Dear Dispatches:
I like the latest post from Emily and also the new poem by Brad Cran.
About the post. I haven’t particularly enjoyed the Tracy Smith poems I’ve read, and I’m glad you point out the willful lack of political energy that she shares with many of her peers.
The reason I can’t get terribly excited about this is that I don’t feel a kinship (at all) with established poets and poetry circuits. Their movements are as irrelevant to me as the Super Bowl halftime show or the “DIY” videos (“Real Food vs. Gummy Food”) that my daughters like to watch on YouTube.
Your long, frequently funny letter painstakingly reiterates what you find wrong with the hypocrisy in Poetry today. There is nothing *not* to find wrong; but (and I think we’ve had this conversation before, you and I) there is also no reason to care so much about the lost cause of professionalized poetry.
I would rather put my energy into creating and sniffing out new subterranean poems than worrying about the equivalent of an insufferably boring version of the Grammy Awards in the form of awards, positions, profiles etc. — and my experience (and sanity) tells me that these two undertakings (making new subterranean poems v. worrying about what’s going on upstairs) *are* mutually exclusive. If you want to fall in love with poetry all over again, day after day, you’ve got to write the poem you love and not care a fig about where you end up. Worrying about what the U.S. Poet Laureate says or doesn’t say won’t get you anywhere down here.
We see things differently, I know, and I appreciate your tenacity.
Much love and let’s talk soon,
Julien
Dispatches replies HERE