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Alan Baker

I think your poetics is more than adequate John. The world may be a bad place, but it won't get better if poets all stop writing poetry. The public discourse is dominated by corporate media outlets who try to make us less intelligent, bit-by-bit. We need people to keep thinking, and poetry can help them to do so in a more nuanced way. Poetry like Eliot Weinberger's "What I Heard About Iraq" or Chris McCabe's "The Hutton Enquiry" for example. And your own poetry. Keep going! Fail Better!

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Fail Better! Right, exactly. The trick is to figure out how.

SPANSE just feels a bit too much like FCF's "tail". Alice Notley wrote more "Allete"-esque after The Descent of Alette ... that feels like what I'm doing. I just need some way to get some Tory victories, utter despair and leaking oil into my poems ...

Thanks, Alan!

Ed Baker

not exactly a Haiku Moment,

try My NEIGHBOR Book 1


... no sense self-promoting
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also. try. out: Diane Wakoski's run GREED

also try Wilfred Owen - entirely - he'll cheer you up!

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Thanks, Ed!

richard lopez

agree with alan and ed, fail better. since when had art been an adequate response to the soiled state of the world? i have my doubts on art's efficacy but i do not have a doubt without it we are all fucked and become fucked up ignorant creatures with no purpose but to serve our masters. make and create if only for the middle finger aimed at THE MAN and the sound of a human voice in the midst of all this madness.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

" since when had art been an adequate response to the soiled state of the world? "

Richard, Thanks for reminding me of that ...

Omo Bob

Chico, don't be discouraged,
The Man he ain't so hard to understand.
Chico, if you try now,
I know that you can lend a helping hand.

Because there's good in everyone
And a new day has begun
You can see the morning sun if you try.

And I know, things will be better
Oh yes they will for Chico and the Man
Yes they will for Chico and the Man.

love, Jose Feliciano

Rebecca Loudon

Bring it in. Make it personal. Don't worry about who sees it. The light shines out anyway.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Thanks, Omo Jose, my problem now is I don't believe there is good in everyone. Not at the moment at least.

Thanks, Rebecca. I don't worry about who sees it. Well, that's not true. **I** see it ... And as far as the light shining out: what if it's a ***complicit*** light?

I've written one decent line in a week:

The rain on the windshield
isn't really rain.


Try this one on, if you haven't already:


John Bloomberg-Rissman

Dave, thanks. I guess my problem is that it's not a question for me of saying, "save the birdies', tho there's nothing wrong with saying "save the birdies" the way this poem you link to does. I want my poems to enact, to embody, a consciousness that will be equal to the fact that we are NOT going to save the birdies, we are NOT going to stop drilling ... etc etc. Because we're not. To riff on Adorno's "to write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric", my problem is "to write a poem during 'Auschwitz' ... ". However barbaric that might be, it's still necessary. How do I make myself equal to the task?

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