Thursday, May 26, 2005

Poet Wars: Episode 4: The Empiricists Strike Back

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a Jedi Versifier, aka JV, nee Padawan, found himself adrift in the blogosphere discovering new galaxies uninhabited by Formalistas or other poet types he had previously known. Instead they were peopled by Postmodernists, an alien race who lived their lives always in the future regarding the present somewhere deep in the past. Their language was very strange indeed, often lacking a conscious context glittering with a painterly surface, each word a brush stroke of relative connotation. At first the JV attacked their starships with unpleasant criticism, mocking their poetics and generally making fun. But soon he realized his ammunition had been supplied by others and was not truly his own. He put down his weapons and instead began reading. There were some he would never understand, but that was OK; the universe was a big place after all. But there were others that hyper-cruised through his mental space, Masters that truly rocketed: Jedi O’Hara and Jedi Creeley, even Jedi Berrigan and Jedi Ashbery for example. And so he came to want to write all languages in his life, and in his poems. But always there was a background battle, a Crusade of sorts, raging in that blogosphere, poets with absolutist, black and white, sith-like philosophies who ridiculed each other and called each other hateful names like Quietudards and Phlogistonitches. Too often the JV found himself sucked into that orbit and behaving likewise. The dark side always beckons. And so he found himself facing the Fifth Calamity of a Total Loss of Faith.

(to be continued)

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