Preliminary Notes for a Young Poet

Still from Bunuel & Dali's film, Un Chien Andalou (1928)

Poetry is like life. There is nothing that can be said about it that cannot be equally plausibly contradicted.

Don’t trust any poet over thirty. Don’t trust any poet under thirty.

Trust only your own selves. These are also protean non-selves (Keats).

Writing poetry occurs within an ongoing great dialogue of poets that stretches from tribal incantation, Lao Tzu and Homer to Eliot, Neruda, Rilke and rap. Read them.

The more individual your poetry, the more collective. You didn’t make your brain. Your brain is an evolutionary collective artefact.

In a world of war, exploitation and ecocide, poetry for poetry’s sake sucks.

Poetry as propaganda is always a whore and sucks even more.

Forget popularity. Contemporary poetry audiences are mostly poets themselves. Good. Society is approaching the anarchist utopia of a poetical society in which all are creative.

‘First thought, best thought’ (Jack Kerouac). Except when it remains there, self-satisfied, self-indulgent, stuck.

Poetry is craftsmanship: the technology of the human spirit forming air.

Poetry is free breath moving through quanta of modulated breath. Like microphysical quanta, poetry’s are wave potentials that depend on the wave collapse of readers’ activity; they can be waves and bits forming neurones in two places at once.

Poetry is inspiration and perspiration, a poet a seer and maker, shaman and engineer.

Poetry is silence speaking through the grammar of the imagination.

Poetry is the 95% of the universe (un)known as ‘Dark Matter-Energy’.

You are the universe but the universe is smarter than you. (Choose your You).

Poetry is the shimmering, quivering, loving fusion of your neo-cortex with your mammal and reptile brains.  Your tongue is the flowering of your spinal chord.

Poetry is an empty sky in which linear clouds of sound and metaphor appear, move, disappear, appear…

Risk, fail, risk. Risk, almost succeed, risk. Fail.


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on March 7, 2010.

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