On the Huffington Post State of American Poetry
You'll find me cheerfully yakking at the Huffington Post (along with Annie Finch, Clayton Eshleman, & Ron Silliman) in response to some questions Anis Shivani poses about the fey nature of American Poetry. Here's a bit:
The legacy of modernism: If we mean Great, as in the lone transcendent mind, escaping body and berth, recasting history in its own image, lurching (leching!) through the centuries, marking every muliebral fragment with its initials, contemplating eugenics, lolling in Freudian privilege, then boo! hiss! I certainly hope we're betraying it.
If we're talking about the great legacy of modernist freakout--horror in the face of global warfare, the dissolution of the marriage between progress and improvement, the emperor's-new-clothes revelation that the self is an ever-shifting and incoherent cuckoo bird, masculine hysteria, cyborgery, civil rights, and all the seeds of the postmodern condition--then I cheerily submit that we're keeping that legacy alive and kicking. Even those of us who embrace the spectacle and our slip-sliding within it struggle against the instability. These may be my favorite American poets. Those who long for and reject stability simultaneously. Those who are attracted to and repulsed by those institutions that confirm, and those that deconstruct "the real."