Paranoia is a big problem for poets. It clouds their judgments. It makes them personally miserable. It sabotages their relationships. It’s understandable, since it’s the kind of negative resource stress reaction that occurs in any group of competing mammals who exist in an ecosystem that is strapped for resources – including the resource of appreciation.

Jordan, one of the more intelligent people I know (rather than "intelligent" which means adept at complicated intellectual structures but possibly clueless about actual relations between humans) provides a good illustration of this situation. In my last post, I called attention to a kind of intelligence in the works of Joe Brainard. The point was to value the work by indicating that it used a function of intelligence that isn’t always acknowledged by intellectuals -- social intelligence, understanding the ways in which people are interested in and curious about each other.

Jordan, defensively scanning anything that could possibly be interpreted as an attack on his artistic lineage, projects onto my statement an out of the can criticism of "New York" poetry as anti-intellectual. Actually the opposite of my point.

No comments: