To Joseph Conrad, after reading "Heart of Darkness"
If the spirit of universal
genius is meant to float
down the river into naught,
to be attenuated by the
jealous against authenticity,
& if it turns quotidian life into
an unworkable mess, as
universal genius attempts to
forge alliances above spheres
which must be minded on Earth,
& if it expresses itself to the crass,
& the crass is everyone, & Kurtz
understands the parasitism involved,
saturation in/by malevolence, then
I'm down the river, up forever-
There was a concert somewhere, I was
there with a college friend who wound
up betraying me, & I murdered the son
of a bitch with a shot-gun; they told
me I could get off scot-free if it was
only one murder, & as I sat in the
balcony trying not to notice a show
of cadavers onstage I angled my
behaviors so as not to offend them.
Next shot: I saw the dead man's life
pass in sequence before me, & he
was bound by a five-year contract to
die shortly anyway, which is probably
why they let me off, even as the cadavers
played invisible instruments into open air-
If you are a "people person," it is because you don't know who or what people are, yourself included.
Contrary to what Stein said, the rules are not already known.
Never revile what's solid beneath the surface.
When a society succeeds in destroying the individual, it also succeeds in rendering itself obsolescent. The individual is the agent of human progress (to the extent that human progress is possible), always.
The primordial perspective poetry sets in place- one individual writing to, for, or about another individual- is also the most durable possible literary perspective.
Pop World/Pop Church, when it happens, is a cruel phenomenon, because it is meant, from its inception, to be erased. The individual is not.
The masses are always implored to admire things that add up to nothing. They are also implored to reject what's solid beneath the surface. What's solid cannot be widely popular.
Yet solidity, is all its myriad forms, is the only ostensible reason for the continuation of the human race.
The individual is solid.
This contradiction; solidity being the only ostensible reason for the continuation of the human race, yet solidity being widely unpopular; strikes at the heart of any perception of the human race en masse other than almost-complete absurdity.
The masses chop things into place, and are chopped into place.
America is more variegated, less absurd, than most other human race locales.
By the most solid standards, the twentieth century was far quieter than the nineteenth. Most of the noise was on the surface, and easily erased. The twentieth century "school" was of quietude; surface-level spectacles now razed to zeroes, permanently.
The profound silence of the twentieth century may have been supposed to work as a riposte to Keats and English Romanticism, a solid apotheosis of the individual. Even Deconstruction is suspect on this level.
Neo-Romanticism was conceived, developed, and disseminated to be solid.
Much more so than other American cities, Philadelphia is solid.
Solidity is louder than what's on the surface. The twenty-first century has already consolidated a position as louder, more solid, than the twentieth.
Philadelphia architecture is solid. Even before Neo-Romanticism, it stood beneath the surface as a representation of Philadelphia's solidity over the rest of America.
The principle of solidity in serious art has to do with depth and well-roundedness; the sense, in the work of art, that all possible imperatives built into the respective form have been honored and fulfilled. Post-modernity has been one long denial of both the possibility and the desirability of solidity.
Post-modern poetry denies thematics, outright and wholesale. This is absurd. Poetry which addresses no important themes is placed into circulation to preclude seriousness and solidity from emerging in contemporary poetry, at any time this chooses to happen.
There is no reason to read poetry which addresses no important themes, or will only address important themes in a deliberately obfuscated fashion.
The distaste for solidity in serious art is degenerate; and evinces a hunger for art, and all other humanistic endeavors, to be reduced to zero-level beneath the surface.
Jeremy Eric Tenenbaum, ensconced
with a U of Arts semi-disciple, sees me
bust in with a brazen brunette, who
resembles me so closely she might
be my niece; we sit, begin to fight;
she decides she wants red wine;
Mary H is standing across Pine
Street, spying on us; we leave; Mary
follows us; Jeremy, as is his wont, can
only pine for the poems he wrote in
the 90s at Villanova, that he meant
something then; we get the red wine;
Mary positions herself caddy-corner
the liquor store window; we walk past-