Friday, April 10, 2009

Poetry Manifesto

Joe Hess/ Poetry Manifesto/ 4-10-09

Grey Lamp:
a name of “function”, given a descendent of a lost race,
who lives in a time lost of function.
This time is a beginning

imagined to be void of function;
in our imagined time
“They Lion grow.” -Philip Levine

The Good Stuff!
The space (metaphorically speaking) between a poet’s creation of textual artifice and the audience’s sudden sense of the poet voice(or other) textually processing human emotion, for my purposes here—what happens in that space is the good stuff!
However, how much of the good stuff in a poem is the artifice of creative control, and how much is emotional honesty, without the reins of personal design?

Does the poet’s human fear of permanent silence, finally outweigh the poet’s self-censoring craftsmanship in the name of control?
Is the poet finally forced to face, process, and produce from exposure to loss--
suddenly knowing
suddenly having
loss simultaneously.

A poem is
unannounced, yet observed
outside its time and place,
clarifying the blurring of an
overrated melody


  1. Joe- I REALLY dig your manifesto. I like that emotions are "birds flying over". I get that and I think that's the right place for them in a poem. How you make it happen I'm not sure, through sound, through brief iamges that add up in a way not quite explicit, through luck? I don't really understand the first list, yes too abstract, but peeked my curiosity. The Good Stuff- I think I completely agree and a good question. finally what's with all the male sexuality.... are women left out of the poem per world manifesto or forced to thinks in term of their sexuality? typical world. (i'm sure you meant nothing by it, i'm just having fun, but it's something you should probably think about). i guess at the end "mother's are poets" is a bit of consolation but women have to give birth to be poets or something like that?

  2. Joe,

    Yours was a fascinating manifesto, i like that i went into it expecting a multitude of over-the-top declarations, but instead you went with a somewhat meandering list of questions. Some of the ideas were phrased really beautifully, for instance:

    Does a fear of silence equal to the poet’s human fear of death,

    I thought that was a fascinating idea/concept

    Finally, I agree with step, there's this wierd, dark undertone that underlies this whole manifesto, I think stemming from your violent male sexuality...I see what Steph wrote about the mothers, but inerestingly, at the end of that section, you proclaim that "man" will be the mother of words...really intriguing.