I'm taking out posts right & left. (Those are railroad cars, on the cover of a Harry Partch cd.)


Is it time to shed the blog? Is it a contributing factor to the Perfect Doldrums that is my writing life? The way it exteriorizes & packages, instantly. Should I go back into my shell? Divest myself of this carapace? These are my thoughts of the day.

I've grown accustomed to your Microsoft.

Under consideration : change the approach, or start a new one. Something more disciplined - like a series of essays or reviews, pre-written & then posted to a blog.
Quoted from Alice Notley over in the Hotel:

"The form, it must be acknowledged, is still wonderfully serviceable, a collaged entity which seems able to manage any juxtaposition of material, sound, and tone, and which is welcoming to most kinds of novelty of line and layout. All of that is also the form’s weakness: it tempts endless heterogeneity and in its fragmentation makes little room for whatever unity there is in actual existence. I myself think there is quite a bit of unity in actual existence, and also that an epic by definition is a presentation of unity to whatever culture the epic serves."

I was in the midst of writing my 17th epic poem this morning (while brushing my tooth, incidentally), when this guy in a hat with a Fuller Brush Brush in both hands appeared at the door with these questions. I tried to be as concise as possible.

1. What is your conception of the tradition of cheese in contemporary poetry?

I began writing cheese poetry when I was quite young (3 days old, actually - before I got my first tooth!). Since then, I have evolved (moldered, actually) into a type of free-verse gorgonzola; unusual, I think among my Kraft American contemporaries. I smell special.

2. Who is your favorite cheese poet?

Loopy LeGouda, a Belgian softie, quite flavorful with a bland Pinot. (Not a relative, by the way.)

3. How would you catalog yourself in relation to those cheese statues over there, in the Community Archive Memorial Waste Disposal Unit Area District of Literature?

Go catalog yourself, Caesar! Salaud! All the world shall be taxed! [makes typical cheese-poetic Gallic gesture with third thumb]
Reading lately: Matrix of Modernism, Sanford Schwartz. Interesting stuff on early 20th-cent. philosophy. Led me to start reading Auerbach's Mimesis again last night. & what a great read that is. How different cultures picture experience & reality in narrative. Contrast between Biblical & Homeric epic - fascinating stuff ("scar of Ulysses"). "The concept of God held by the Jews is less a cause than a symptom of their manner of comprehending & representing things."

Got me thinking about writing & landscape. The hidden, furtive, shamanistic Yahweh, swathed in darkness & obscurity, background - a way that Hebrews responded to the established Middle Eastern powers all around them. Monotheism & the desert. A people so at one with their extremely simple, barren landscape that they are able to leave almost everything unspoken; implied depths. (ie. in Sacred Discontent, another great book.) The Greeks, in contrast - everything clean, out front, oversimplified. The response of close-knit mountain-steppe tribes scattered into a new terrain (always mapping out where everybody is - keeping everything in sight)? Confident, aristocratic power, masking a hidden fear of dislocation, being lost.

Which in turn got me thinking about Stubborn Grew, Forth of July. Melville influence at time of writing. Sense that the understory, Ur-story of this continent is the encounter with what is alien (wilderness, native tribes). Bluejay the shaman re-designs epic pattern. Poem repeatedly goes "into the interior" in various ways. Dislocating stories & vocabularies by way of blending, syncretism. Ojibwa undercurrent, Chippewa songs. Center of poem titled "Ghost Dance". Framing orphic pattern by way of Northwest Coast Bluejay stories.

Things are old, & poetry is a spiritual force.


Kasey on this question of "the perfect" in poetry (which I expatiated on here recently).

First of all, if you found the perfect poem, this would not necessarily preclude further interest. Not simply because there might be an enormous number of perfect poems out there, but also because perfection in a poem would prove to be inimitable : it would be a perfection of form & expression unlike any other.

Secondly, I think the search for perfection is implicit in the work of the critic. Eliot, in Four Quartets somewhere, quoting Mallarme, wrote of the poets' vocation as "to purify the words of the tribe". The exacting effort of discernment, differentiation & judgement undertaken by the critic is complementary to that vocation. Through the critic's investigation into what exactly it is (the poetry under consideration), all kinds of literary faults are examined & evaluated (dullness, superficiality, irrelevance, unoriginality, faulty diction, garrulity, bathos, parochialism, ignorance, pomposity, etc. etc.), so that, by comparison & analysis, the really excellent work of a place or a period stands out.

This is the technical side of criticism, which is just as essential as are the appreciative, imaginative, synthetic, "analogical" elements of readerly interest.
Read more of my Chicago School anthology over the weekend, plus some of Eliot's Sacred Wood. I have a long way to go.

How anachronistic! (Gosh, is TS Eliot a SoQ???) But if Christopher Hitchens' scathing review of the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism (in yesterday's NYTRB) carries any weight... well, then there's room for some revaluation of all the revisionism.


from July:


It was a tawny copperhead world-deep
in a tangle of choking vines in the moist
hanging gardens over babbling stems of
moldering books in a greenhouse a pen

charcoaled your frozen forms and a whisper
wanted to embrace me through the endless
waste of frittering time (present stencilled
intimate brakes) until a spare spear-spirit

like a salience in the armored swamps of July
began to build for me this doubled arc
of a dangled green or jasper Dirac radio
to carry its tacked-on vernal missile

and it is possible to experience events now
that will in part be an effect of my future
resolves by making a round trip
on a rocket ship in a sufficiently wide

maison? Mais non, NoƩ! May we? Wheee...
bring the Jubilee out of Willie's blues
by way of a Technicolor Time Sub (used)
or mobius clock through a Birch Clump Cylinder

down the River Road? Through the stubby
singularity pool of a snail's wombhole?
The future is all hieroglyphical lumbers
ultraluminal "Beep" spooky but sweet keen

smell pressed among advanced waves of a
mad worldline cruise-saint looping close now
as Buckaroo Bonzai's old friends across time
go alley oop a-brim with dense evidence

of the man who folded himself (asymmetrical
rabbit) into a symmetrical hat and Hugo
Gernsback and becomes her sylph. Arghgh!
Poe, again! Whitman, attached! – helendrigauss!

Mary Elvira Ravlin Gould, potter & flute-player, is of course a major background presence in my poems.

"Time flowers on the lips of whispered clay."
from an old poem called "Grain Elevator" (self-published in Way Stations):


Your two clay whistle-birds
Are on the windowsill,
Ready for children's lips to share
Their flute-sounds with the real birds
At the feeder, on the other side of the glass;

You've always been the better maker,
Turning the years and years around
With muscular feet and fingers,
Clay speech rising from the wheel
To last this generation, and to serve
The next Thanksgiving – plates, bowls,
Pitchers waiting to ornament
Some simpler, lasting celebration,
Open house for the upright heirs
Of tender hills and anxious clay.

And where's that modest watercolor,
Lit with the cold and clear Minnesota light,
Of Granddad's granary downtown? Standing
Behind the rusted parallel of the tracks
And a row of poplars, crowded out
By warehouses and condominiums,
Its curving columns burgeoning now
Only with air and memory – and hidden
Wafers of petrified wheat, noon
Sunlight answering a lifetime's work
Just over the treeline and the crooked streets.

On a sultry day in late July
In 1961 – when I was nine – we stopped
In a little pasture beside the road,
Under the shade of clustered oaks,
With a herd of cows nearby,
For a picnic and a rest on our way
To visit Grandma's farm, and cousins
In Iowa City. And after the sandwiches
And sleepy talk, while the grown-ups
Snoozed among rocks and baskets,
I wandered off a little way
And found a squared-off family graveyard,
The gray slate leaning in the uncut grass,
Deep summer whispering from unfamiliar soil.

Maybe it was your voice I heard,
So long ago there in the aching depths;
Your voice, challenging me to find
That earthy crossroads – whistling word –
And lay Grandfather's brooding ghost to rest.
That drawing was done, I guess, around 1962. Sometimes I think of myself as "neglected"; I should remember my mother. She's never had a "show" - never even thought of it, probably. She's produced many hundreds of paintings, drawings, works in clay.

For my Mom, art is just part of "keeping busy", or "volunteering" (ie. caring for about 4 generations, simultaneously).

My mother's drawing (cartoon?) featured in HAT 6 poem. Posted by Hello
A capable critic would be knowledgeable about - deeply familiar with - not only the history of criticism itself & various critical approaches, but also the particulars (in fine detail) of many, many poets & ages of poetry.
So a critic (of a few centuries back, probably) would describe my (or anybody's) list of "seraphic" poets - the makers of transcendentally perfect poems - as those in whom the genius of Nature shows forth. (& this would agree with the idea of art as imitation of nature.) Beautiful poems have something inimitable & preternatural about them : the genius that makes artificial things which are almost as complex & amazing as the works of nature itself. & yet they are nature, too.

(Bacon, by the way, seems to have an interesting idea that the value of "historical poems" (epics, history plays, etc.) lies in the fact that they show events & people as better than they are in ordinary life - as more transparent or knowable, more worthy of imitation. In a sense this is the role played now by the movies.)
... so there might be a causal relation between the "rule of nature" and the disinterested sense of taste.

But then craft & artifice - the formal training of native talent (or genius) - would parallel the "educated" taste.
There seem to be some echoes of Kant in my remarks yesterday about the "strict measures" of beauty. Those places in the Critique of Judgement about "genius". Poetic genius - being the effect of Nature working through the poet - is what applies the "rule of nature" to the products of art. (I'm getting this from the McKeon essay.)
...another factor : the prevalent notion that poetry transcends/defies both evaluation and interpretation.
...but a much more important factor influencing the state of criticism : the rise of the MFA program.
& why is poetry criticism & reviewing such thin gruel today? (If I'm wrong about that - if I'm just not reading the right journals - I wouldn't be surprised!!! Tell me what I'm missing, please.)

Does it have something to do with the "Age of Theory", as it's called? New instruments of critical thought were applied to literature, for the advancement of Theory itself, & basic issues in aesthetics were no longer of interest. The Chicago School got lost in the shuffle.

Believe me, I'm just speculating. Haven't really studied the intellectual history of all this. Maybe someone can enlighten me.
Reading a good essay by Richard McKeon, "Philosophic bases of art and criticism", in my Chicago School anthology, Critics & Criticism (publ. back in late 50s).

McKeon is comparing Plato, Kant, Tolstoy, Horace, Aristotle, Bacon on their approaches to poetry & criticism. Shows how the same basic problems recur, but that different emphases lead to opposing or contradictory usage of the same terms.

(Plato, Kant & Tolstoy take a thematic approach, considering what poetry is in the context of basic issues such as truth, consciousness, nature; Aristotle, Bacon & Horace analyze poetry pragmatically, as a unique thing-in-itself, with respect to how the poet best achieves its unique purposes.)

This probably sounds very dry & abstract. But if the critic isn't aware of basic principles & methods, he or she simply reiterates the biases & blind spots of the past. The Chicago School provides a map for anybody who wants to attempt literary criticism with a general foundation in the fundamentals. & the only way to get beyond a terribly parochial and utilitarian (sub)critical milieu (the current state of poetry criticism in the US), would be to revisit the basic problems of approach.


To say the beautiful is strict, absolute, universal, objective, rooted in nature... is only half of the equation. The beautiful is also surprising, original, unaccountable, challenging, recalcitrant, sometimes awful, terrible, tremendous.

The beautiful is a balance between creative power & the inherent proportions of nature. A proportion of proportions.

Even the poems that reject or deny harmony can't escape its presence, lurking in the background.

It's easy to define the beautiful. Much harder to find & defend it. That's the critic's job : to apprehend beauty where it wasn't noticed before.
Examples of perfect, "seraphic" poets : Holderlin, Pushkin, Marvell, Keats, Donne, Rilke, Celan, Mandelstam, Whitman, Dickinson...

what makes them perfect? At their best, they make verse sing on all levels. Intellectual music. Going to the edge of the human (the upper limit).

Mystery of when & how nations & cultures evolve perfect poets. Dialect of the tribe; shared meanings & forms of play.
It might be easier to understand what I was trying to get at yesterday, with my rubrics about poetry's transcendental perfection, if we think of such a characteristic as analogous to what music is & does.

I don't want to think of music "inhabiting" poetry, translating it into an unknown beautiful dream-speech (symbolism). I want to think of the harmony of poetry as sui generis, as applying its own peculiar powers & methods; but that the beauty expressed in painting & music is evidence of analogous forms of harmony.

I think of poetry's harmony as global, manifest in all languages. Global, yet strict. Something different from Ron Silliman's or Josh Corey's "post-avant community".

The strictness I'm talking about has to do with beauty's inherent qualities, which, in poetry, encompass the objects of both sense & intellect, and have to comprehend all the human & natural constructions which make up tradition - going back to the origins of language on the one hand, and the origins of the universe on the other.
The "rubrics" posted yesterday probably stem from one underlying principle : Beauty is the substance/structure of poetry. A corollary of this is the notion Jonathan Mayhew was talking about recently : Taste is an impersonal response to an objective reality (beauty).

The strict measures of beauty - not political polemics & allegiances - are what drive the merchants of the "poetry market" from the temple.

One could just as well say that Taste is a personal response to a subjective reality, if one were Kant, I guess (I'm not very well-grounded in philosophy). (Maybe this is what Jordan was getting at in his comment to Jonathan the other day.) But I'm not Kant, and I'm going to assume, with Charles Peirce (I guess), that we apprehend, imperfectly, the real objective existence of certain things, which we name with universal terms (ie. universally applicable).

& now I'm way over my head.
I like Gary Sullivan's idea of a blog devoted solely to poetry book reviews. Started me starting to start to think about what general principles might inform it. Seems like such would be useful, in this our modern whirl of lingos & community codes.

I might start with the Chicago Critics for some guidance. But their writings seem today like elaborate structures from the distant past, full of incomprehensible symbols : a top-heavy elephant, ponderous with erudition.

Or maybe it's just me. In fact it is just me.

The idea of going back to Aristotle & Coleridge et al. for basic principles. Is it even possible? I like the idea. Start with first principles because the first principle of poetry is its strangeness : we don't know what it is.

I'm just babbling this morning before getting down to work.


When I was in Minneapolis last weekend, I went to the Art Institute & saw a special exhibit of this new Illustrated Bible which is being produced by a team of calligraphers in Wales, under the sponsorship of St. John's Univ. (in Collegeville MN). It's a very unusual project combining computer imagery with medieval book-production techniques (calfskin parchment, handmade inks, goose quills...). The pages are huge & the illustrations are beautiful.

On the very first page of Genesis, there is a scribal mistake. It's the only one visible in the entire exhibit. A phrase about God's creation of the "sea-monsters of the deep" was left out; the scribes added it in an elegant parenthesis in the margin.

I jumped when I saw that - was reminded of Viola Sach's monograph on Moby Dick(Game of Creation) : in which she develops a model of the novel's composition based on a sort of gnostic-numerological design of cosmic error (the substance & manifestation of which is "the whale" itself). According to Sachs, Moby Dick, Melville's "counter-Bible", is a labyrinth of intentional mistakes & misplaced attributions about whales & other matters.
I really enjoyed Mark Halliday's 2 poems in Hat 6, by the way.
Poets should be scientists, like Glenn Gould.

Their research focuses on making sense out of the absolute mystery of traditional poetic utterance. "Making sense", ie., figuring out how to do it now - or how to avoid pretending to do it.


reading more Hat on coffee break. so many good poems (& hilarious)... like the Mary Donnelly, Johanna Fuhrman...
Enjoying the delights of Hat 6. I should read more poetry.
Like Kim Lyons' poems especially.

More evidence that the younger generation is just plain smarter than we are. (smart, ie. intelligent & stylish). Though occasionally the multiple layers of self-parody & self-consciousness are... a bit jejune (to this stuffy 52-yr-old senior citizen).

Happy to appear alphabetically between Nada Gordon & Mark Halliday. (Both of whose poems seem, in places anyway, to be riffing in jokey ways on mine. Widderruf. But I'm just being self-conscious.)

Mark Halliday was at Brown, in the grad program I think, a couple of years ahead of me. He published my first poems outside of high school, in a little spiral-bound anthology of "new poetry". I wonder what ever happened to that. Mark & David Cashman were publishing The Providence Review then (with the epigraph from the Bonanza Bus driver on the frontispiece - "This is Providence. Everyone changes here.") David is still writing poetry - had a book published recently (This Much : selected poems, 1970-2000. Catskill Press, 2003).


Came home from Minnesota to find my copy of The Hat. Nice work, editors! Like the design. Like the hat.


Hart Crane put this hobo-vagrancy-river complex at the center of The Bridge.
But vagrancy with the intent of rendering... wholeness, the whole thing.

Poetry presents icons or images - ecological proportionate pictures, as opposed to explanations. The picture acts like a parable or metaphor - reaching reason & understanding at a slant.

But you already know...
busy busy busy here... & I will be away until Sunday.

Struck again last night by the realization of just how odd, distinct & elliptical has been my experience of making poems. Distinct from other kinds of thinking & doing, I mean.

It was the NY School poets back in the 60s who created, for me, an encouraging atmosphere for such activities (amid other kinds of encouragement, from teachers, etc.).

& some of the long poem projects have started out more or less consciously from such a slant. The mind going into new sensation, or memory of old sensations. Deliberate immersion, away from reasoning & pondering & discourse, into "imagination" or a kind of sensorium of feeling. Is this "negative capability"?

Stubborn started out this way. Deliberate babble & fragments. July - the analogy of "goin' into country", Huck Finn-like, sinking into the middle river. Poem as vagrancy.


Race of the antennae. (My friend Bob, physicist, backyard inventor & ham radio buff.)
Time is one of the stage properties.
from July:


I saw Eternity the other night said Henry V
once more unto the breaching whale
for often as I stretched my lips toward
the lucent wave so small a thing it

is that separates our loving hearts
the darkness had materially increased
hereupon Nu-Nu stirred within the secret
unfailingling J.A. J’s omvalejoss stretched

postpartum like a red seed from
now-now to yes-yes yesterday
deep in Maxwell’s stirry equanimity
a little kip o’thorn goes o’dell morphed

the length of a tinier tin plank forth
Hendrix (in tune with a low-rent
transformation) (turning
toward the wall and) walks on through

Lex Luther’s bilking paradox (using
simple OM radio junk from the shack-ham)
he shows if Shakespeare types out Hamlet
on his tachyon transmitter, Bacon receives

(in sing-sing) the transmission
at an earlier time (via chronocomputer)
settin on a photon clock spacelike
timelike and likelike Sommerfeld’s

first apple-fall of free-falling world lines
in a lightcone tipped over by Tippecanoe
Tipler into the river just a bit o’Henry-
phlegm caught in the throat (between

wormholes) (mouth a and b) like a frog
couching for flight through a fog or griffin-
like surfaces (what exotic matter! Figure
it out yourself!) an undersod of the rogue

Why do scientists have such trouble with the theory of time? (Einstein turned it into an aspect of space; Godel seems to have denied its existence, except as a kind of subjective illusion.)

Maybe because time is not a thing.

Time has no tangible properties in itself - it's only manifest in its effects. It's not even a mathematical object - it can't be quantified (except in "relative" terms - & the theory of relativity has nothing to say about time as we know it subjectively).

Godel's interpolation of the General Theory of Relativity hypothesizes "closed timelike circles" open to "time travel" (though it's not strictly time travel, because there is no time).

Fiction (& sometimes poetry) - & not just science fiction - provides forms of virtual time travel. As we write, we relive. A la Recherche du Temps Perdu.
Reading some interesting books on Kurt Godel, the mathematician/philosopher. Happens he gave his last public lecture at American Math Society, here in Providence - hope I can find a copy of that somewhere.

You think poets are crazy... just read some of these math biographies!

I'm not saying KG was crazy, however. (Though extremely paranoid & eccentric toward the end - died in Princeton of "inanition" due to lack of food. His wife, & Albert Einstein, were just about his only friends, and things went downhill after they died.) He was brilliant. A few pithy pages changed the course of mathematics, & possibly philosophy too.

I can barely follow the math, logic, physics. Good brain exercise, though. Gets me thinking about what sets poetry apart from philosophy, etc.


...If only it were published in readable well-designed books. Stubborn Grew is out of print, apparently, & the sequel (The Rose) is expensive, self-published. The design is the best an amateur (me) could do, but not optimal.

Hey you poetry publishers, this is a gould mine. Where are you? It's only 1,000 pp. Pure Gould.
When I read this by Reginald Shepherd (in an email to Josh Corey) -

"we are all in the wake of the Modernists, of Modernism, especially when seen as an international phenomenon. All the poetic avant-gardening in the past thirty years or longer has basically been a process of people rediscovering the Moderns, turning over the soil, if you will, and rediscovering things that had been buried or at least lost sight of." -

or this -

"Since I began reading poetry in the 1970s, I have always been opposed to what I saw as contemporary mainstream American poetry, because it was boring and because in its neglect of poetry's verbal resources it was out of the mainstream of English
language poetry from the Elizabethans through the Metaphysicals to Keats and the Modernists. These are the writers who made me want to read and to write poetry in the first place, whose work is still the standard by which I measure my own work and that of others. But historical memory is also something that tends to fall by the wayside."

- I feel a sense of kinship & an affirmation of what I've been doing with poetry all these years.

& when I read John Latta's remarks on modes of speech in American poetry, I get a sense of an active motivation - the will of the poets - underlying changes in style over recent decades. A motivation having to do with authenticity, relevance (against academicism, or imitation for its own sake).

& with these two blog-perspectives on the table, I can look back at my own short & long poems... with some irony, I guess. There's a Scylla & Charibdis... the danger, on the one hand, that one's devotion to the Modernists, & all that came before, will lead to stilted over-refinement (so apparent in a lot of the neo-traditionalist-formalist work of the 90s). The danger, on the other hand, that colloquial bluntness leads (usually) to mediocre writing. Poetry is not the same as stand-up comedy or tragic drunken caterwauling & free-verse self-pity.

Shepherd's comments make me feel part of a tradition. The partisanship of the schools & the cliques has always made me feel left out. One irony is, that there is more complex formal experiment & more multilingual slang in Stubborn Grew, & Forth of July as a whole, than in about all of the "post-avant" production put together. I am not exaggerating!!!! Contrast the Shepherd perspective with that of the polemical cliques. The cliques turn poetry into a game of Capture the Flag or "who do we mock today". They are the a-historical ones.
American middle style has a New Englandy wrench thrown in. EA Robinson. Frost. Elizabeth Bishop. Calm, smooth, self-effacing surface - with incredible cold remoteness lurking underneath.

When you go out west (or down south or even to the mid-Atlantic) you are struck on returning to New England, how really rough, rugged, rocky, gray, salty & cold it is. The Rockies are rocky, but sunny. The only somewhat similar landscape (minus the salt) - upper Great Lakes region, north woods.
Latta keeps it close to speech-writing, today. People behind the phraseology, actual warm-bodied human beings, speaking. Literary history as a process of finding a genuine way to talk in print, or imprint talk.

Coming down from physics to chemistry. The phasal interaction between ordinary (not so ordinary) banter, dialogue, musing - truth-telling, directness - on the one hand - and the more basic or inherent rhythms of words & letters, materialized in text - on the other (measured music). I guess Zukofsky put it more elegantly, with his function sign, speech/music.

The American style of bluntness. Stephen Crane, Hemingway. Or the American style of jive. Twain, Melville. Straight or slant. Is there an American middle style, that doesn't become bland & academical or stuffy & academical?

The poet must do a couple of things, I guess - 1. find an authentic way to combine these two phases; 2. once there, actually have something to say.


Hey folks, there's an intelligent poet in the fishbowl... (see Reginald Shepherd comments of today relayed by Josh Corey). Wish I'd written some of that. (Though I think the disillusionment with politics is sad.)
The irreducible fact of taste - a corollary of the irreducible fact of art itself - presents literary criticism with its lease on an independent, autonomous field of inquiry : distinct from other forms of allegiance or intellectual endeavor.
Today Jonathan clarifies some of the distinctions between taste (an aesthetic response to an aesthetic object) and judgement (appreciation, &/or critique, which combines both taste & a set of standards). Judgements will differ because standards differ. Taste informs judgement - judgement refines taste.
Reginald Shepherd, in his emails to Josh Corey, made a forceful statement, judging from its effects : lots of bloggers commented - & even John Latta arose to defend Ron Silliman!

Are we all complete idiots, to be so fixated for so long on "poetry & politics"? Or has this been a real unresolved problem in contemporary poetry?

It would be hypocritical to stand for some kind of ivory-tower aesthetic purism. Everybody knows that style is suffused with, & motivated by, politics, at least in the broad "cultural" sense of the term (as in, "identity politics").

Underlying the American style & theory wars of the 20th century stands a deeper, Janus-like trend : the popularization of literature (poetry). Janus-like because it involves both the expansion and thinning-out of aesthetic literacy. Everyone writes poetry but nobody knows much about its history. It's not longer produced by the few and it's no longer read by the many!

Perhaps, then, the character of one's approach to tradition is the main catalyst for producing the affiliations with particular styles or literary groups. (This is an attempt at a literary, rather than political, interpretation of such phenomena.)

I'm with Shepherd, by the way. Ideology tends to shortcut literary criticism.
I've decided, tentatively, to return to HG Poetics. To all my friends, I extend most rueful apologies, for playing ring-around-the-rosie with you.

I left a month ago in a state of discouragement & uncertainty, having to do with my so-called literary vocation. The blog had begun to seem symbiotic with enervated anomie inertia etc.

But I don't like invading other bloggers' comment boxes. & not blogging a little at my desk job is painful. I LOVE THIS MEDIUM. I'm going to try to keep the digital cafe-causerie from dominating my thought-world... without forsaking it entirely.

So... the bad penny is back. For the time being, anyway.