Saturday, December 04, 2004

Steve Tills at Black Spring is onto something when he says, in effect, that writers must write beauty into the world, never mind our "despised selves" and our culture's elevation of human tragedy. that is, if I'm reading Steve right then we as poets need to imagine that the world, despite or in spite of, current ugliness, greed, terror and so forth, is an exciting and tremendous place for us to work and live in.

that is indeed it, I think. we need, as writers, to bring "something which might just entail indulging in the most ridiculously wicked acceptance of Joy the old gods loathe," as Steve said. not decadence in the fashions we are meant to believe, not Weimar-era Berlin, not that kind of decadence of Nero singing while Rome burned, surely. but we must not forget all the beauties of the world, and the responsibilities, yes responsibilities, of poets to create, participate and relay to each individual in the world who will listen of its dynamic beauties. without forgetting its pain, horror, terror and so forth. to make the world a better place? well, that is one task of the writer. but also to be alive and participate in the world as well. and language is what makes our veritable human being.

I read and write primarily for pleasure. for that is what makes me feel more alive than suffering. tho I don't mean to discount suffering, it is all-too real. but what gets me going in the morning are the thrills of living. something we often forget as we age is that being alive, even when working for THE MAN, is the great adventure. really, it is. one of our responsibilities, again that word I know, as poets is to make the pleasures of living resonate with us as readers and writers. to make it new, again and again, as our eccentric Uncle Ez said, but do this by knowing both joy and terror. the knowledge creates partly the pleasure.

but no little cabin in the woods for me a la Thoreau since I love living in the city, among people. tho I do know the necessities of solitude. I seek it all the time, mostly in the middle of crowds. I enjoy watching people. I do it all the time, and love variousness of each individual and subculture, even if I'm a stranger to both. maybe that is why I love cities. even with Shrub in office the world is, and can be made, to be a tremendous place to live, work, love and die.


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