the ninth tenet is that there must be a non-violent relationship between the subjective and objective – let them play.


and there is no need to go in fear of abstraction. Instead, ask: “what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?”

only then perhaps we will find out who killed the pork chops, and what price bananas, and if you are my angels.


the tenth tenet is that nothing is “common sense,” but that a poet must have a sense of communion.


the eleventh tenet is to avoid intellectualism.


if you can’t avoid intellectualism, blame it on the “martian” that has transformed you into a radio. if this doesn’t work, tell them to “Give it up, I was a track star for Mineola Prep!” if desperate, tell them that you generated all your poetry from GOOGLE – OR – that your only goal as a poet is to write more sonnets than Raymond Queneau.


the twelfth tenet is that everything a recidivist does is implicitly political.

the “recidivist text” “by definition, is open to the world and particularly to the reader. It invites participation, rejects the authority of the writer over the reader and thus, by analogy, the authority implicit in other (social, economic, cultural) hierarchies. The writer relinquishes total control and challenges authority as a principle and control as a motive.

The ‘[recidivist] text’ often emphasizes or foregrounds process, either the process of the original composition or of subsequent compositions by readers, and thus resists the cultural tendencies that seek to identify and fix material, turn it into a product; that is, it resists reduction.”


the recidivist must remain an “antibourgeois vigilant outraged” at the “Unites States of Megacapitalism.”

the recidivist guards against “deformed democracy.”


You may be wondering what this has to do with syntax and grammar and this has a lot to do with syntax and grammar and it has a lot to do with poetry if you know what poetry is you would know it has a lot to do with poetry.


any new recidivists out there? feel free to comment or ADD! peace
and thanks francois for the link!



  1. The new title is an Omnidawn book – which everyone should buy of course, since the publisher, Rusty Morrison (who, with her husband Ken, runs Omnidawn), was my mentor and has a fine book of poetry out too, called Whethering.

    George Albon – Brief Capital of Disturbances

  2. …your only goal as a poet is to write more sonnets than Raymond Queneau.

    but you can’t. i did. i mean, i actually did. i cut the pages so you could turn the lines. it was a math project ^_^

    i don’t like “The writer relinquishes total control and challenges authority as a principle and control as a motive.” because i don’t like to give anyone my control. but no one is perfect, no recidivist is born a perfect recidivist, right? except for you, craig, because you made it/us.

    i do like challenging authority on a principle.

    the second part of the 12th tenet goes against zukofsky. am going to have to ponder.

    *the astrix-osity of this portion of the manifesto is delightful.*

    i sort of stop at politics. mostly because i don’t politic. i just poetry.

    i can react though. and challenge. can i react to and challenge all things and politics?

  3. can we get a little reversibility between the subject and object?

    i’ve been lying about google for years.

  4. hi tony, sorry about that! fixed it.

    iseult gets the point. i *heart* omnidawn

    that’s a brilliant math project katy! but i bet you would be willing give up *total* control 😉 and true no recidivist is born perfect…it takes practice to be recidivist, hence the name redivist! and true the second is against zukof, but he learned his lesson later in life methinks re: control. but the beauty of the 12th tenet is that just poetrying becomes a way to politic…you cannot not politic…

    hi clay! we will def. put some reversibility! and you must be a good lier!

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