Tag Archives: deconstruction

The Politics of Deconstruction

A moment, more or less, of deconstruction:
by which I mean to delve into the soul
that strives to separate life from destruction
and yet maintain some semblance of the whole,
to claim by sacred right the single kernel,
the isolated truth-soaked grain of sand
that by its presence negates the infernal
in concrete terms all can understand.

It does not matter what stated intention
the writer may have claimed explained their work.
Creative types are just show and pretension;
in equal parts: saint, sinner, genius, jerk.
Believe me, I have far more poignant insight
by virtue of not wasting any time
in chasing muses past the hour of midnight
to be rewarded by one simple rhyme.

Besides, too many think themselves creative
and squander precious time lost in that haze.
The world needs workers, not more contemplatives,
who pass up duty just to navel gaze.
We need poetry, ’tis true, but with some guidance:
interpretations that have been approved,
that faced with doubt and free will, choose avoidance
and recommend such options be removed.

It only takes a moment’s intervention
to steer a young and growing mind astray;
remember, cure is harder than prevention,
so put those blinders on without delay.
Besides, it only starts with art and culture;
are politics … religion … far behind?
Trust me, do you want, hanging like a vulture,
someone with vision checking your design?

We deconstruct to make it seem like science,
instead of art or magic, sacred stuff
that at its core encourages defiance
and shows our plans for what they are, a bluff.
In pieces, the world fits into our puzzle,
and none can see the holes we’ve yet to fill.
With so-called education as a muzzle,
we can do what we want, and always will.

30 APR 2005

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I will never deconstruct another poem
in search of hidden metaphor, by line
eviscerating some writer’s creation
to satisfy some professor of mine.

These exercises do not help the reader
connect to what is said, or truly why
in given circumstance one word is better,
or how one’s own perspective may supply

a wealth of connotations beyond measure.
Too many now who read seek just what caters
to their limits of taste or frame of mind;
and would have poets soft and built for leisure.
Why use the stairs, when there are elevators?
Because some things are NOT a waste of time.

17 FEB 2005

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Passing Fancy

Having been notified by Google Alerts that a new service is available that takes your original website and scours the web to check and see if your content is found elsewhere (that is, borrowed liberally without permission), I give another thought to what has to be my favorite take on plagiarism:

Lermontov: “…and remember, my dear Mr. Krassner, it is far more disenheartening to have to steal, than to be stolen from.”

— from The Red Shoes, of course

In another sense, poetry (at least good poetry, in which the author has said something from their unique perspective) is as difficult to pass off as one’s own work, if it is not, as it is difficult to use someone else’s driver’s license and claim it is you. The fact of the matter is that driver’s license pictures are purposely so horrible (I have yet to see one, from any state, that manages to even vaguely flatter its owner) and these photos are so unlike the license holder, for the simple reason that only the REAL and authentic owner of such a license would claim that the picture contained thereon is themselves. There is something to be said, in many respects, for the ultimate audacity of truth.

And with poetry, it is I have discovered the same. After all, it is only the most audacious explanation of a poem’s meaning (and that is typically the one that is at the polar opposite extreme from any literary critic or literature professor’s interpretation, although it need not be, which oft surprises both the poet and the professor LOL) that is typically the one belonging to the author. Perhaps it is too simple, perhaps too obtuse. But an imposter trying to pass off the piece as their own work would NEVER use that particular exegesis. And other poets (if not the caffeine-laden, vapid dilettantes who frequent readings and slams and/or think themselves by virtue of their own pomposity and inflated sense of gothic me-o-centrism to be the next Plath, Rimbaud, Morrison, Shelley, Bukowski or whatever) can tell the difference. In a heartbeat.

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