Note to Flarf, Conceptualism & All (from Kenneth Burke)

"Do not get me wrong. I am pleading for no 'retreat' to anything. No literary Buchmanism, no off-by-itself, no back-to. Let our enlistments remain as they are. I am asking simply that the temper of our enlistment undergo a change of emphasis. That the norm of our tone cease to be the insulting tone that 'talks down' to people. Nor would it be a presumptuous tone, that laid claim to uplift them. But rather a tone that would plead with us all, with the writer-to and well as the written-to. In it there must also be disdain, for those who have been giving the final insult to democracy, as they contrive to suggest that one almost has a moral obligation to write trivially and superficially, as though one could only show a proper love for mankind by plying the citizenry with flimsy items, 'to be used once and thrown away.'"
- Kenneth Burke, "Semantic and Poetic Meaning", from The Philosophy of Literary Form (1941)
These poems from Way Stations are noise-resistant. Try 'em & see!


All ten of my Lulu books can be previewed extensively now on Google. Looks nice.


I have to feel relatively calm, confident & relaxed to write poetry. I have to be composed in order to compose. So my ability to write depends on a certain feeling of equilibrium. On the other hand, I never feel quite happy or calm or equable unless I'm working on a poem.

This is a serious catch-22. Classic neurosis/obsession, I guess. Married to it. Some people write because they have to. I understand Whitman's "life poem" project.


Have started integrating my books into the Google "Partner" program. Makes them easier to find, search, & preview. Five books are ready, 5 more on the way. The links are here.