Xicanerati: Anthony Robinson, Best of the New Sincerists; Or, 'The New Sincerity--Waxing With Odysseus'
Lorna Dee Cervantes said:
Perhaps "good poetry" is both: sine cera, without wax & sincerus, genuine and not adulterated.
The best, and co-originator of "The New Sincerity" SOP, Anthony Robinson, exhibits this in the best of his poetry (the last half of his poem to Joe Massey posted on his blog, eg.): both "without wax" & genuine, in the figurative as well as literal sense, "and not adulterated" or what I've called (every mag's a manifesto) "rooted in the earth and rendered in blood" — a Nerudian movement within a selected marble.
It's the quarrying I quarrel with with Tony, and the polishing. He objects to my suggesting his "planks" need "sanding" (as opposed to some lesser poet's fabricated fibreglass board needing waxing — do I smell an MFA?) when what I mean to suggest is that one can not have one without the other, real marble hand-selected AND (imagine this as google search) real, educated (in the small-e James Baldwin sense) hand-polishing. Why? Well, in order to produce the "masterpiece", the fine art object instilling shock 'n' awe upon its host so that he frees the slave who produced it.
Xicanismo, if you ask me. ¿Y qué?
The best of the "New Sincerists" is Chicano, if you ask me. (And who ever does? Or considers?) (And, believe me, he doesn't want to know, [grin] or ask me—I look like his mother. And only if I were bestowed with the fine planets of a Ron Silliman could I write about it in coherent prose; although, this IS the season for me to wax prosaic while on my sabbatical.) Definitely, what I call, for lack of a better word in any language I know except perhaps my extinct Chumash: Xicanerati. (But he spits tacos, tortillas & gorditas at me at the suggestion.) It's an "Y qué?" sensibility. Or rather, an attitude; a resistance to wax and a fight to the truth for truth sincerus. And who is this? If not a Chicano Poet, Reyes Cardenas, http://chicanopoet.blogspot.com, in particular, the best of the best in any school when he's good, when he's on the marble. Y qué? Does Silliman speak & a thousand hits a day rain down like manna upon paperless Papalote? Does Silliman see it? And what of it? What are you going to do about it? ¿Y qué? It's about doing your best with what you got — in spite of them.
That's what I want. The marble. Or, lacking that, someone to talk about the marble. Wane with the wax, already. Ya! Show me the poetry. I showed you mine. But don't moon me, already. (Speaking in the general, throughout, Pamela. Not you.)
Tell me where to find the marble. I'll tell you how to polish. ("'Tis not a thing to learn/ inside a day" ~Dougie MacLean) Sometimes you have to cut into an inferior stone. Sometimes the stone finds you. Show me the stone.
The marble and the touch. Earth and Blood. Y ya con Truth&Beauty®, that Super of the Self so common to the malls/mawls of outrageous fortune. Enough of the schools, exclusive to fish, those of the Big & Little complex complacent in their universities and canteen (cantina?) journals collecting cv accumulations like Green Stamps for a Blue Guitar. Bring back the book! And the publishers of real good poetry (build them a boat! buy 'em a new motor!) Back to building with earth and blood, the kind that grows, not the mud that destroys and maims depressively. It puts the people in a do-nothing mode. For life.
Publish as a verb, not a noun. Poets, unite! Chuck class and poetry!
Sometimes grit is all you need, sometimes only a soothing splash of water will do, sometimes the doing is in the knowing, sometimes the knowing is in the doing, sometimes you find it just the way it is; ad publicum verbatum (ad ver botten!) ad infinitum i finesse finis.
and so one. But, for the
marble, the hand, the heart of the stone, and the selection (((The Quest!))). Sincerely.
Like a Chicana,
(Guess it's a manifest-esto, gee! Don't know my own strength. "New Sincerist?" "Isn't that the Bullwinkle School of Poetry?" Robert Hass, co-inventor, 1973, "If you're worried your poetry's sentimental, or worse, stupid, try it out on your friends using Bullwinkle's Poetry Corner voice. If they laugh, it's corny.")
*post-script moral: When in doubt, OED. Search for the vein, the artery, the aorta, the cappillary action. Know what to do with each. And, when.