Retropoetics; or, No, troglodytes aren’t cute or manly

Cross-posted to WOM-PO:

Okay. I just have to say this. There is an incredibly annoying sense in this particular workshop I’m in that the guys are having a conversation amongst themselves while the women sit there on slow burn. I am not alone in this.

If I hear one more time from white-boy poets that Mary Oliver “is a cliche’,” that Marilyn Hacker’s reading was “boring,” or the relative merits of Sylvia Plath vs. Anne Sexton as dead women poets, I’m going to puke.

If I have to read one more freaking poem about the mysterious male bonding ritual of deer hunting in the South, or of fucking one’s girlfriend in a fleabag motel oozing with death and nostalgia, I will die of sheer boredom.

James Dickey is not God. Robert Penn Warren is not God. I am sorry. I don’t give a flying crap about Southern-frat-boys-coming- of-age-in-a-whorehouse poems. I am tired of it. It was played out 30 years ago.

Yet this is the aesthetic ascendant.

(I also don’t give a flying crap about some veins of poetry that women have–IMHO–mined out, but I won’t get into that right now.)

Also, quoting one’s undergraduate reading list from memory is a nice parlor trick, but it takes real cojones to say something original *and useful*about a draft-in-progress.

Whew. That’s all. I shall retreat to mah verandah, sip mah mint julep, and rearrange my hoopskirts while the gentlemen, ahem, withdraw (for) each other’s cigars.

Get me out of Jawja, y’all.


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