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Critique of a Critique, By Sentence

Feb. 24th, 2008 | 05:04 pm
mood: annoyed
music: On Another Shore - Legendary Pink Dots

[This is a reply to this comment to a two-year-old post in my journal. It was too long to post in a reply, but I figured since I wrote it, I should probably put it somewhere.]

First, let me say I probably have a narrow idea of what constitutes useful criticism of works of poetry, so if there’s some kind of philosophy that critiques of verse must not themselves be prose, then I suppose I should re-read your critique with a less-jaundiced eye.

That said, I think critique is a logical, concrete activity, and should itself be devoid of the devices that make poetry’s communication visceral and personal. To be effective, it needs to be an impartial bystander, observing the effect of the object of criticism upon the reader, lest the advice to the poet be lost in his own personal experiencing. To be useful, it should be written with the author in mind, and give her (among other things) salient points about ways in which it could be improved, or ways in which it succeeded particularly well.

As an aside, there’s something attractive about the idea of a conversation in poetry, with an alternating exchange of verse, each as a reaction to the other, but I find it hard to construe the (self-described) “critique” as such a thing.

So, on to the “sentences”:

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(no subject)

Dec. 21st, 2005 | 11:37 pm

I have stopped believing in things.
Things which I don't deserve to name any more.
I've given up looking for the air of faraway
in all green things,
stopped naming my shadows,
shed the skies like wax wings.
I've traded poetry for dull chants learned by rote
from dry men,
stitched my mouth shut around
the stone that stills my tongue.
I've become an eater
instead of a maker,
traded in my bones and bright eyes
for a place in the long slow line.
Shame is the gear that grinds me now,
from every corner, from every eye,
and I have turned my refuge
into madness hiding from it.

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(no subject)

Oct. 17th, 2005 | 04:35 pm

The 2005 Ruby Conference was in San Diego this weekend, and it was the best and biggest one I've been to. Got to hang out with the old familiar Ruby crowd, plus a whole slew of new people that found Ruby throught the Rails web framework. Very exciting.

Now back to Ohio for the regular grind.*sigh*

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Damn you monkey!

Sep. 27th, 2005 | 10:16 pm
mood: salacious

Sometimes I get a line from an imaginary movie in my head, and it sits there, haunting me, until I drink enough tequila that it goes away or starts slurring and I can laugh at it.

Tonight, the line, spoken in a Texas drawl (like the one where the number '10' is said the same way as the name of the 50th element) is: "Damn you, monkey! You ruined my life!"

I wonder if there are any limes in the 'fridge?

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(no subject)

May. 5th, 2003 | 05:26 pm

Most of the entries past this point are friends-only. Sorry. I got tired of idiots.

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(no subject)

Dec. 20th, 2002 | 07:56 am
mood: Apocalyptic
music: Flesh Field - Where Angels Go To Die (Sabotaged Mix by Sabotage) (dev(E)iate!)

I look it up in the instruction manual that came with this organism beneath me -- the one I'm imprisoned in. The one that binds me and keeps me, writhing in the squalor, in the morass of constant barren repetition. I look up the reasons, the why of this endless, expected, habitual bleeding into a common stainless-steel gutter, the one which feeds the intake on some belching quasit of a back-breaking machine. I look and look but it just says that I overlooked the plan, went off on a tangent around the time when all the self-congratulatory demagogues-in-training are off practicing their date rape and their megalomaniacal fraternal rituals. I missed the operation, you see, missed the mind-warp designed to break down the last remnants of the need to know why.

So I am steel, now, I am stone; I am blissful fucking sleep in the middle of a firestorm. I am the calm on the water. I fast while I decay, drink serenity from the mouths of tyrannical gods, lift myself, ashen, from the shores of the goddess's mountain, unclaimed. So I will fade into the twilight, smoldering, and bide my time. And I will make for myself a place to be free.

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