Reading Ron Silliman's blog. Ron's poetic seems to stand on a series of dichotomies:

political right vs. left
traditionalist poetry vs. experimental
conservative religious culture vs. Enlightenment neo-modernism
new formalism vs. post-avant
mainstream vs. oppositional poetries
"School of Quietude" vs. "post-Language"

(some of these are different terms for the same thing.)

He writes today about reconstructing a non-totalitarian modernism as a basis, it seems, for contemporary aesthetics/poetics.

It seems to me that what these dichotomies tend to do (& I've said this before) is fortify a system of barriers between poetry as oppositional subculture, and the public at large. In this schema, the most advanced, self-conscious aesthetics appears to be a neo-modernist autotelic space - free, self-determining & politically resistant.

I think it's fair to say this is a pretty common perspective among the experimentalists of recent decades.

I don't want to try to challenge this viewpoint today (at least any more than I already have). I only want to say, again, how forcefully it strikes me, that my trajectory in poetry for the past 30 years seems to deny or negate these dichotomies. I'm the conjunction of Ron's opposites. I'm the neo-modernist post-avant left-aesthete's worst nightmare.

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