i have taken personality profiles before. last week anna had me take another one online. yep, unsurprising results. i'm the kinda guy who gets a charge out of people and social settings. i used to be, as t.s. garp said of himself [world according to garp
, a novel and a film], terribly shy. now the t.s. stands for terribly sexy [a line in the film starring robin williams]. or not. but when i tell anna that i suffered from crippling shyness as a child she calls it bullshit. she don't see it.
like tonight. i sorta kinda officiating a function involving the cub scouts. nick is a cub scout and i do what i can to help out. because i was with a good group of people i got a high from it and i've yet to come down. i get an electrical charge out of being with people. but not always. i'm not a strong extrovert. i love my solitude too.
which is a long way of saying that i've long felt as an outsider. even if it seems like i'm in the inside. i think that is the condition of the artist, if i may be so blunt. the artist is an outsider. it's the condition of the artist. maybe that is why the artist feels the need to try to transform her world. even as a buddhist who attempts to see the world as it is still has the strong need to help in the creation of the world.
i've been digging lately the work of hungarian poet marton koppany. i've long admired his lucid visual poems when they are published here and there, but i love his piece on the books he is reading at eileen tabios' new blog eileen verbs books
. koppany writes primarily in english, i believe. he approaches english as an outsider who lives also outside of his natal language. i don't mean to read into koppany's meanings regarding his view of language at all. i simply mean that koppany's use and attitude toward language mirror a couple of my favorite writers, such as ernesto priego, lars palm, stefan hyner, and jim mccrary. mccrary says in a poem that english is the language that he lovingly mangles. hyner writes in german and also in an inglish that he learned from his studies of, for example, jaime de angulo. these poets are like punk rockers and punks taught me that you don't have to have any talent. you just need to strap on the guitar and strum. fuck off. poetry is like that too. you don't need an mfa or a teaching gig or a trip to the awp. just get those words on the screen/page. and fuck off.
now some might disagree with the premise of punk rock poetry. fuck off. but really why else do it but for the love of the art and language. i became a punk because i was an outsider of socio-economic class. i just loved punk's attitude and crass music. punk was an affirmation of life. with the example of these poets i find the affirmation of language is an act of helping in creation. i've heard this quote this week on NPR from marcus aurelius, the stoic emperor, don't sweat the small stuff because you, we all, will soon be dead. aurelius, according to the commentator,wrote in his meditations
, 'a drop of semen, pound of ash.' meaning we will all die anyway so quit your bitching and get on with the passions of your life.
oh, don't forget to fuck off [see i am really terribly shy!].