Friday, October 01, 2010

you aughtta write a book

because i prefer to walk rather than drive i move thru the city at quite a slower pace. which means i see all sorts of shit that i'd miss if i was whizzing by at 45 mph. there must've been a full moon, or maybe it was the extreme heat -- we've been in a heat-wave and temps soared near and above the century mark for the duration of the work week, because people both in cars, on bikes and even on foot were cranky as hell. e.g. last monday i was witness to a bicyclist and a guy in a car screaming all kinds of epithets at each other. and yesterday drivers were doing the same sort of screaming at each which culminated in one driver blocking the other car and yelling and gesturing like he just invented the gesture.

sure, i know, nothing new, yet for the most part these sorts of outbursts are fairly rare. most of the time people are fairly courteous or indifferent to each other to bother to curse at the other's existence. but maybe it's the car that's at fault. like when we get into a car another creature takes over us and makes us behave in ways we normally would do, like picking our noses in plain site, which it seems we do only in our cars.

whatever. i was regaling some friends with a few of my observations during my perambulations thru my beloved city when one of my friends said, you aughtta write a book because of all the shit you see. i didn't tell my friend this but i think i have been doing all along with my poems. not consciously i think but it occurs well enough that i know i do write about my travels on foot quite frequently.

for good and ill, i suppose. but as for my writing there is a phrase uttered by seamus heaney around the time he won the nobel prize. heaney called for a post-beckettian poetics that would be equal to the realities as we know it now. on the surface i think a post-beckettian poetics would take irony, comedy, tragedy and marry them in a fairly mininalist style. still, i don't really know what the fuck heaney meant, but beckett is someone i read fairly early. beckett is the dude who stopped writing in english because he said you can't help writing poetry in it. i suppose the maestro is right, there, but i suppose if i were a native albanian speaker i'd say the same of the albanian language, i can't help writing poetry in it.

i think that a post-beckettian poetics not only eschews the divisions of hi and lo art but also can't give a rat's ass for major and minor writing. to paraphrase the brilliant surfer-skater-california poet kevin opstedal in re the minor poet sir john suckling invented the game of cribbage so two minor poets could play it in the cabin of a jet-liner at 33000 ft in the air.

my friend said, you should write a book about my travels and observations. well, okay, i'll do what i can, poem by poem, blog post by blog post as i work my way thru my own destinations and a definition at the start of a post-beckettian poetics.


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