2. Geof sometimes writes to imaginary people. This is productive for him. I don't want to deny Geof anything he finds productive. I find it productive to write for people I know, or for people who ask me to write for them, or for (against?) people I don't know who have said things I disagree with. The ages, as mentioned last time, refers to future people, people we know nothing about. Perhaps I value writing for people I know because it seems to have some effect. Perhaps I suspect that writing for the ages is a way of dealing with a situation in which one's writing doesn't seem to be having any effect. But I value Geof's writing a lot (and not just because he keeps saying absurdly nice things about me). And anyway, perhaps this relationship with the future functions like religion, like faith. And anyway, just how imaginary is Geof's young, imaginary visual poet? Or, just how real are the people I know? Well, I should like to think that they are pretty real.

2. Perhaps this is because I have been reading a lot more academic humanities writing than poetry lately, and so much of it pretends that it is doing this truth thing but really seems to be engaged in this process thing. Or a dialogue, or a dialectic. And I am thinking of poetry in a similar way. I'm writing this blog entry to push at an idea of what poetry is and could be, and once it moves I will probably feel the need to push at it in some other direction. And I write poetry for largely the same reason. And anyway: Poetry is important to us now inasmuch as it is important to us now, and not inasmuch as it will be important to other, imagined people in the future. The future-people, as we used to call them back when I worked in politics.

2. "The history of poetry, which began as oral expression, is not particularly germane to any discussion of today's world of poetry" wrote Geof yesterday, which I might agree with. Certainly, I don't think my appreciation of poetry is bound by how it was appreciated in the past, my definition of poetry isn't limited to what it meant in the past -- although it might be informed by all these things, or illuminated, or problematized, or (bam!) kicked up a notch.

2. Also, I think you could take this -- "The history of poetry, which began as oral expression, is not particularly germane to any discussion of today's world of poetry." -- and point it in the other direction. Future history is not particularly germane to any discussion of today's world of poetry.

2. Ted Berrigan's funtastic poem:

People of the Future

People of the future
while you are reading these poems, remember
you didn't write them,
I did.
2. But of course it can be fun to think about what the future people will think about a poem. And productive, maybe. But it doesn't seem at all important. Or even relevant. But maybe sometimes it helps some people keep going. But maybe sometimes it gets in the way.

2. The only options for the future-people are to misunderstand me or ignore me. Either option seems great.



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