San Diego Poetry Guild

notes on guild, poetry, and San Diego




Synaesthetic Chortle (A Response to Jonathan Mayhew's

Questions for Ron Silliman (and everyone else too))

1. What is your sense of the poetic tradition? How far back does your particular historical sense range? What defines your tradition? Nationality, language, aesthetic posture? What aspect of your poetic idiolect or tradition most distinguishes you from your closest poetic collaborators?

Wavering cloud cover soup in a bowl of deep dark yoga stretch.

2. How would you define contemporary poetic practice? (Say, the typical poem that would be published alonside one of your in a magazine where you are published.) How does this practice relate to the tradition defined above? Does poetry of the "past" (however you define the past for these purposes) occupy a different corner of your mind?

Clipped ballet salad under house lights banging retrogressively.

3. Whom, among poets you most admire, do you understand least? What is hindering a greater understanding of this poet?

Toast yields a grayscale crunch just where the word splash is thickest.

4. Are we over-invested in poetic "hero worship"? Is it necessary to have a poetic "pantheon"? How does the poetic pantheon relate to the notion of an academic "canon"? Are they mirror opposites, rivals?

All of a sudden, I can't see the frost in the tastee freeze.

5. Is "total absorption in poetry" benign? How about "poetry as a way of life"?

Yes, as when a cold vegetable medley struts by in a show of vampish affability.

6. Do you see poetry as a part of a larger "literature," or is poetry itself the more capacious categtory?

Sweet pie-faced clock tick tack toe jam.

7. Are humor, irony, and wit (in whatever combination) a sine qua non? Or conversely, is humor a defense mechanism that more often than not protects us from what we really want to say?

The one about the grainy voiced gardener, whose boot ran a ground cover.

8. Is the poem the thing, or the larger poetic project?

A dusty cabernet in a cybernet cafe, followed by a chafing merlot ponty, space bar, period.

9. What is the single most significant thing anyone has ever said about poetry?

S w a l l o w s .

10. Which of these questions asks you to define yourself along lines of division not of your own making, in the most irksome way? How close do these questions come to the way in which you habitually think about poetry? What other question would you add to this list?

To slash one, then ate.


Bemsha Swings Questions

About poetry and poetic tradition, alliances, allegiances, allegations. Check in, drop out, shoot an answer.


Small Press Distronation

My prediction is that, as more and more poetry publishers realize what SPD has become (the "lowest rung" as opposed to the "cutting edge"), new points of entry will be imagined, developed, and implemented by publishers to create an organization of some kind that will make cutting-edge publishing actually appealing to the academy, to libraries, and to booksellers.


Witless Witticism #2

The question shouldn't be "Are you a poet?" but "What's your poetry and where do I get some?"


Border Round

Are we brinking it best through poetry?

A persistent question.


MLBLH p.58 begin

At the time the perpetual Latin of love kept things hidden


Antennae 7

May 2005

cover stamp and drawings/text by
mark booth

poems by
bill marsh / president of the united hearts / ray bianchi / brenda iijima/ james wagner / kiki anderson / rob halpern / robert lax & john beer / daniel borzutsky / kari edwards / dan machlin / matt turner

a play by
kara feely

music scores by
jennifer walshe / michael pisaro


Payable to Jesse Seldess / 2325 W Ainslie #1 / Chicago / IL / 60625
North American subscriptions outside the US, please add $3.
Other out-of-country subscriptions, please add $5.


Witless Witticism #1

What the older generation of poets seems slowest to give up is the idea of "the work"--that still-warm cadaver of literary labor free-standing in a pool of definite articles--and toward this fundamental commitment many have swarmed in search of food, fame, and friendship.

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