Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yes, I have a poetry attitude problem.

In terms of poetry advancement in Los Angeles and Orange Counties (forgetting for a moment about what you actually put on paper), it helps to be a joiner who will follow leaders just about anywhere--whether the leaders are right or wrong in the short term.  Thinking about the long term tends to stay in uncharted territory--kind of like riding into the Forbidden Zone in the original PLANET OF THE APES movie franchise.

Years ago, I remember hearing this meant-to-teach-me-something statement from a poet in our community (someone I'll call LMN): "Well, I guess you just don't want to be on people's good sides."

I didn't start out to be a horrible, we're-tired-of-hearing-you-over-and-over malcontent; in long ago times, I looked up to those who proclaimed themselves to be Leaders until I discovered their alleged leadership qualities were too tied up in cliquishness and cronyism.

And I guess I'm sick to death of those community icons who now run on the fumes of their pasts--and who people unquestioningly worship instead of making things happen for themselves and other poets.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if people would take breaks from their own notions of poetry self-centered careerism (and I'm talking to those zine editors and MFA seekers in particular) to think about what L.A./OC poetry could be? 

But, as we all know, self-centeredness and short-term gratification are always winners in SoCal.

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