I don't usually slag other poets off, but god, Kenneth goldsmith is SO full of shit. He deserves praise for ubuweb, but his theories and work are idiotic. I dislike the way he acts and talks like somehow he is the leader of contemporary poetry and can somehow dictate what it is. I've been listening to the podcast of the flarf vs conceptual writing thing he held in New york and to be quite honest there was very little i agreed with him on.
1. language CAN be divorced from it's semantic content. what's asemic writing , but language without semantic content. I can think of a whole load of sound poetry that has no semantic content.
2. what makes him think conceptual writing and flarf are somehow the height of innovative poetry?
the very idea of having a movement is an outdated 20th century concept.
conceptual poetry seems to be an pseudo-intellectual excuse for laziness. can't be bothered to write a poem? copy out an article someone else wrote and make up some arty-farty excuse.
it doesn't contribute anything to poetry.
it's just pretentious and pointless. just like most conceptual art in fact. a pointless poetic and philosophical dead-end. I have nothing against appropriation. I do it sometimes myself,
a) if you are going to appropriate something, do something interesting with it. Poetry should stimulate the reader, in my opinion. intellectually or emotionally.
b) how is this innovative? how is this new? poets and artists have been appropriating and collaging things for years (or even centuries) there is nothing new in this. conceptual writing is 80 years behind art and poetry.
why is the amount of writing more important then what is written? if this is true why read it?
why should someone read or listen to it? it just seems so self-satisfied.
Flarf is a waste of time too. Why deliberately write a bad poem??? this seems like the height of pointlessness. I would rather read a good poem, or write a poem I was pleased with. I've been receiving stuff like that as spam in my junk mail tray for years. sod that. It just seems like they have bundled up all that is bad about the internet and called it a poem. all they do is take those crappy banal chatsite/comments you every so often and called them poems. It's just so empty.
these two groups are empty. there is no substance. it's just lukewarm air. It's nothing. pointless.