Follow Harriet on Twitter
Journal, Day Three
Where I’m Writing From
Thanks to the people who commented. I was sitting here feeling like I didn’t really want to think, or talk, about poetry today. Poetry, that is, as words on a page. Then I thought, well, if we think poetry is words on the page, we’re missing the essence. I mean, we call poetry Poetry because it is a way to get close to it. The “it” being something else.
I haven’t read much Guy Debord. I was reading one of those big UC anthologies, Poems for the Millennium, and all I know is what’s excerpted there. I’m afraid I don’t know shit about Debord. This is true, for me, of many things, and I don’t say it proudly. I have, as someone once wrote of Truman Capote (I think), “the usual deficiencies of the autodidact.” I’m not a scholar, & my ignorance of various names & theories & poetics bothers me, but it also bothers me that poetry has at times been hijacked by intellectuals. Love intelligence, but keep it in its place. Milosz once said something about contemporary poetry being a huge head on a wasted body. Some poems and poetics make me feel like what a non-native speaker told me once: “Oh, this English is like a stone on my head.”
I’m not really ignorant, I just know how much I don’t know, & mostly I feel like I should know more. I used to cover—nod & smile like I knew what the fuck someone was saying—& then run & look it up later. Now I try not to do that. (Nod & smile, I mean. I still run and look it up.)
Would love to know about Debord’s life. Write & tell me/us about him. I think I put him in to have something smart to say.
Brain studies are fascinating to me—the brain as an interface developed by consciousness.
I think that has everything to do with poetry & poetics.
The flowers outside my window