even tho i’ve lived in this country for almost 13 years, i still feel deeply ashamed when i misunderstand the customs. for example, after reading selinger’s essay in LPR, i thought it means it’s okay to allude to a person’s culture to criticially poke fun. after receiving four angry emails, i now realize that that is wrong. so i offer a thousand myriad apologies to the emailers. and to selinger, for assuming he was jewish simply from his editorship of Jewish American Poetry: Poems, Commentary, and Reflections (2000) (i dont know if he’s jewish or not, but as didi warns us, we shouldnt simply assume that who a person is and what they edit is necessarily parallel).
just so we’re clear, the reason i wrote “holy hanukkah” was because selinger wrote “Holy Huitzilopochtli!” at one point in his essay. i was just trying to bust his matzo balls, but now i realize the herr of my ways. and no i will NOT delete the post from yesterday, but i will refrain from any other comments on selinger’s essay, except to praise it thusly: if you are ever traveling through the exotic, unconquered lands of Latino poetry, then read selinger’s beadeker as he surely knows all the spiciest places you can go on a limited critical budget.
in relation to selinger, there is an interesting discussion at javier’s blog. (go read)
also related is nicholas’ new post, called “Negative Respect” Or The Critic As Hagiographer: Some Pragmatic Problems In The Criticism Of Contemporary Poetics. (read the post)
he describes “negative respect” to refer to a certain kind of negative criticism, “namely the idea that respectful negativity, far from devaluing a person or argument, does the contrary: it values a given discourse’s ontology – both the critic’s criticism and the poet’s poetry – at once their right and their claim to be.”
if you’ve read nicholas’ reviews, especially his review of dale smith’s chap, you can see that he practices “negative respect” with grace and aplomb.
unfortunately for me, i am very bad at that. prob my only ‘negative’ review was of this chap, and it is more of a satirical negative review than a negative respect review. also, my blogtiques of ______ and ______ below are more satirical and parodic, my negative criticism often finding their expression thru those modes. why? mainly because i’m learning the word petulant.
so instead of being so negative, let me spread some good cheer. first, dig a poem by ‘Sea S Perez’ just published in the strangest of journals here.
second, dig the new issue of MIPO here. didi continues to surprise.
in a post below, gary posted a new comment:
I am tempted to give Mark a quarter, because I agree with what he’s saying about Joyce. However, I will not actually give him a quarter, as the stories in Dubliners are fiction, not poetry.
The Carlos Bulosan that Barbara posted isn’t going to get a quarter out of me either; it’s an anthem (overdetermined and loving it), not an epiphany (overdetermined pretending to be underdetermined).
i have an IMPORTANT, MONUMENTAL announcement. many of you said it was impossible, but i’ve done it. i’ve managed to find an epiphanic poem in the narrative I mode that Mr Gary Sullivan will like. no, that he will love.
i’ve been searching far and wide all weekend, and when i finally found this poem, it hit me right in the GUT and emptied me out. i felt as if i was experiencing the epiphany along with the speaker, creating a moment beyond time and space. witness:
Grandmother’s Explosive Diarrhea
Callused, knobby, aching,
This is my grandmother’s anus.
Overworked, but always looking for more to do,
Wrenched open again & again
When it should stay closed.
My grandmother’s explosive diarrhea
Resembles the sound of bowling balls
Dropped into a wooden tub
Filled with moist grapes and papayas.
My grandmother’s anus has been working for 84 years,
This 110 pound woman, weak from
Dehydration, with strength pulsing from her anus like
The vein of an ox.
Could my anus ever be like this?
Could my anus ever experience the pain?
Already my anus looks withered from
The flatulence and loose stools of my 45 years,
45 years of pampered life.
But her every wrinkle tells a story,
Like waves of movement
That have expelled the feces.
The Holocaust caused watery stools,
The depression caused near-catastrophic constipation,
The birth of 4 children caused waste rich with joy.
Her rectum shows the grace of a swan and
The tenacity of a lioness.
Could my rectum ever reach this ironic state?
My grandmother’s anus soaked with wisdom,
Apprehension, and comfort.
Buba’s explosive diarrhea is my afflation,
what? gary never said the poem couldnt have been written by himself. that quarter better be shiny!!!