If I could small talk, I could have been a contender. The web is, by and large, small talk. A never-ending, ever-changing cocktail party, with guests and crashers hurrying in and out, ready with circuit-thin dialogue diluted by its temporal nature.
There’s the boisterous, the breathless, the swells and the wall-flowers, chattering past each other in the pretense of exchange.
There’s fans and zines and pamphleteers, and porn and tech and torture. There’s lists and bots and links and lies, eye candy, and genealogy. There’s b to b and B and D, and cats and dogs and Jesus. There’s whores and hope and mp3s, and cheating wives and promise.
And then there are the poets. I love ‘em. I can spot ‘em and sashay on up to ’em real familiar-like. I respect their talent, love their skill. I’m drawn to them because I have long and intuitively suspected they possess an ability, an attitude, a mindset, if you will, unique to their craft and necessary for its implementation.
I’m pleased to report I think I have cracked and codified the poet’s code.
It’s simple, really: others’ rhetorical devices or literary renderings have no merit and are meaningless unless the work triggers, in the poet, syntagma-like synapses that must fire back a syntactical rejoinder.
Where prose suggests a paradigm shift, the poet suggests any paradigm is a lie. The narrative negates life because it connotes meaning is just around the corner.
Poets argue understanding is circuitous, forever falling back upon itself, and that awareness arrives only when language is centered and the moment captured.
Narrative pursues, poetry makes the arrest.