Wednesday, August 04, 2010
I am everyday feeling more and more homeless because of a kind of thinking on the part of artists of color and queer artists who call for an erasure of identity that is supposed to somehow allow them (and me?) to be better artists. Our lot in life as poets in this nation has a great deal to do with how many ways we can see a thing and accept its complexity as well as how many ways we can see ourselves and put into our art every inch of us. We've done some work when we pile a bunch of adjectives in front of the word "poet" and allow ourselves to see the poems within the context of all those adjectives. Without every adjective, we fall for the silly idea that there is only one way to evaluate an art object, and that idea never bodes well for innovative work. That idea makes for really lazy reading. That idea is un-American.