Anne Ward Jamieson: “A while back there was an op-ed columnist whose work I followed in the newspaper both for what she had to say and how well she said it. She was a single mother. Then, inexplicably, the quality of her columns seemed to take a disappointing dip. But I read on and, one day, she mentioned being recently married. I was instantly convinced that explained her poor performance. I know it could have been because she was very very busy or very very happy or both or something else entirely but my immediate take on it was that she had someone she shared her inner thoughts with, someone to talk to, someone whose attention obviated the need to spill her feelings to the general public.”

Further Discussion:

         1. Is this what writing is/writers do, write in order to find attention or spill inner thoughts that aren't otherwise shared? 

         1a. If 1) is true then it holds that the entirety of it is true, that writing is as much in order to find attention as to spill inner thoughts; otherwise a diary would suffice, and not a blog, column, or otherwise publicly posted work. Do you feel this is true for you? Are we all just seeking attention? 

         2. The woman who wrote this is a single parent. Knowing that, does that affect your interpretation of her interpretation of the events she describes at all? 
from Rattle's poem of the day here



"Have you tried acting, dear boy?"

- Laurence Olivier to Dustin Hoffman

True confession: I hate poetry. Not all poetry, just vast swaths of it. Particularly modern poetry, because there's an awful lot of

changing up

the whitespace


that simple phrases

end up forcibly profound.

"So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater next to the white chickens." - some farmer

so much depends


a red wheel


glazed with rain


beside the white


- some fucking legend of poetry I was forced to read like six times

Know who Emily Dickenson was? A housebound crazyperson spinster. Hope is the thing with feathers indeed. Put that shit on needlepoint.

Know who Bruce Dickenson was?

Riding through dust clouds and barren wastes

Galloping hard on the plains

Chasing the redskins back to their holes

Fighting them at their own game

Murder for freedom the stab in the back

Women and children are cowards attack

The former? I had to write papers on. The latter? I got in trouble for wearing t-shirts celebrating.

Know who I always tried to pick when we had to do something about a "poet?" Rudyard Fucking Kipling. Know why we never discussed Kipling in English class? 'cuz for some fucking reason he wasn't considered a poet. Why? Probably because he sold stuff while he was alive, rather than dumping it all in a spider hole somewhere for his heirs to find.

All That To Say

When some fucking vanity press never-heard-of-you person decides a person's writing has changed because they're no longer over-sharing with the public for glory, it says a lot more about the speaker than the spoken of.

Art is the knack of making something from nothing and selling it.

- Frank Zappa

I write science fiction for a living and have seven mouths to feed. I take a lot of speed.

- Philip K. Dick, when asked how he was so prolific

Look. It's a job. You're getting paid for translating the shit in your head into shit on the page. If it's a periodical, you're probably getting paid per word. I don't write so that I can feel better about myself, I write because I've been paid non-negligible sums to do it, and because I'm better at it than my friends.

If you need to write for therapy, you have no business writing for money. Never let your well-being depend on your ill health.

I recognize that "poet" is so very rarely a job. I also recognize that this is due in no small part to my opinion on poetry being common. And I have no truck with poets who write poetry poetically to share with other poets. So long as I'm not required to call it profound, I don't give a flying fuck.

But anybody who can write

    The pink dot of a woman pirouetting

    on his head has toppled off like a sequin

    cut loose from its thread.

and call it "poetry" needs to STFU about the motivations of writers they've never met.

posted by _refugee_: 1936 days ago