Suddenly, I am filled with the desire to capitalize. Not always, not necessarily tomorrow, occasionally in the past, but definitely now. This is a step somewhere, I think. I think.


Suddenly I am filled with the desire to be somewhere, in class or reading some hideous contemporary poet just to hate him (or her, as the case may be), crawling, clawing my way toward an MFA. Still, today, Siliman rambles about iconic poems. Yesterday, it was phone conversations and emails as "conceptual poetry".

Suddenly, I wonder: is "conceptual poetry" taking Kundera's idea one step further, combining the ethics of essential and archive, such that the archive is presented as the essential itself. And I think, "Phone conversations? Emails? Somewhere, John Cage is laughing. At us, not with. Phone conversations? I think that's about 54 years late. Sorry."


Suddenly, further, I think, "What a great MFA paper this would all be." Alas, this post will be its resting place.

Suddenly, even further, I think, "But perhaps an archeologist of poetry will unearth, as it were, this post, and designate it an iconic piece. Perhaps it already is, perhaps disgrace." Perhaps.



Blogger Josh said...


you've got links galore on this one.

i sense you're becoming more of an anti-MFA militant, or you've been giving it a lot of thought lately.

i hate putting things into the constraints of either/or, but in regard to the MFA thing i feel somewhat conflicted. either MFAs have the answer and they are the authority on what good writing is, or those who follow in the counter-tradition of cage and his ilk have the answer. proponents for either argument can, and do, point fingers and say to their opponents, you're imprisoned by your ideals.

this is my conflict: i like cage's organic, fuck'em, art is what i say art is, but i concurrently see the intricate problems that must be mastered to write seemless narrative and poetry. to write well, it is necessary to find the balance of creativity and intellect.

in my opinion, your strongest point is that the essential is drowning in clutter. most people on both sides are blabbering more than they're saying anything.

another thing, and i don't know the answer to this--but did cage have a graduate degree in composition??

6:24 PM  
Blogger matt said...

i am, and i have. everyone's got an MFA, and i don't like any of their writing (probably not true, if i read enough, but that's the sense i get). what's the worth? letters do not a writer make. still, i have tremendous respect for the determination and dedication to the craft required to acquire the degree. as i am fond of thinking, contradiction and paradox is a fundamental part of reality.

the balance, i think is perhaps more adequately characterized as between creativity/intellect as guided/goaded by tradition's intertia vs. creativity/intellect as guided/goaded by rejection of that force. john cage, whose academic credentials seem limited to scant attendance at a couple of schools, falls into the second category, i think. perhaps the dichotomy i'm offering is false, but perhaps it is not. perhaps.

ramblings aside, the clutter is becoming overwhelming, and therein is what i find most disturbing: the clutter is becoming confused for/recognized as essential, as the meat of art. even in the preceding paragraphs, i suspect i am guilty of such confused recognition (and perhaps in this one, as well), but i feel as though awareness is a significant step. the question becomes what to do with said awareness - do i use it to create art, or do i simply live? where is the gray in the dichotomy?

perhaps i'm just blabbing, but perhaps i'm headed somewhere. perhaps we'll see. perhaps.

(incidentally, this post was meant as mocku-poetry, which is the only reason it made it onto LaToVP, as well as the other blog)


10:04 PM  

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