Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Relationship to Poetry and / or Flarf (Traditionally).

Since it seems like some people in the greater poetry community think that I am somehow connected to Flarf, I would just like to clarify my relationship with that group. I am friendly with Kasey Mohammad. I think he is a rare and talented individual and mostly just a helluva nice guy. I sold him a T.V. once, and he has put my wife and I up for a night on a trip we had. Now truth be told, in my mind, I'm not really a poet at all. I am a 'word drawer'.. I don't know all that much about poetry, nor do I care to really, because I already a very complex natural philosophy dealing with signs generally. If anything I would consider myself a sort of Cyber-Semiotics Folk Clown. The poetry community was an easy target for many of my experiments because they are much more visible and communicative than the art community, and much more involved with words. I find the relationship between traditional conceptions of line-drawing and writing to be an IRRESISTABLE place to set up shop as an artist/clown. Now this isn't to say I have been misleading everyone, but I've never really thought I had much of a chance to be considered as an actual poet. Some of the themes I have tried to employ (secretly or cryptically) are "ARTISTS VERSUS POETS" the sub-theme being "POETS ARE PUSSIES", and "I AM A TOUGH ARTIST".. This is patently just a dumb surface structure through which all kinds of strange artificial hijinx can come into play, and the idea of style or contour in drawing as translating into things like 'voice'.. I have also gotten into 'thinking of myself as a poet' while not really being one. The things that excite poets do not excite me, and this is why I know I am not a poet. A poet is not necessarily excited to learn that, say, "matter is poetry", because it's just another line, and not a particularly good one, but for me, there is an endless possibilism and also a way of worlding which makes things like that very interesting. My interest in the grotesque also has found an outlet in this nearly 15 long Internet performance. I have gotten published and translated into German, and lots of other stuff, which has been pretty neat for a guy who has had drug and alcohol and mental illness and just generally made a huge mess of things. Partof the performance however did work out very well, and that was for about 8 years 99 to 2007, I was able to make 30 dollars an hour writing poetry for 4 hours a day. I worked a 12 hour shift, but usually the last 4 hours nothing much happened, and so, Phaneronoemikon was born. That was a blog that was written on the job, in part, and was paid for by my company. I also was kept through 5 lay-offs during that time, so I wasn't slacking, and I was given a 12000 dollar bonus, which is like receiving a major literary prize. And in the logic of Phaneronoemikon, that is just what happened. Now due to mental illness I lost that job, and I am working a low-level labor job which is causing a lot of pain in my hands because of repetitive stress. I will probably only 'perform' on the weekends. And the whole Flarf thing? Well, somehow I was able to get on that list, but I'm not really as articulate as that crowd, and I think they have quite a different sensibility than my own. It was an interesting experience. I will always write, but I know if I ever go back to school, I will be an ART MAJOR, not a POETRY or CREATIVE WRITING person. The culture is just too different. I'm a painting lab kind of guy, or sculpture, but writing is cheap, and the materials are interesting, but in their flimsiness, and in their social cache' or lack thereof.. This whole 15 year period of my creative output has been fascinating for me. Alan Sondheim even got me into the TATE MODERN once, or so I was told.. I am grateful for the attention I have received, also for the foetal jellybeans which have been injected unto my eyebags made from old poet inscrutums...


The JB Weirdo.

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