July 15, 2005

The Future of Poetry, etc

Given that I generally expect to like about one in every twenty poets, The Hat is improbably pleasing (though I also understand how this inflated pleasure rate is to a certain extent perfectly probable; I am interested in The Hat exactly because it’s interested in a number of poets I already know I like — Ange, Sasha, Garrett, Michael, Franklin, Liz, to name only some examples — and this means both that there is already a shared taste and that there’s a guaranteed core of poems I’m likely to enjoy).

Perhaps this explains why I am surprised to be surprised by all that God. But you have to talk about something, and Christianity’s always handy 'round here. I have some interest in understanding this little efflorescence not in Jordan’s terms, as inarguable as they are ahistorical, but as perhaps somehow related to the recent shifts in the field of critical philosophy toward more overtly Christian terms: Agamben’s Paulism, the always-already Christic Virilio’s newfound virulence, Zizek’s political theology. This motion, not easily isolable from recent philosophy’s “ontological turn,” might be understood as a way to readdress ethics while eschewing Bad Enlightenment. The discussion might be seen as including Steve Evans’ notes on convenient apocalypticism, and Chris Nealon’s “camp messianism.” Somehow, I am trying to say, amidst this constellation, it is becoming apparent that poetry, like some other forms of critical thinking, is finding an increasing value in the deployment of concepts and categories based in modern Christianity. I am not so bold as to claim to have an explanatory account of all this, though I do sometimes get the sense that one is saying given that I take the thinking of ethics to be more necessary of late, and gievn that at this late date ethics seems a trifle silly, let’s just go whole hog toward the transcendental.

Meanwhile, on an unrelated* note: in twenty years we’ll see the first anthology of SSRI verse. The first section will be called “Fuck the Talking Cure” and will chronicle the late confessional mode; the second, titled “The Displaced Of Cipramil,” will feature poems that actually thematize the consumption of said medications; and the last, “Proze Poems,” will gather poems that in their forms express the structures of consciousness particular to the anti-depressed. I believe this will happen. I do not know if the anthology will mean to register the history, or critique it, but should like to imagine it will depend on the poems themselves.

* I am always "joking" when I say this.

Posted by jane at July 15, 2005 08:24 AM | TrackBack