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Here let this image of my new gray kitten, Myshka (“little mouse”) stand eternally (and here let the internet stand for eternity) in for my realization that I am not suited for blogging. I’ve realized this before, on my own blog over at Fence. I started that blog more than a year ago, and thought it would be so great to have a space in which to relate all the things I thought about on my long drive to my office. Now, I thought, now I see what this blogging thing is all about. It’s about speaking TO THE WORLD! A whole other kind of engagement, never before possible. But my blog has really slogged–it’s there, we use it more as an announcement board type thing–as it seemed to turn out that really I’d rather keep my random thoughts to myself. My speech has a lot more reverb, it turns out, when it’s bouncing around in my skull-cage.There is a big difference between speaking to an imagined audience, as I do when I write poetry–and when I prepare speeches in my car–and one who might actually respond. Speaking out loud one’s random thoughts to an audience that might actually respond turns one willy nilly into a Public Figure. The dialogic nature of this blog, for example, has me running scared from being heard, and it’s easy to notice that I don’t accept challenges (like Jordan‘s provocation, here, to blow it up), or even less tentative invitations to “step it up, yo”, and I don’t seem to have much endurance, either, for exploration. If I did, I guess I might try my hand at criticism. Instead, I throw out a word like “Puritan” or “transparency” or “kitten” and then I pivot on my platform, go inside the cuckoo clock, and shut the door behind me. This is the kind of provocateur I am: a non-dialogic provocateur. Now that is a fun word to spell. And I mean that.
Here’s someone who likes to blog, and for free (we on Harriet are Paid to Blog): Zachary German. And here’s some of his poetry. I’ve been noticing, amongst Fence submissions and out in the world, this new flat style of confession. I call it confession because it seems to me to take Robert Lowell entirely at his word. It’s irony free (or so saturated with irony as to be involute), it’s shame free (except when it outrightly proclaims a shame reaction to something, ie, “I picked my nose and was embarrassed when someone saw me”). It’s really different from the New Quiescence that an older generation of still younger-than-I-am poets are engaging in, which Steve Burt has alerted us to, in the BBR. Here’s another, more nuanced practitioner of it, Jon Leon, or rather a piece about what poet/publisher Dan Hoy calls The Now Wave which includes Jon Leon. I like it! It’s incredibly easy to read. I’m going to start writing like it. But I’m just going to write letters to my friends on paper in this style and mail them to them and you’ll never see them.