I just answered this question in detail for 1/2 hour and it was deleted by super slow blogger, guess time to look for a blogger with more server space:

I'm curious about what contexts you've heard/read those comments: critical? Casual? Post-reading? What do you think they're getting at?

I was called a page poet -- writing "page poetry" -- the epitaph is deliberately clunky -- this is a group of white working class poets who call themselves "performance poets" -- they do mostly have college and even graduate level educations -- after reading, to the surprise of one and all, "my real work" at a poetry slam in Orange County [two or more years ago -- I'm not nursing a hurt so much as -- wondering].

I'd always throught that art rewards multiple encounters, and this is what separates it from Rosanne reruns (which -- it is not in syndication, partially because it was so issue based). But the poetry of the local self-labeled performance poets is designed to deliver total affect in a single performance. Yet, since the performers "tour" locally (and some even internationally), they have all heard the poems several times -- they "know how they are supposed to respond."

I had a slam in here about Sinhead O'Connor's teardrop in a video she made in the 80s -- this sort of performer respecting that, doing that (there is a lot of melodramatic gesture -- touching the chest, welling up, etc.), but my opinion is that it is rather easy, but also, if it is precisely the same each time -- it is easy, but it is also like going to the concert and having the live performance be identical to the recording (that seems to be the standard for pop now).

OK, I drifted off from what I WROTE AS A CAREFULLY CONSTRUCTED ESSAY last hour. In the interim, my husband's had to use the computer and I began to install a toilet paper holder in the bathroom, patch a few walls, received a delivery of two wine racks and filled them with Torani Syrup (sugar free), and am now behind in packing for Vancouver, going to the doctor, cooking for Ron for a week, etc.

But my comments which bloggers slow server didn't write to db were too carefully constructed -- and are far too politically charged for local poetry politics -- to just slam in here.

Hm. several usages of slam.

I read excerpts of Palm Anthology and I read some of the LA poems, Dystopia. Palm Anthology was written for Palm, not the page. And it uses the artifacts of that environment and its technology as items which have meaning in the poem. It is a sound - rich poem that sounds different when read, is different to read on a Palm and read on a page, and which, like a cult novel, means more the more you know (about tesla coils, say, violet wands, different sorts of commands, palm markup, wireless communication in general, and the Greek Anthology, etc.) Dystopia really benefits from an appreciation of film lore, the "local lore" of LA (not a mythology). And of Hesiod. I designed the poems that way, and also to have several appealing ways in, doors open, red carpet unfurled -- including eroticism, digital poetry, history of poetry (in particular, greek anthology, Eliot, Joyce), blah, blah. [PA originally had little palm icons too.] So I was insulted that while it succeeding in doing what I wanted to do -- it was seen as a failure BECAUSE of this -- the standard of the single-type-of-delivery, single meaning speech is one that I find dull, but also that I wonder about -- these performance poets are after all actually working professionals, college grads some with graduate study, teachers, etc. but in service of "popularity" only choose to write and receive single vector truisms. And they are popular.

I was insulted by the offland Olson (and Pound) reference, poems that print bred, because N. Katherine Hayles said that to me after I handed to her a plum co-curation that she ruined. This was after she'd seen that I couldn't get into UCLA.


Anonymous said…
Thanks for reposting, at least partially. Livejournal ate my most recent post, too, so I hope it's not me.

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