the fifth tenet is to define the relationship that poetry has to music, painting, and science, since poetry has “spatial properties as well as temporal properties.”

music is both the “upper limit” and “material for the imagination.”

painting shows us what letters are most important in the word: SARDINES.

poetry must “prove science” in the same way that science must prove poetry.


similarly, recidivists must define their relationship to nature.

d’accord, je suis nature


and let’s not forget the Chinese, there is much to be mislearned and misunderstood by studying their character(s)


the sixth tenet is to differentiate between poetry and prose. poetry is what we write when we are not writing prose, and vice versa. prose-poetry is the result of not writing either, or both. “and there are / many beautiful arms about us and the things we know.”


the seventh tenet brings us to the important relationship between form and content: “form is never more than an extension of content” is nice, but “form is never more than a revelation of content” is infinitely more interesting. recidivists, however, claim that “form is never more than a revolution of content.”

as a result, recidivists roll with bumper stickers that say: “a flowering focus on a distinct infinity”

and we wear our pants tight enough so everyone will want to go to bed with us (and they do!).

the recidivist rejects the capitalist idea of content having “sufficient interest” –

we believe that content is “singularly each [poet’s] own business” and each poet’s “business is to sing”


the eighth tenet is “the thing itself.”


MORE TO COME — what’s your favorite tenet? do you have anything to add? feel free to comment!!! so far we have 3 members! who else is going to join!!! free bumper stickers!!!


  1. i like that recidivists, by virtue of our manifesto, believe in personism and fear dune buggies

    i like the “revolution of content” (can i worship zukofsky and still take part in the revolution?)

    i like the *asterix* too – there should be more

    and i like the “let’s not forget the Chinese”

  2. Finally, a book title I know:

    In a Landsacpe of Having to Repeat, by Martha Ronk

    I *heart* Martha Ronk!

  3. In a Landscape of Having to Repeat — Ronk

    I like the seventh tenet…especially the part about bumper stickers and the pants…intereting! A bit frightening perhaps:)

    also like the different ideas between form and content…


  4. 2bf, the tight pants refers to the magical words of frank o’hara.

    Frank O’Hara says:
    Too many poets act like a middle-aged mother trying to get her kids to eat too much cooked meat, and potatoes with drippings (tears). I don’t give a damn whether eat or not. Forced feeding leads to excessive thinness (effete). Nobody should experience anything they don’t need to, if they don’t need poetry bully for them, I like the movies too. And all, only Whitman and Crane and Williams, of the American are better than the movies. As for measure and other technical apparatus, that’s just common sense: if you’re going to buy a pair of pants you want them to be tight enough so everyone will want to go to bed with you. There’s nothing metaphysical about it. Unless of course, you flatter yourself into thinking that what You’re experiencing is “yearning.”

    read the rest here

    craig, i was rereading (because i have decided, in light of certain events, occasions, etc, that i deserve to abandon my work load for at least 3 days beginning today and carrying through to friday, the weekends are a time of regular abandonment, so i’m taking the rest of the week off) and wonder…

    is the “(and they do!)” an implication that they didn’t do frank? or is it an exclamation of self aggrandizement? or is it an astonishment (as in, wow, it actually worked!)?

    because i would like to believe they did do frank (because i would have done him if he was willing to with a girl)

    and because of course it works

    and so does this mean part of being a recidivist is being proud, or arrogant, or just *that damn good*?

  5. katy, i continue to like what you like…and will try to incorporate the asterisks more!

    WOW, iseult beats twoflies by 1 minute! our closest ever! iseult gets the point…and two, dont be frightened 😉

    katy, i’ve always loved that passage from ohara, but in my culture, forced feeding is a way of life, and often to leads to happy tummies, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

    and you deserve a break!

    and the “and they do” is a bit of an argument against ohara, since in personism all he achieves is the desire of others to WANT to sleep with him, but never the actual sex. it is the greatest aesthetic tease (as many of ohara’s poems are), but recidivists FIRMLY believe in not only creating desire, but fulfilling the promise fo that desire (personism).

    p.s. recidivists also fulfill the desire of the *new sentence*

  6. Yeah, I also dig the seventh tenet, esp. “form is never more than a revolution of content” and the dynamic it provides to the sentence.

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