(* = pinged in last 12 hrs)
||wTuesday, October 04, 2005
I notice that someone in California
Has been looking at something I wrote
About once a day since I wrote it
A little more than a month ago.
Someone at a school in California
Where I know some people --
Teachers, administrators, students --
Has been looking at a note I wrote
In a bad mood
About the social formations of poets.
It is not a pretty note.
Someone I know, but I know at least
Three people there, is looking
Again and again at this note
That I wrote to explain to myself
Why repulsive behavior
Is tolerated by groups
Of otherwise admirable people.
The note doesn't explain anything.
The note, which as I say
Is not a pretty note,
Identifies the need for groups
(I call them cliques)
To absorb and tolerate what I call
Pantsleg pissing and being a droning drag.
In my not very nice note
I point out -- it was not very inspired of me --
That men and women express hostility differently.
At that point I don't think
I'd ever actually seen a poet
Piss on anybody's pantsleg.
All the same, I imagine that characterization,
If someone else had made it
About some unknown person,
I imagine I would feel abashed
And search my memory for some hostile
Territory-marking behavior of my own.
My point in this note
Was that this group agreement
To condone bad behavior
Is somehow connected to the neglect of poetry --
A non-sequitur at best;
Anyone who's been to prep school
Or worked at a financial company
Would have to chuckle --
Anyone who's read the beats
Or the language poets --
Rene Ricard or Patti Smith --
Groups are elective families,
They form and break like families --
It takes a lot of bad behavior
To push a group past what it can stand
And that is in fact a good quality.
Depression and rage, though contagious,
Cry out for treatment, not quarantine.
I'm glad I live in New York
Where I can always have enough distance
Anonymity independence what.
I know all about depression and rage
So I have those to fall back on.
I can check my stats and see who's reading.
Thank you and no thanks
On the same bookshelf.
Who wouldn't want to be part of a group;
Or rather, what does love feel like.