do you know this guy? Drunken Ramblings: do you know this guy?

By Nate on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 03:36 am:

    i haven't been drunk for some time. it is one of those non-decisions that don't lead to day counting. i can't tell you how long it has been.

    i am not drunk now. a venial sin, perhaps. mortal, who cares. we are all mortal sinners here, so cut off from the grace of sorabji. he who walks behind the comic sans. the children don't even believe in him. Ħel cucuy! they squeal and run off to duck into the warm safety of their flannel sheets.

    we didn't have flannel sheets back in my day. we didn't have warm safety. we had fucking ice, fucking vodka, and a fucking pint jar.

    someone once told me i write better when i'm drunk. i think that fucked with me for months.

    boo hoo. someone was wrong.

    i'm a poet now. a poet! it is like coming out of the closet, except a lot less risky. billy collins wrote a poem once about how he writes. i don't remember most of it, but it involves removing his skin and organs and typing as a skeleton. but with a penis. he'd leave his penis on.

    he drank tea, too.

    i'm not a poet in the sense that i feel like everything i write is brilliant, but in the sense that when i write i am endeavoring to write poems. poems and technical literature. but the poems are what i like.

    i have a goal, but i'm not going to tell anyone what it is. part of the goal involves having no one know what the goal is.

    apologies for my sobriety.

    tell maslow i'm coming to get him.

    soup's on, bitches.

By The Entertainer on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 04:41 am:

By sarah on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 12:59 pm:

    what annoys me is that the definition of what is (good) writing has remained so narrow for so long.

    what do we have?

    it's either a poem, a short story, a novella, or a novel.

    it's all defined by its structure.

    what about writing without structure? what if it doesn't have syllabic patterns? what if it doesn't have a beginning, middle, denoument, and end?

    what if the writing is contextless? why couldn't you take a random sample of nate's sorabji posts, put them together, and call it a collection? or the whole of drunken ramblings for that matter?

    fuck structure. why can't there be dada literature?

By kazu on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 01:33 pm:

    "fuck structure. why can't there be dada literature?"

    There is. It's called postmodernism.

By sarah on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 01:39 pm:

    that's not the same. postmodern literature has definable structure.

By Nate on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 01:44 pm:

    the lord be with us.

    for me, poetry is structure agnostic. not that everything is poetry, but i don't think there are any static rules beyond the love of language. but what do i know about anything.

    poetry should be heard, be read aloud.

By sarah on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 01:47 pm:

    actually, now that you mention it, david foster wallace's "brief interviews with hideous men" is a lot like what i'm thinking of, only it has a definable theme.

    and by definable, i really mean, marketable.

    i guess my point is, just because it's not edited, bound, and sold at barnes and noble doesn't mean it's not writing. i think a lot of great writers get caught up with defining what they write. and that's NOT equivalent to postmodernism.

By droopy on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 01:53 pm:

    there was dada literature. what was written didn't have the staying power of the art, and it's hard to find it in english. hugo ball was a dada writer. andre breton was a surrealist writer. everybody know the cut words out of a newspaper and arrange them randomly thing.

By ghost of jack on Friday, November 3, 2006 - 09:40 pm:

    "it's either a poem, a short story, a novella, or a novel."

    ....if you only consider "great writing" to be possible in the realm of fiction

    i see a lot of nonfiction that i think is great writing

    there's a lot of great writing similar to your description, sarah

    there's also a lot of horrible garbage similar to that description


    concrete poetry vet, automatic writer, and cut-up artist,

    ghost of jack

By Spider on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 04:41 pm:

    "poetry should be heard, be read aloud."

    I disagree. Well, I disagree with the absolutism of the "should." Being visually oriented as I am, I think the layout of the words on the page is crucial to the reading of the poem, and it's one of the few tools you have with which to imbue meaning in a poem.

    (Meaning...okay, compare a poem to a song. With a song, you communicate your meaning through your lyrics, but also, melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, your tone of voice when you sing, and so on. With a poem, you've just got your words...and the way you display those words.)

    Now, granted, the visual display is a way in which you can control the rhythm and thus the vocal, aural presentation of those words.

    But I really like the notion that poetry is a solitary thing. It's a quiet conversation between the poet and the reader, who (at least in my case) is reading alone and silently to themselves. And the silence, to me, is key. It's just your words in their heads. No other sound.

    But then, I'm utterly obsessed with W.S. Merwin (as Droopy will attest) and honestly cannot read other people's poetry with the attention it deserves because my mind is so fixated on Merwin and his brilliance. And I've heard him read his poetry out loud and I still prefer reading it silently to myself, because I like to see all the strange little line breaks and the way he gathers his words into strange verses. So I'm using him and my reading of his poetry as the model on which I'm building my theory.

    Some people's poetry is no doubt improved upon by reading it aloud.

By Spider on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 04:55 pm:

    (PS. Jack, how do you change your font? Is there a list of formatting codes for that somewhere?)

By ghost of jack on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 05:22 pm:

    are you at bled_white something com?

By Spider on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 05:47 pm:

    Yep, outgun dot com.

By Nate on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 06:17 pm:

    read poems out loud. even if you are looking at them on the page. poems should be heard.

    it is a generalization, maybe.

    i read my poems on the shitter. out loud, to myself. it is part of my editing process. (i edit now.) i enjoy the resonance of my voice in the little room.

By droopy on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 06:46 pm:

    i've heard someone else say, and i agree, that hearing a poet read his own works is generally a disappointment. when i read poems i hear them - assign them a voice and a feeling of my own.

    i've also become a big believer in poetry memorization. i think it's a bigger favor you can do for a poem than reading it aloud. years ago, when i was in the hospital, someone gave me a little blank notebook made from an old 'luther's small catechism' that i started filling with poems, bits of shakespeare, etc., that meant the most too me. i memorize them, and they act as sort of a secular prayers. got me through some miserable times.

By dave. on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 07:22 pm:

    i have a bunch of brautigan reading his own stuff.

    it's awful.

By Jesus on Saturday, November 4, 2006 - 11:36 pm:

    read by yourself damnit.

    poems are like scotch.

By sarah on Sunday, November 5, 2006 - 12:36 am:


By Spider on Sunday, November 5, 2006 - 10:59 am:

    (I had the craziest dream last night, involving violent toys that came to life and that I had to pretend to like, and hamsters I had to feed with gelatinous water, and this hotel that was full of androids, and all of my extended family was there....yeah.)

    I find that when I read a poem out loud, I always disappoint myself, because the voice in my head is capable of a degree of subtlety and nuance that my bodily voice is not.

By Spider on Sunday, November 5, 2006 - 11:06 am:

    I should have checked my email before posting.

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