Thursday, March 04, 2004

Hear, hear Yingpow's eloquent defense of blogging, and, more importantly, her expression of the general American loneliness which I would argue besets poets all the more strongly because they are unwilling or unable to drug themselves out of feeling it the way most folks do. Nobody gets to "be a poet" without living with the pain of a limb in perpetual thaw. I've had the good fortune of institutional support now for years after finishing my Montana MFA, which has given me time to figure out a strategy for living as a poet (also time to run up thousands of dollars in debt, but that's another story). I wonder if it would be possible to teach the stuff I've picked up in a directed way—perhaps the best an MFA program could do would be to foster an atmosphere in which people felt safe enough to express these concerns and fears. Must think more about this.

Saw the first two movies in Matthew Barney's Cremaster cycle last night. Very intense, very David Lynch in Eraserhead mode. (I wonder if they can be said to have mutually influenced each other.) My favorite moment comes at the end, when (a surprisingly effective) Norman Mailer as Harry Houdini leans down from the stage to inquire of the mysteriou Fay, "Madam, what is your discipline?"

What indeed.

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