Distortionary Dialogues

Questions and quandaries to catalyze abstract or atypical thinking. All manner of responses welcomed.


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What is poetry online?

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1 What is poetry online? on Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:07 am

What is poetry in the age of the internet?

A reflection of pop-up ads and apps,
reinforcing notifications?

Or an escape from it?

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2 Re: What is poetry online? on Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:07 pm

Allow me to begin with a quip from a man much older and stodgier than I: "Poetry is everywhere; poets are in the business of shaping it into poems." In the emergent environment of online discourse, poetry will freely fly in the face of clickbait without even a passing care about whether the two can be distinguished. Poets, however, will continue to begrudgingly relish their long-winded and self-defeating conversations about what constitutes a legitimate poem. Alas.

~

In 2017 Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey sold more copies than the rest of the books on the top ten poetry list combined, after building her entire following on Instagram. Her style is characterized by extremely short-lined verse which expresses a single feeling with a powerful image or phrase. Instantly shareable and viral as a meme, yet attempting to spark contemplation or compassion, rather than consumption. Clickbait or poetry? An empty question.

~

Personally, I believe that poetry possesses a special power for fostering a special kind of meditative thinking within language; I also believe that it is extremely difficult for this form of thinking to thrive within the online environment. Therefore, my own poetry will likely attempt to offer refuge from the speed and surveillance which now characterizes online reading. However, I recognize that my poetry must still respond to that environment in a meaningful way. Crafting that response is a great challenge for me. I will attach an old poem to this note which constitutes one such attempt.

~

Compressed Images

Our final kiss is all glass lips then I slobber on my pillow
For several hours I have already packed up my dreams

Into your little silver handbag which always holds less than
I thought it would I thought it would be able to hold more

A slight dribbling spillage from the rounded rimmed edge
Light not liquid this pouring glow that skips ahead of time

Until darkness again forgives the absent waiting that fills the day
Waking hours of relentless acquisition of piles of points of data

Pointing into a hole reaching at nothing tracing a monstrous form
I have forgotten my song in a swirling hale of signals and signs

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3 Re: What is poetry online? on Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:02 am

clickbait is MY friend

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