Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Very pleased to report that Bogie's biopsy tests came back negative except for one of the tumors, which was the lowest grade and thus considered to have been cured by excision. And his bone marrow's clean too. We have to keep an eye on him for new developments, but it looks like he will be tugging on his leash and rolling around on the grass for a long time to come. What a relief.

As Aaron has noted, he and I had a conversation over dinner Monday night spurred by the new issue of Fulcrum. I don't have it in front of me (I was reading the Bookery's copy, don't have my own yet) but I was struck by the dialogue there between Chris Stroffolino and Joan Houlihan—struck mostly by the courtesy and evolving mutual regard there. Also I have to admit that I rather like the poems of Houlihan's that appear in that issue. I'm still very wary of her critical stance, her impatience for meaning and closure, and her quickness to invoke eternal verities about poetry and human nature. And I'm still appalled by the vitriolic tone of her column with its numerous ad hominem attacks. Some might defend that style of criticism as refreshing for its honesty, but I think it's destructive, and I don't like to spend time with people who talk that way, in person or on the page. Nonetheless, I have to respect her apparent seriousness about poetry, and most of all her willingness to engage interlocutors like Stroffolino and Steve Burt who challenge her point of view. It would be all to easy to retreat into the fulsome accolades of her fellow conservatives and dismiss the writing that irritates her out of hand.

I might have something more substantive to say about the dialogue itself—particularly the value of "communication" both writers were touting and the attached questions of audience—once I get a chance to read it again more closely.

No comments:

Popular Posts