Monday, November 22, 2004

these squirrely posts squarely busts up the blues. perfect pitch, yeah.

* * *

that I consider humor, a sense of the comic in living, reading and writing, indispensible to sanity. ain't that what we are after anyway? sanity, in life and writing. even those writers we think were nuts (Rimbaud in his youth comes to mind) really were the most sane in their work. and terrifically funny too. a poetics that don't include deep belly laughs ain't worth a toss.

take this from ol' Rimbe from A Season in Hell:

I have the white-blue eye of my Gallic ancestors, their narrow skull and their clumsiness in fighting. I find my clothes as barbarous as theirs. Only I don't butter my hair.
The Gauls were the most inept flayers of beasts and scorchers of grass of their time.
From them too: idolatry and love of sacrilege; oh! all the vices, anger and lust -- lust, magnificent -- above all, lying and sloth.
I have a horror of all trades. Masters and workers --base peasants all. The hand that guides the pen is worth the hand that guides the plough. --What an age of hands! I shall never have my hand. Afterward domesticity leads too far. The honesty of beggars sickens me. Criminals disgust like castrates: as for me, I am intact, and I don't care.

(translated by Louise Varese; New Directions)

that's great comic writing. it carries the full force of the emotions and intellect in rebellion, and holds its bitterness together by Rimbaud's notion of the absurd. reading it is a shot of adrenaline right thru the veins.

well, sobriety also has its place beside the dirge. but writing for it to activate all my senses and mind must first clear the air with laughter. c'mon, now who hasn't spent a blisteringly awful evening with an acquaintance who was so boring, no humor, that it nearly killed the soul. poetry, whether in performance or on the page, must for me at least, express the beauty and futility of life by having a sense of humor.