Friday, March 25, 2011

Poetry Knopfified

Eileen Tabios remarks on how Knopf finally got a book reviewed in Galatea Resurrects. Why would Knopf need reviews? In all ways, Knopf poetry books look the same. I saw one once.

Knopf’s containerization of this intellectual property into middle class normalcy makes me tune out. I mean, I go to the library or bookstore, and by offchance lift a Knopf to curious eyes and all sense of curiosity vanishes. The authors are either professors with the calm satisfaction of tenure, or artist types somehow living in Provincetown. That’s the impression I get, sans satire.

The books themselves seem to be worked from recipes. Lots of blank endpapers, credit to the minor league affiliates who published the poems in magazine form, a font of studied hauteur, and a page count ranging from 79 to 80. This is effing why I avoided poetry till I could no longer (I started writing it) when I was 16. This implement of culture, this caulking of the foundation of official taste, this scam fostered by Knopf and the educational industry.

Poetry need not be elevated feelings about yourself.

Poetry need not include sanctions.

Poetry need not be specialized, balkanized, segregated, or synthetic.

Poetry need not Knopf.

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