The conceptualism/flarf debate has been "raging" lately, and Kenny Goldsmith reminds us, once again, that "writing is fifty years behind painting."
Today, I took a shower. It was a pretty good shower. Here are some things I thought:
In painting, a tangible object is rubbed upon a surface of another tangible object. In this way, what does a painter do but mimic the clumsiness of the universe? Even "abstract" or "non-representational" works are hardly difficult to solve — an artist rubbed some stuff together.
In poetry, intangibles. Remaining intangible. Remaining frustrating, and entirely contingent.
For any poem to exist, The Entirety of Human History must first occur. And abstractions remain abstractions.
Why, then, do painting and poetry constantly get lumped together? Can we blame Williams' "considerations" of Brueghel? Poetry lives and dies through the imperfect nature of language and thought. Painting stumbles along, tries its hand at physically conveying, but comes up short; in this way, paintings are just vulgarities.
Poetry always fails. It never reaches the level of desperation that painting does.