Thursday, September 07, 2006

a l i c e   b l u e   f o u r

alice blue four is up! check out poems from Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Jon Leon, Jennifer Firestone, Crag Hill, Della Watson, WB Keckler, William Allegrezza, Kristy Bowen, Louis E. Bourgeois, Edward Smallfield, & Miriam Pirone!

check out prose from Sara Levine, David Gianatasio, Kristen Iskandrian, Greg Mulcahy, Colleen Frakes, & Benjamin Buchholz!

17 comments:

Amelia Markson said...

Looks fantastic you guys! Man this journal just keeps getting better and better. I'm honored to have been in your first issue.

ward gleason said...

ah indeed! three cheers etc...! really digging the jon leon poems.

also thinking back about poetry & politics & their conflation or whatever (to steal a term from this post).

back in school somebody, maybe charles bronson, claimed that all poems are political, that writing a poem is a political act, yadda yadda yadda, etc... this is total bullshit, i think, & a mistake. i will think about it more. what do you guys think?

wardy

MadisonGlass said...

Yes. Definitely bullshit. Something like, "Words have inherent meaning." Nothing is inherent in a manmade thing.

amber said...

A poem is not necessarily political. It doesn't work that way. Just because you can write a political poem does not mean that all poems are political. It's as absurd as one teacher I had who would say that all poems are love poems, when clearly, some poems are hate poems and some poems are dirty poems (I've been known to write a few) and some poems are political poems, and some poems are just plain absurd, surreal, fake, etc.

And also, damn political poetry. If I ever get sucked into another slam I will rip out my own ears. Spoken word/slam (which are related but not synonymous) poetry lost its flavor after the Nyerican (sp?) Cafe...actually, after So I Married an Axe Murderer. Woman! She stole my cat!

S. Burgess said...

Sure, but the real question was "Is writing a poem an inherently political act?" as pondered over at the Samizdat blog. Simply, by practicing freedom of speech are we saying something political. I mean the answer is still no, but it was a different question.
Basically, Do we condone, or promote a thing by doing it? Do we promote free speech by exercising it? Are we saying that free speech is "good" whenever we use it? I'd say no, but it hardly matters, does it? Is any, or every idea a political act? The idea that every act is instructional, that everything we do is meant to inspire others to do the same, is absurd. You can't assume such consequences. A man cheats on his wife; is THIS a political act? Is he saying that cheating is good? Is right? Is necessary? Is important?
I've always held that the author ought to have intention. Will disagrees. But I think we can agree that the words themselves have no inherent meaning. Neither do acts.
The world is cruel and meaningless etc.

S. Burgess said...

Will says that sounded harsh. It wasn't suposed to. It's like when you're drunk and you think you're speaking quietly and you're really yelling. But it's like that all the time. As is the world, so am I.

amber said...

I don't think that sounded overly harsh. And I didn't read the link...so my bad on missing the point. I was at work, and thus, short on time. I'll get to it. I'm at work again.

But I don't think writing a poem is a political act at all. Not unless the intent is political. I do think words have meanings. Not that we can't play with it, but or there's no flexibility there, but words do have meanings. They may be different from person to person, but usually only in shade, not color. I don't like this whole, lack of intent, lack of meaning business.

It makes me feel immobile. It makes writing a poem feel pointless and futile. This must be the way some people feel about God. Or maybe young children when they find out Santa isn't real.

S. Burgess said...

No, no. I'm all for meaning too, but words have no inherent meaning. The word "pan" as written, means nothing. It's just a glyph, and a poor one as it resembles nothing. People give that word meaning. The English speaking people gave that picture-that-represents-sounds-that-also-have-no-inherent-meaning the meaning of pan: a vessel used for cooking. The Spanish speaking people decided it would mean pan: bread: leavened starch, good with butter. We give words meaning, poems meaning, etc. I have to go home now. We're closing up at work. I'll finish this later.

S. Burgess said...

Actually, that's all I had to say. I would really like to think that words have inherent meaning, that everything has its "true name," but it just isn't so. I'd like to think that there is inherent meaning to life too, truth--nonsubjective and hard-fast. I'd also like to think that there's a god, one who maybe gives or knows the meaning in life and acts. But I'd like to think a lot of things.

MadisonGlass said...

So dramatic.

S. Burgess said...

Bite me.

Amelia Markson said...

Chomp.

ward gleason said...

it just, to me, seems like a convincing oneself that what one does, matters, in some small way. it does matter! it's political!

i don't know that meaning must or shd be a concern in the act of writing, but any writer worth her kelp ought to be able to squeek something meaningful out of a random assemblage of words. this will happen regardless. however, this bit of meaningfulness may only be about, as someone said earlier, sex or trees or cars or buttocks or whatever. there is nothing political there, unless we define "political" so broadly as to make the word a meaningless, shapeless blanket meant to be draped haphazardly on unwitting passers-by as they meander through the nameless avenues of boredom, one foot shuffling in front of the other... can a poem affect change (a phrase i borrow from ye olde corporate life)? no. hell no. so here we are, pointless again, & yet i write a poem; i feel happy; i read a poem; i feel happy & so i do it, but grand notions of revolution must, to some extent, be abandoned. if poetry is a history of revolutions, then revolutions are drab academic things mostly concerned with grammar, syntax, to break or not to break, or whatever. oohhh radical syntax! oohhh messages that aren't easily digestible! oohhh word jumbles! i don't know. i'm ranting. i like a lot of this stuff & i guess i like poems that when i read them i'm happy & i say to myself that was a poem & it did something. sometimes i remember lines, like that one that time about soup, & i suppose the various forms of beauty are good for their own sake...

okay the rant has unranted & retracted. to to rethink etc... i'll write something else later.

Tao Lin said...

this entire discussion is interminable to me

you just have to define the word 'political'

the only reason these discussions happen is because everyone somehow is able to block out that everyone else has a different definition than they do of 'political'

S. Burgess said...

No no wait. Sorry, our group tends to get a little incestuous. I'm sent into a complete wash of confusion by new speaker Tao Lin.

I have to admit, I tend not to listen to this theory nonsense.

But you must know. What the hell DO they mean by "political?"

amber said...

I have to wonder also. I always wonder when these conversations about poems being political...'cause I don't get it. I never felt like I was being political when I wrote a poem. Well, except the one time for Order+Decorum when I was actually writing in relation to a politician. But then there's all these people saying all "art" should be political if it's worth anything, or, all art IS political(in a recent cover letter someone said it).

And when I think of politics I think of war, and laws, and presidents, and corruption, and filibusters. Not poems. Because then poems would be war and laws and presidents and corruption and filibusters.

And all of these things are why I always tuned out in college when these conversations cropped up. Yawn. I'm done now.

will said...
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