Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Art: ... The prayer that leads to stigmata,...
--Eric Gamalinda

I've said in the past, Judge Moi by what she reads -- and then I've mentioned my ongoing "Relished W(h)ine List" through which I post everything I read (to its completion); I don't discriminate between bad and good in that list; if I finish a book, it gets on that list (I don't list books I don't finish reading). And I do think this Relished List says something about Moi. (And since truly horrendous books don't end up being read to their "The End"s, it does say something good about a bad book to get onto the list...)

But perhaps a more accurate picture will be portrayed by a list still in its relative infancy, The LinkedIn Poetry All-Stars list. For example, my Recommendation #8 is a book by Eric Gamalinda. And so, go HERE for one of his poetics prose I published in PINOY POETICS -- I heart it and highly recommend you read Eric's "Language, Light and the Language of Light"... thus learn.

Another excerpt--this one I'm feeling is particularly timely today:

The reality of a poet living in contemporary society involves, unfortunately, constantly submitting himself to the judgment of a small elite of industry people, many of whom may not even be inspired by the music, history, art and poetry that inspire the poet, and whose only purpose, to put it a little unkindly, is to sustain the very industry that feeds them. I often wonder how many of these people, because they have been trained and conditioned to think only in certain terms, understand the work that artists do and the aesthetics and faith that compel them to create. In any case I believe they constitute a kind of barrier that insulates author from audience. I am thus inclined to praise the work of small presses, but more especially the inevitability of more widespread self-publication in the future, the democratization of publishing, which new technology makes increasingly possible: to demolish the authoritarianism of the industry and the institutions that support it, which I regret to say includes even the academe on one hand and the “spoken word” scene on the other, two poles that have contributed to creating a kind of herd mentality in poetry, a common, generic, “acceptable” set of voices. There is a tendency among poets in the academe and spoken word scene to mimic one another, particularly in diction and delivery; read any journal or go to any performance and you’ll see how everything is the same. This, however, is not necessarily a bad thing: If anything, it is an indication that we have reached the same crisis that made a poet like Rimbaud inevitable and necessary, a poet who would deviate and speak only for himself, not just TO an audience, and certainly not TO A MARKET, and in so doing perhaps speak for us all.

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