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October 26, 2003


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cultivate the allure of the forbidden
Tom Beckett
Some brief thoughts... 1. Any affirmative poetics is received in terms of all the things that it is not--there are no guarantees that it will be seen for what it is; 2. All one can do as poet is hew to what one knows in one's heart whilst remaining open to the possibility that one is wrong--to persist, with skeptical fortitude, in the face of apathy and derision is no small thing; 3. A poem is a kiss--it can be received as a gift or an assault.
You know, it's an interesting post you have here. I never got the impression, really, that poets were all that interested in getting a wider audience, unless the usual sneers of disdain at the suggestion have all this time been no more than a defense mechanism.... I never really thought they were. I thought it was a serious matter of artistic integrity and all that jazz. Well, really, though. I happen to have enjoyed the snippets of Jake Berry I've come across lately.... But, alas, turns out I'm a dolt. I'll be the first to admit that in the standards of criticism among poetic circles, that's a reasonable self-assessment. And I won't argue with it. But doesn't make me feel too jubilant about either going out and buying any new poetry (I'll stick with the old stuff, thank you, that everyone 'agrees' is good and wait on the rest as long as the jury's out), or evangelising on behalf of any new poets.

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