Monday, October 8, 2007


My last post was worked over from an email exchange with an old friend... Old. As in, we've been friends for more than the usual span of years in our disconnected culture, and we're both eligible for that horrid euphemism, senior.

What's wrong with "old?"

... a subject in its own right.

A more recent exchange brought to mind some thoughts about poetry. More to the point, the language of poetry and literature--and that of ... everything else. science, in particular. And more to my interests here--of criticism, theory, psychoanalysis.

I've been reading Fadi Abou-Rihan's running commentary of Anti-Oedipus on The Psychoanalytic Field. I mentioned this to my friend, who is both a poet who has something of an investment in psychoanalysis, and it set off some thoughts about language.

For some time now, my own poetry had been staging a sort of revolution--overturning the old regime, as it were. A new mode. A new language. Catching up with what I've been doing in my novels. It occurred to me in my exchange with my friend, that I've been reading Rihan, Zizek, Deluseze and Guattari... as a kind of poetry. But...


I mean.. I've been responding on the level like that when I read poetry that I know will change how I think, feel.. how I use and respond to language.

But.. poetry, very badly written... as I wrote to my friend.

... ironically. They are not badly written. Only, written in a different mode.

In what does that difference consist, I asked myself?

Žižek, et al... write as seductresses... luring you into their language, their mode of discourse. Promising you reward if you can master their mode. Write back in the same language... with a twist.

Poets--strong poetry, denies their readers the language they employ. You can do it--but as parody, as poseur, as impotent imitator. While the language of these prose expositors invites, seduces you into responding in kind... submitting to their fantasies.

The poet finds language that resists submission, subverts it even when it seems to give in. Remains open to ...what? Defined by... what?

If I could answer that, it wouldn't be poetry.


  1. Hi Jacob;

    I could/would never call myself a poet--good, bad, or otherwise.

    You've made me think and I've posted this in response: Writing Seduction.


  2. Speaking of Oedipus please check out this reference which points that everybody is always and only dramatising their unresolved choldhood Oedipal Patterning---always and all of the time, no exceptions!

    Until they wake up.


    Plus related references.

    The Taboo Against the Superior Man

    On the war against the body--the central core of the entire western "cultural" project.


    The Realization of the Beautiful an elaboration of the theme in ref


    Dancing and Seeing through the deadly trap.