Comment on My Ranked List of 30 Best Po' Bloggers Discovered This Year on Justin Evans Blog
(My response to this post of Justin Evans and this)
Hi there! No validation (isn't that for the DMV?) but I'd gladly offer some editing suggestions if you'd like - having been at it for as long as you've been alive. (33 years married to the Muse this summer.) As I once tried to explain to Tony R., it's as if you're a master framer and you walk into a house with great paintings or fine photos, but they're hung crooked. It's hard not to want to just nudge them into place. And it's better to ask first than attempt to do it while no one's looking. Or worse, while the whole world is watching and declare yourself a SOP a few centuries prematurely.
Hey, I can't read everything and, unlike Tony, I don't know everyone, so rest assured, this is a virgin blog I'm reading here. How do you do?
And, my list is not people who post the best poetry from other people (or self-same SOPS: self-created Schools for fish in the same pond) but the "Best of the Best Poets" who blog that I've discovered this (my first) year of blogging and discovering blogs based upon their own poems I've read on their blog or live links to poems on their template published on the net -- whatever of their work is available on their blogs to read.
Bottom line? Does it make me write? Write well? Write poems? Good poems do.
Sorry, but eeze my job (Job's job & that' ain't no reference to an Apple) and it's March, the ranking month. I've spent all February & March as I usually do, ranking poets over poets for various contests, panels, awards, recommendations for programs, conferences, awards, CWP students, TAs, and this year, reviewing "Digerati" which to most folk in the Po'Biz world spells: Bad Poetry. NOT SO! I say, which is also the name of my more professional blog, Lorna Dice or "Lorna says." And I say, most often: "Competition's for horses and Schools are for fish." It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it. So, it puts me in a rank mood -- just in time for April, the Cruelest Month for (most) Poets left out on the Po' Porch or bumped off the bumpy Fence this month.
All things considered, this is a most sincere list, and totally mixed in style, persuasion, experience and actitud/ attitude. And I did it just because people ask. Heck, they write or call every week for dissertation interviews, theses, reports, etc., and I'm constantly asked: "Who do you read? Who's the best?" Particularly in regards to the New-Up-and-Coming. I don't like it. I don't believe in it. But I face it; poets always end up in one institution or another and I choose higher ed. I've been here for 17 years, but have been a editor/publisher for going on 30 years (July 4, 1976) and it's been my job for all of my adult life to know who's out there writing and most importantly, who's good. But then, I am of the persuasion of those who trust that poetry makes something happen -- good poetry. Even if it's just for the single life. (sorry if that's a pun in your personal life, anyone out there reading this, I can't resist Irony wherever she rests.) And often, the asking involves real money to a real poet which (usually) involves real change in a life in order for real good poems to be where they might not have been without it. That's why I do it. And, I just love poetry. I can shut off my Critic and just read. Or, turn it on. Because I'm good at it. I'm in it for the pudding for when it comes to The Poems, The Whole Poem, And Nothing But the Poem I let my inner granma be the Judge: "The proof is in the pudding" as she always said about anything I would say I was going to do or did. And "Name?" What's in a name? "Puddin'Tame! Ask me again I'll tell you the same!" as she would also say when it came to those questions of "Who's your mother?" or answers of "My father was. . . ". Ya' know?
And, tortillas, as always, are also irrelevant. Unless, of course, they are present or absent from an actual plate.
Cheers! Poetry on! Teacher? Salt of the Earth! Don't put your best stuff on your blog, send it out for publication and put the link to it on your blog. Or, yeah, why not, somebody might read it, and like it. Especially, perhaps, when one new to po' blogging has some kind of unbiased guide to The Best this year.
What do I like? l like how I put it on the masthead of my old crosscultural po' mag, RED DIRT, so many years ago: Poems rooted in the earth and rendered in blood. Duende. And what is good? Hey, it's like any aesthetic, like any artistic experience, like sex. As I often tell my class: What we want to go for is the unexpected inevitable. And, When in doubt, cut it out. You can always put it back. As for the rest: There are no absolutes in poetry. And that is the only absolute.
Good first half of your poem. Thanks for posting.