Friday, August 26, 2005

Xicanerati: Anthony Robinson, Best of the New Sincerists; Or, 'The New Sincerity--Waxing With Odysseus'

posted today at Pamela's Musings, check out the roots of sincerity before reading post:
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,, 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,

Lorna Dee

(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.")

1:13 p.m.
*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.


Blogger Peter said...

Fascinating post, Lorna. I love the riff off the etymology: "sine cera, without wax & sincerus, genuine and not adulterated."

26/8/05 16:32  
Blogger The Sublibrarian said...

"Back to building with earth and blood, the kind that grows..."

Well, yes, but isn't this always the cry against the established, from Wordsworth in the 1789 Preface, to the Surrealists, and even to langpo? Just one more reform and we'll have the world again.... And it always wears out, eventually, and becomes just another rhetoric. All of which leads me to suspect that the only way poetry mimics the world is in its constant change.

26/8/05 17:22  
Blogger Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

Sublibrarian: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! The four drections. Especially Wordsworth in 1789. (How could a wee Chicana poet resist the name: Words Worth; free to the punctuator.) Other direction is a whole continent worth of conquest, within & without the US of AA.

Great blog, I've bookmarked. Will be back daily, maybe just for the provocation.


26/8/05 19:06  
Blogger Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

Thanks, Peter. And thanks for the link.

I seem to do better, breaking my lifelong prose block, just letting it rip to inspiring "stranger friends" as Rosie O'Donnell calls us.

One's like you. Cherish it.

Yours in ars poetica,
(however ya spell it)


(ain't that a torch song? bet Tony's a secret torch song singer. or from some such country/music)

26/8/05 19:10  
Blogger Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

Sublibrarian: I share your sense & what I call ecopoetics. It's comments like that that get me shut out of play in blogville for being a "detractor" of the SONS ("of. . ."), or worse & unfathomably, as a rabid Chicana poet out to play good the identity police (to riff off of Eliot's refuse & Pound's pan).

Forgot that point. The one I was making, that is.

"All of which leads me to suspect that the only way poetry mimics the world is in its constant change."

Good quote. You have a link to post where you elaborate? Or links? Ollin:> the world in its constant change.

But all I know is what do I know? And that's all I know. You know?

26/8/05 19:19  
Blogger JWG said...

Is this post a joke? Bring back the book? I hate books. TV all around.

really though. No idea what you are talking about.

26/8/05 19:32  
Blogger Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

Actually, best poem I ever wrote was collaged out of whatever was there & published on a can of corn handed out to whomever looked hungry in Isla Mujeres, Mexico--state of Quintana Roo, 3rd poorest in a poor country, despite Cancun (cucúikan). "Eat Poetry." Idea belongs to Tammy Gomez de Austin. Best poems of this (La Tammy) Chicana poet were published from the back of her pick-up via loudspeaker through the barrio like a poetry ice cream truck. While everyone was at the local disco, probly.

Cool. Tell me how to get on TV. Or, afford the ear or equipment and I'll "ax" about it.

"Bring back the book. Po=Bloggers Unite!" would be my revised version, were this anything other than some remarks knocked off on a blog I just read for the first time today. Seems easier for me to write in sentences (which remind me of jail, those steely ruled lines) that way. (Not-Ron, here. And a bit of Sam-I-Am.) Which is why you'll read poetry by me, and never a published article or review. Blurbs, that's poetry. And, I'm a lifelong publisher, hard habit to break. If more people bought books, as many who want to say who's right and wrong, in or out we wouldn't need Foetry, or entry fees, publishers could afford to publish poetry; and by supporting publishers, or poetry editors for book publishers who were also good poets in their right (rite?) we would get more good books of poetry, besides the chosen who trickle through the ages because a good poet who's not into power or under tenure, or, Lordy! post-tenure review, edits them — good books like Crush. And, who can afford to be a good publisher of poetry books? Nice work if you can get it, as Billie sang, and also, "God Bless the Child" who's got her own.

And, speaking of which, under/standing, jwg, hint: If it seems like some word or phrase can be taken more than one way, especially ironic — (which is why I can never be a "Sincerist". Too ironic in real life, which is. I wish I was good enough to do irony in poetry. Too much translating. Irony makes the world go round.) — it is intended as such, a play of multilayered puns like when one fnds themselves the but(t) of a bad joke -- and it's "nothing personal" and "you just have an identity issue" when you've been completely misread. Comprende, kimosabe?

I like tv when I want to buzz out power politics. INXS show. Lost, like my name in Scotch Celtic Gaellic. American Idol. House, but only 'cause I'm a sucker for brainy ironists.

Thanx for yr comment.

*and excuse any weird spellings or repeated letterrs I didn't catch. My son has been playing games on my computer & my keyboard is whacked -- and he's yelling at me to get off NOW!
"Competition's for horses. Schools are for fish." ~LDC circa always

26/8/05 20:16  
Blogger JWG said...

Everything is good. I am not a critical writer either. Just that you were going full bore at something, and I wasn’t sure what it was or if you had hit it. I hope you did. hitting is fun.

by the way, what is more sincere than going down the road in an ice-cream truck giving them poetry (which they don’t want, they want ice-cream.). But since you did it in a pickup, there was no false advertising.

I have no idea about TV, breaking into it, or running off with it. TV is not a big part of my life. just that I hear it blamed, so I wanted to jump on the wagon.


26/8/05 23:51  
Blogger Lorna Dee Cervantes said...

I guess what I mean to say, simply, is that poets shouldn't be so fixated (killing themselves!) over "Brownie points" for acdemic badges or, excuse me, getting laid at the next awp (just supposing!) because you got more poems in xyz magazine or 100 hits a day from your online poem "published" by some sexy/nerdy zine,, and write their books, get them published by editors who understand the process, or just *process* which is what poetry is if it is an is at all. (Wasn't that sentence in Through the Looking Glass?) Back to the poetry book! I want to read daily poems online, any poems online anytime, but I'm geeky that way. The real theory is shed by a poet's book. Then, let her get on to the next, and the next — published, and in our hands as soon as they are ready. Like good mangos, some fruit is slow to grow. And some, hmmm, like mine these days, are like zucchinis and everyone ducks when they see the Zucchini Lady coming down the street: "Gad' zuks! Who will take my zukes?" There's a new big one everyday, and only so many hungers in a day.

And, anyone who knows me would know that I stand for MORE PUBLISHING of GOOD POETRY in any form, and like mangos, the fresher & more tree-ripened, the better. To switch to a more botanical metaphor. Some days you want the berries you pick by the side of the trail, some days you want the whole tree. Or a graft.

jwg: since tv's not a big part of your life, I'll check out your blog more carefully (read it). cheers.

27/8/05 01:41  
Blogger L. Trent said...

guess what I mean to say, simply, is that poets shouldn't be so fixated (killing themselves!) over "Brownie points" for acdemic badges or, excuse me, getting laid at the next awp (just supposing!) because you got more poems in xyz magazine or 100 hits a day from your online poem "published" by some sexy/nerdy zine,, and write their books, get them published by editors who understand the process, or just *process* which is what poetry is if it is an is at all.

Hallelujah to all of that!

I like your blog & have been too shy to post b/c I've had your book "From the Cables of Genocide" ever since I started my hardcore poetry reading & thinking about how I want to write. Anyways, just saying hello.

12/9/05 13:02  

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