Tomes to tombs? Surely this is not the way of the future? I have recently lovingly packed away all my books with extra cloves and may chang oil in air-tight containers so that I will return and collect them once I have moved into a big house. But I’m worried about all those books that have become electronic and then all the electricity running out and then there, somewhere, lying in a shed are piles of rotting books. Libraries barely carry enough books nowadays–I mean paper terrible tree destroying paper!!!!!
I think I might be able to find the complete works of Jonathon Carrol but I am unfortunately naive. Don’t get me wrong, I officially belong to four different libraries, two university libraries, one state library, and the council libraries scattered through-out the Sahara.
However I can’t help but feel that the books are disappearing and re-appearing in electronic form and I am now just a Luddite who needs to get with the times. I don’t as yet own a kindle, and yet I wonder is that what kindle means? books of a paper body and ink press should be used for kindling? Are we talking Farenheit 451? ahhhh!!!
And as for my beloved poetry books and the state of poetry. Well there’s lots of different forms of poetry but fuck I just love reading, actually reading a poem, instead of sometimes being subjected to the rampant and viral contagion that is spoken-word poetry and slams. I mean just because you can perform doesn’t make it poetry and vice-verca. So much poetry and not any poetry. So many words spoken with not an editing pause in site. I have become bored to death by spoken-word magic tricks of dancing monkeys and beautiful girls brandishing woks and feathers and tattoos at me with the dead carcass of Sexton or Rimbaud swinging from the Bosch construction that was once their lips. Your passion and sex does not make it poetry. It might help (or hinder ) I do not wish to discredit or invalidate the great spoken-word poetry I’ve attended or missed or seen on-line because it certainly has an important and vital part to play. It does bring poetry to the people, it does bring the quicken the blood. But I also suggest a return to the poetry of the page, without the glitter and the costumes and the bonus points and the fruit and the clapping. Oh the clapping.
That was the decision I made after reading my poetry at QPF this year. I don’t do spoken-word poetry anymore, you can if you wish read it from the paper or from my website at your own discretion in your own time. I have finished a manuscript and I will get it published one day. I am also currently working on a new book of poems. My dearest intentions are for publication. I am currently editing fellow poets work and enjoying this process immensely. And I will keep performing as a musician and an installation artist. I have dedicated much of my life and passion to poetry, reading it, studying it, breathing it, writing it and in no way wish to imply that there should be no spoken-word poetry or slams. But rather this is a call to arms for the written word, this is just a call out to the poets that don’t perform their work, that let their work perform itself on the page. It is just as valid, and I thank you for all your time in editing, thinking about the lay-out of your work, the look, the font, the re-editing, the presentation.
Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in spoken-word poetry–the loud, the passionate, the hip-hop pauses, the clever, and the dear diary entries, and all I want is your book. I want you to sit near me, maybe even disappear for half an hour so I can read it with some wine–give me the space to enjoy it, loathe it, accept it, just read it.