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Ain’t No Paradise

By Gillian Conoley

In Denver yes at AWP yes insane amounts of people yes am hiding out in poet friend’s house will read off-site Friday and read last night at off-site event everyone off to the off to the off yes it’s good to see people even if there are too many of whom one must count oneself among politely excuse oneself try to be invisible so as not to overload others yes I teach no I am not an asshole for teaching even if it isn’t in an MFA program not interested in hashing MFA racket or badmitton over yes I went to one yes it saved me time I read I wrote I learned I was mentored some of it took some of it didn’t it was what, 3 years out of more than 50 I’ve been alive and most likely my life otherwise would maybe still be in Texas hellhole I was born in so I feel absolutely no guilt why feel guilt for being a poet who went to school yes I have worked many many other jobs and teaching is no paradise either anyone who does it knows that and if one can find paradise why shouldn’t poets “linger in paradise” otherwise we would have no Blake whose wife said, “I hardly have the company of Mr. Blake––he is always in Paradise.”

And what is with the trashing of “languagy poetry”  what is “languagy poetry”  and why have such a hate parade against the Language Poets when it is really just a matter of figure/ground  this too is tiresome  why have a blue red, Crips and Bloods two-way street why buy into the obviously flawed two-party system our country dug itself into ok I’m not talking about this.

Impossible to see at AWP not exactly sensory deprivation tank re Robert Irwin I’ve been seeking instead is sensory deep-fry bubbling up peaks of immanence a phrase here a phrase there Holderlin’s “wolf-tit of the waters” for example Richard Greenfield’s “tacit rainbow” which is actually name of US weapon geared to sound like good acid or better ice cream.

Poetry been very very good to me I don’t care how much it’s corrupted me if it hadn’t been poetry it would have just been something else and at least this way I get to still float away on the phrase, on language being evil evil languagy, every once in a while walk around with the top of my head blown off clamp it back down when it’s time.  Time for you and time for me.  It’s a big country bigger world always more room for the off leading back to the in and back off again there is a lot of ice cream even when one can take no more  I want more.


Posted in Uncategorized on Thursday, April 8th, 2010 by Gillian Conoley.