San Diego Poetry Guild

notes on guild, poetry, and San Diego


Parenthetical I.D.
[more team blogs?]

Blogs are about people, I guess, or at least, in most cases, portals of personal identification. Else why the preponderance of blogs parenthetically identified as the write-space of an individual?

Examples: Chaxblog (Charles Alexander), Elsewhere (Gary Sullivan), Ich Bin Ein Iraqi (Camille Roy), jill/txt (Jill Walker), lime tree (K. Silem Mohammad).

Obviously not the case in all cases, but pretty common all the same -- perhaps just another formatting convention finding its way, wormwise, into the structures of an incipient blog world.

Or does it mark something else? A recourse to the safe zone of individuation, perhaps, or a fallback to familiar ways. I remember the early days of personal websites, so many of them self-identified as "X's Home Page." The P.I.D. strikes me as the same sort of thing, a move toward radical personhood against an otherwise rampant atomization and anonymity. And like many, I see this as not such a bad thing (personism, of a sort). More practically, I like knowing people and having friends and knowing that they are out there and visible (readable). So the P.I.D. does some much-appreciated work.

But there might also be something of scene-building in the gesture -- an inclusionary who's who hiding out (germinating, growing) between the "(" and ")". To be part of the party, once again, is to make the list. I don't think that's a healthy way to look at it, but the argument could be made....

Anyway, an argument for more team blogs is maybe just another way to argue for more teams (and therefore fewer P.I.D.s).

Sure, a table full of cells full of links to other blogs -- not bad for an international post-avant, post-mediatic assault on the reigning conventions of authorship and sociopoetic interaction. But there's more to do, I believe, at the site of composition itself. Rewriting at the point of construction. Or at least, working within a team as well as working between and among individuated writing spaces.

It's utterly USian, I guess, to want to congregate and join existing forces, at which point the communicative challenge always falls somewhere between the needs/aspirations of the 'one' and those of the 'many' (Superbowl post-game interviews are a good example of where this kind of communication breaks down). It's a little harder to imagine a team-life from the get-go where there are no pre-established (individuals (indiblogs)) in search of community or interconnection. As hard as it is to imagine, I wonder if it's even possible to realize.

A fancier and more formulaic (and more evangelical) way to put it would be: INTRA-link as you INTER-link. And ask, always, Who has access to your "Edit this Post" window? The SDPG, for example, seeks team life, but even that, I'm afraid, doesn't make it a team (just yet).

21st century poetics could probably do with less Parenthetical I.D. and more team blogging, although, in this waxing age of total surveillance, the P.I.D. might be the only way to avoid detention, incarceration, or long waits at the border. To be recognized, that is, as recognizable -- that may be the only ticket around (especially now here in SD).

The question remains, though, and remains radically familiar: How do we want to be seen by others (in-scene or out)?

I'm not sure, but I dream the team while trying to figure it out.


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