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Thanks a ton, man! Things are going pretty well, and I'm aiming onward and upward. Heading down to the RV inspection place to pick up our airstream today, so that's big news. What's new in your world?
It's so funny and true about workshops, in my experience: the writer always ends up taking out your favorite line. Oh well, it's worth it getting to be part of the creative process, I suppose. De gustibus non disputandum est! (Or some such).
I feel like everyone's about as precious about poetry as they are about their highschool sweetheart, and that's whether they lay claim to it as a high-brow occupation of the oh-so-refined, as a supercharged, ultracool assault on society's failings, or as the humble framing of the everyday, as satisfying and disposable as lunch from a street vendor. Everyone seems very invested in a version of what poetry is/should be, which is most hilarious because (almost) no one is doing anything with the actual stuff, except for in those pursuits wherein we are forced to brush up against it, either in class, in song-lyrics, or in those various media which have divided poetry's many powers among them -- lyrical prose, the vaunted rhetoric of speechwriters, advertisements, homilies, etc).
This all means to me that "Poetry," as entity, shares a fate with all of the other subjects from the past that we argue about, not because they're happening now, but because they give us a sense of who we are, and why we mean something. We'll keep arguing over everything dead and gone that offers some force to be applied to the present discussion. The war over the present is waged in how we define the past.
Meanwhile, I think the only useful definition of poetry is flat-out descriptive and broadly inclusive. No one likes everything that is technically, by definition, poetry. And that's fine, or whatever. It's a fact anyhow. Taste is fine, inevitable, glorious even, but we should at least try to keep it out of our taxonomy ... at least, that is, if we don't want to constantly be the cause of our own vexation.
We had some really wonderful sections on light verse in a few of my courses at the program. In particular, for our "80 works" course (a generative, fast-forward through the forms class) we were assigned several different forms of light verse, and the output was all regarded as seriously as for the other projects. Now, that's a grad workshop, not AP Lit in high school, which is where the stick first gets firmly planted, but I'm happy to report that quite a few academics, at least on the creative side, are taking light verse seriously enough to keep thinking about it after they stop laughing.
I think the Clerihew was my favorite of the light verse forms, personally. Here's a fun one:
There's no disputin'
that Grigori Rasputin
had more will to power
(by Dean W. Zimmerman)
I feel like the best rationale for "writing for the audience that is yourself" is to write that which compels you, in order to make sure you're speaking valuably to all those people more or less identical to yourself (which, statistically speaking, in a world so well populated, is a whole lotta people), and to all of the other types of people engaged in meaningful conversation with those people (which is actually a staggeringly large group of people). None of those people (except yourself) may be in the room with you, or perhaps even in your county. But they are most assuredly out there, in serious numbers. And one is much more likely to have deep, richly nuanced layers of meaning and intensity in expression for that audience than they are for the one that happens to be three tables over at the coffee shop.
Also, if you don't write (at least largely) for yourself, then you will likely have forsaken your inner compass, which probably has a great deal to do with why you started writing in the first place. I'm not going to pretend it's the only guide of value (I've heard Yanni doesn't listen to others' music, so as not to pollute the purity of vision), but ignoring it entirely is, in my opinion, a hollow and baffling experience.
Loved _Life is Elsewhere_, though it gave me something of a hyper-self-analysis problem as a young poet. I'll never forget the scene of Lermontov on the balcony. I think ultimately though, _Immortality_ became my favorite Kundera. Still haven't read _The Joke_, though, and to be honest, his oeuvre is so much cut from the same cloth that I often misremember which characters/scenes were from which novels.
This is hilarious, thank you for posting it. Reminds me of a poem one of my classmates wrote for workshop, which is published now, apparently, in her collection. Unfortunately, the published version took out my favorite line, which, if I recall correctly, went "The dog is at the ass end of the yard." Anyhow, the poem's still quite good, and happens to be part of the google books sample, if you wanna check it out: https://tinyurl.com/y9sh5dda
Cool, I hope it treats you well! For my promotion campaign, I retained the services of a very effective and well-connected firm, Independent Music Promotions, or IMP. I was looking for somebody who could deliver the results labels get for their musicians in terms of press/connections, but who wasn't trying to own you and/or your music. I was pretty sure that such a thing must exist, so I searched for them, and lo and behold, they did! They're very small, focused, and their track record says it all. Their services aren't cheap by any means, and they only represent artists they're confident they can place and promote successfully, but they definitely over-deliver. James Moore is the main guy, and prior to founding I.M.P., he wrote "Your Band is a Virus," a book which details the avenues and strategies he puts to use when promoting clients' music. Now that I've seen results, I'm definitely going to be reading it, and putting as much of the strategy to work in my personal promotion efforts as I can. I suppose it would also offer a good glimpse of how he and co. proceed, if you wanted to assess more deeply than basic web searches can afford. I have nothing but good things to say, as you can tell, (I've also just noticed that they've included my gushing commendation on their website), and whether or not you decide to promote this way, I'd be very happy to keep discussing it. You have beautiful songs, and they're well crafted too, so however you go, I'm sure you'll have success.
Wow, gotta love the timing! I was thinking of submitting, but no reason I can't still. Congrats on your impending freedom. Hopefully the experience will continue to inform and reward you long after you have escaped the drudgery aspects of it. And I'm glad to have provided some well-earned gratification, even if it falls into the too little too late category. Time to focus on new projects?
Thank you, my friend! It means the most that you enjoy it. Getting press feels pretty great in its own right, but still leaves some doubt as to whether anyone is really being persuaded to listen. There's no way to guarantee such a thing though, I think. We're all so overstimulated these days. It's like we need a day in solitary confinement for every day of media absorption. To that end, I'll be in my sensory deprivation tank, if anyone needs me.