Saturday, October 21, 2006

the lyn and hardy story

(part 1)
k: i attached hardy f's chapbook to this email for you. i like hardy. i can't quite put my finger on why, but i do. just read the first poem (dear sigmund) and see what you think. i think it's horribly romantic and beautiful in a perverted man-boy sort of way. it brings us back to all that conversation about sex and poetry and straight men writing sexy poetry. honestly, i'm not sure if any of the 3 males on wet poems are straight, but i suspect at the very least c.s. is on account of the content of his poetry. without a doubt though, hardy is writing sexy testosterone driven poetry. it's refreshing i guess. and the more i read from this school of blogging canadians the more i enjoy the style and "th" instead of "the" sort of idiosyncratic moments.

(part 2)
k: i need to go on a bit of a rant... and you're the only person worthy/willing to hear it...

lyn hejinian.

her name is not only hard to spell, but i've given the woman so many chances that i frankly can't stand her. by "her" i mean her poetry and the persona, real or not, behind the poetry.


that's her my life blog. now, my life was a collection of poems she wrote when she was about 30 i think... there were 30 poems (prose poetry). each page was meant to represent a year of her life. an autobiography through prose poetry. it was an experiment.

unfortunately, lyn is one of those experimental poets who's far to concerned with the process to give any thought or care to the finished product.

i tried to enjoy some of her other writing. in fact, i really love the cover of the other book of hers that i bought... but my goodness, it's awful. unreadable. really.

so i just found her blog through various articles i've been reading. i started out at c.s.'s blog and let myself get side tracked all over the place until i ended up reading some of lyn's most recent work.

now, the blogging format lends itself rather well to her experiment. instead of a year now she writes something each day. and at least i don't have to pay to read it, but... ashraf... it's still awful!!!!!

she doesn't even use a question mark at the end of question... it's nearly infuriating that someone so, i guess, respected and established could be so rubbish.

this is just my opinion of course, and you're allowed to like her all you want. she just drives me mad!

breath. okay. thank you for listening ^_^ you're the bestest

a: Sorry for the delay; I decided I need to read what you were talking about (both hardy f's chapbook & Lyn Hejinian's Life) before I reply. So I did. Now, I can understand where your rant against Lyn's Life is coming from, but in the same light I cannot understand your fondness of hardy's chapbook. I thought they were both more or less equally obnoxious. Sure, hardy's stuff is much better formatted (and I think he is a much better photographer and designer than poet), so I had my hopes up from just skimming through it before I started reading. But he certainly has even more annoying ticks than Lyn (such as "th", the unclosed parenthesis, etc.), and I thought, even aside from that, his writing is worse. Perhaps the only poem that I kinda liked was "on campus (broken arms", but even that was almost cringey. See, Lyn's writing is at most irrelevant, bla, whatever (and I am judging only by the entries on the main page of that blog; I am not familiar with her other writing, and I am surprised that she has any kind of acclaim--though I really shouldn't be, given the state of poetry these days); but I found hardy's writing to be positively annoying, irksome, and not in a good way. It's like (untalented) teenage boy writing, and frankly dear, I didn't find it sexy at all. I think it takes much more than splashing "cunt" on one's title page and "stick it in my ass" to be sexy--those I like to keep to my porn, which does it much better. And all that formatting "inventiveness" just pisses the heck out of me! Since when is poetry about punctuation? I thought it was about words and what they mean. And what good is dropping the e in the? Why do we have to reinvent the formatting of the language? I think it's there to aid the meaning and emotional message of the words, not to be a presence in itself. Have we already exhausted language's capacities otherwise? I don't think so; I think people are just lazy and untalented and the bars have been set low, way too low now, that we have this hodge-podge of lots of crap being written and no one reading, for good reason. Honestly, if it weren't that I got hardy's PDF from you, I wouldn't have finished it. Sorry to be fuming at the mouth like that, but I get worked up because I care and I mourn the loss of "standards". Maybe that's a good thing in one way (we probably wouldn't have heard some of the best voices of the past century otherwise), but I think it would also be dishonest to not acknowledge the immense drawback of it. I frankly didn't know that there is such a thing as "process poetry", and I have to say I am not glad to have found out it exists. I can definitely see where it comes from, its heritage in the visual arts especially (though I think Jackson Pollock is one of the worst things to have happened to the arts), but I think it works better in the visual arts, which tend to be more emotive. One big difference, I think, is the dictionary: there are dictionaries for language that establish the meaning of words more or less consistently; but there aren't dictionaries for the arts--there are dictionaries for the languages of the arts, the words used to describe them. So, I think with writing one is playing with the finite, in the sense of using existing blocks, like Legos, to transcend the finiteness, to convey ideas. But part of the challenge is that limitation.

I don't know, maybe I am just old-fashioned when it comes to poetry and writing. And I'm certainly not very au-currant. Besides, I don't think my opinions are prevalent amongst those that matter. But I think that is part of the problem of the decline of "the arts", that by adopting such non-sense for the heck of it, they have engendered their own irrelevance. They lost the point of writing at all; it becomes an experiment for the heck of the experiment--which is irrelevant.

I'm sorry if I came on too strong; I hope I haven't offended you. We certainly don't have to agree, but I'd love to know what you think.

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