after Charles Bernstein's A Poetics
I guess nothing is formless. It must be, or it can’t be. Either way, we can’t really dwell on it. We have to pursue, tabulate, lust for. We have bodily fluids and heartbreak to contextualize. Self-loathing to floss out of our teeth. Maximums and minimums to live between. Either we have an imperfect god to stutter wishes at, or we don’t. Maybe it’s that we eye conformity peripherally and run. Or rather, there is no conformity, there is no real status quo. Prove to me that something in this place is whole. Maybe when we dart away from the masses and consensus, it’s because these approximations of a fullness disgust us. Maybe fullness is unnatural. Maybe the untenable space between all of us is there for a reason. The void: that’s why people hate puns. Stop trying to make me “get” you. Jesus.
to be apoet.
You should have an in-depth understanding of “the state of things.” Like an advertiser, basically. Let’s at least consider adopting the messiahs as our own. All of them. Jesus, McDonald’s, whatever’s the most captivating at the moment should be revered. Miley Cyrus. Lady Gaga. Allah. Kobe Bryant. Jenna Jameson. At least to get a better idea of where things are going. Look around you, what are the trends? All of these things will help us play in this impossibility.
Fuck the birds and stop trying to say something! If you must, speak in buildings and Big Macs. Fuck the yonders and fuck the twilight, let’s hear the minimizing of windows, the digital representations of (ha ha) the stars! Yessir, reliance on people and things is unsustainable. Apoets know that one day, people will think of Anna Kournikova as just “that ghost,” then “one of those ghosts,” then they will forget. Then no one will remember anything. There will be no ghosts.
And forget the packaging. Don’t use it to package. If a package is already there, yeah. But what use is dumping all these things in small boxes? It’s a miracle we can communicate as it is. Plus, there are already too many packages. People won’t be surprised by what’s inside anyway. Have you ever walked into a bank during Christmas? There are packages under the tree, but we all know they’re empty.
Not blind navigation of ideology, but a pounding at its walls. A constant re-imagining of the public sphere, and a constant contention there. The use of newly unsettled modes of communication. Text me when you get there. Text changed by catastrophe. Use of cognitive dissonance instead of a scalpel. Just look at the holes in this city, these people. What is whole (again)?
Do not forgive the unforgivably ugly, but grant them a seat.
Those signs that have been scraped but still cling to walls? Apoets know that what stood as semantically sound will not always be so.
Assertion of anonymity. My name is Bryan Coffelt, and I am no one! Writers like agents — no — writers like agencies. Travel agencies. Facilitators, operators. Why the animosity towards algorithms and the machines we create? Why the need for organic thought? There is plenty of organic thought to scrape off the walls.
And yes, reverie is nice. But what does it do for us? How is the reverie sought in poetry different from masturbation? Is this “joy” just a symptom of laziness? The result of an uncritical mind?