25 August 2006

I forget the things I create

I forget the things I create.

Thought I might express myself here - following an email I got today from a reader of my Antipoet M
anifesto, which I wrote as writer-in-residence at FAWWA's Tom Collins house in 2004.

I've been meaning to try and write about the differences between the Chilean "antipoet" and what I mean by antipoetry. So below is an initial effort:

Dear Allan Boyd,
I've been looking through your manifesto with great interest. Have you made a study of the works of Nicanor Parra and Thomas Merton? They brought antipoetry to the world. Parra started to develop the style he called antipoetry in the 1930's ... Has the world or the word changed since then?"
Best wishes.

Heya Colin
Cheers for the email...

Well anyone can be an antipoet, man.

But not everyone runs around calling themself one. Tagging oneself as the anti-poet is a signifier - semiotic rejection. A statement of intention. A bayonetic stridence. A contrived reaction.

My mantra: Thesis/Antithesis/Synthesis/Thesis/Antithesis/Synthesis...

But, yeah. I have indeed looked into earlier notions of "antipoet" - particularly my Chilean counterpart. I have read lots of his gear online over the past few years. Its easy poetry to read. On Merton, well I still need to research on that bloke...

However, it must be said that we will always be the produced effect of historical context. Our artefacts, our products, our speech are embedded in time and space. In the now. The moment.

I reckon my antipoetry is very different from Parra's. My life is activist media hacker, bashing out art in 2006. My daily grind is finding sources of inspiration to recreate anti-memes for media consumption.

I watch the news-media cycle spin so fucking fast. I am driven to write anti-poems, spurred by the gloss-barrage, the hyper-media sensation and uber-consumption that faces me daily, hourly, to the nanosecond.

I'm inspired by my fucking government's jailing of refugee children in deserts and now remote islands. I am offended and embarrassed about my government's treatment of Aboriginal people's human rights. I am watching the earth raped in front of me...

Whilst at heart, I am an optimista, I see little good outcomes. I respond with anti-viral memescapes.

Whereas Parra is a anti-conventionous response to the 'old-skool' literary hierarchy of poetry, mine is a deliberate assault on the cancerous, unsustainable, bloated, monstrous, capitalist, homogeneous, monocultural, waste-driven, wealth-accumulation system we discover ourselves in at any moment...

Antipoetry is dead, baby. Its a fucking Zen.

As an anarchist I reject, or at least critique almost everything this culture has to offer us as humans in 2006. Mine is a poetry of direct action, of resistance, of radical expression to that. A digital scratching of love for my fellow humans. My essential connection to EVERYTHING is distorted with meanings I don't want in my head. An underlying pursuit for stuff is not sustainable. Not equitable.

As Parra's, yes my "antipoetry" is a poetry of rejection. But not merely a rejection of 'formal' poetry (as is perhaps, Parra's simple rejection of formal poetry). Mine is an rejection of the dominant culture. Maybe Parra's is a class-based poetry? Maybe mine is a global resistance to the underlying wrongness of everything.

We're facing environmental catastrophe at a global level. And everybody is blind or apathetic to this. My poetry is an action against this. Mine is a genuine act of rebellion against the brutal ideology of capitalism.

I am fully inspired by the work of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, the Last poets, Percy Shelley, ee cunnings, Chuck D, Eytan Messiah, and Ern malley, Mar Bucknell, Jas H. Duke, Pio, Ashley J. Higgs, Beck, SMOG, and the Dirty Three - and some weird poet kids I see at readings. My wife is a poem. My kids are ones too.

I am perpetually inspired by snippets of conversation on a bus, the poster-art, stencil art and tags of the urban canvas. The cracks and peels of the suburban facade...

But what it all boils down to - I am the antipoet because you wrote me an email.

allan boyd - antipoet
perth, western australia

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