the value one might find in poetry. SO SAY I.
The winners of this untelevised event are Sine Queyras and Robert Lee Brewer. RLB is a Facebook friend who I know little about—this condition is probably mutual, but that is an assumption—and Sine Queyras is not a Facebook friend, who I know little about. My inability to keep up explains my ignorance of these writers. I have no prob with them and what I write here should not reflect critically on them.
But isn’t this election perfectly silly?
I mean, I feel stupid knocking it, it seems so lame to speak of. The concept of the blogosphere, by which I infer an interconnected and communicating machine of practicing poets and/or writers of such, strikes me as archaic. That dash of connectivity has dissipated. 2003 turned into 2010. I guess that memo has been delayed.
Poet Laureates were always established as part of a drinking game, so in that sense this contest works fine. Unfortunately, the mechanics of interest do not engage the depths of possibility. I know a dumbhead rule exists, that previous winners cannot win again. Which only means dilution: those winners are removed from the mix. Again, I have not read these blogs or much by way of these writers, I am just looking at the sitch.
Rae Armantrout, Sine Queyras, and Robert Lee Brewer are each single writing entities. So am I. So are everyone on Silliman’s thorough list. The evocation of hierarchy within this realm of Parnassian cloud is abject muck.
I believe Poetry has importance in itself, as the mode of transit in language. Blogosphereian Poet Laureateship is STONES IN THE PASSWAY. Come back when you have worked that out.