Little Emerson

30 June 2005

The Lord of the Rings


I hate Ron Silliman. Should we have met in a boxing ring, he would’ve of knocked me out nine out of ten times. He’s got that way of beating me to the punch. He’s so stubborn that he’ll just jab at anything, so that eventually he finds your jaw, though not with a jab but with that twinkling right cross.

Ron is so stubborn that he now apparently takes innocence as the exclusivity clause of some camp. You got to be sharp to do that, jump rope for months, run for years. That a nine-year-old could write what a mature School of Quietude poet could write any day is just further proof of his theorem. And it’s convincing; seemingly, were it not possible to write what Silliman writes from a grammar school perspective. I’ll not step into the ring with him.

I had something else in mind. Innocence—indeed innocent ignorance—of schools of thought, styles, forms, ethnic backgrounds, politics, growing up, would surely result in something different. Ron’s example is poor and fails because it results in a School of Quietude example of poetics. My, even a ten year old writes like them, and she can do it better. Unfairness—even by Ron's admission—results in cheap tricks. Artists often do that, but dissapearence acts are, well, tricks.

Innocence isn’t that, nor is it purity in poetics. Innocence is awareness of what surrounds, what hurts, what pains, what disappoints: What is. That may or may not be poetry, but surely it isn’t form. It isn’t your predilection for & or that. Poetry eventually drowns on that shit. A child of ten doesn’t know that. Tnakfully (sic). & we must thank Ron for that reminder.


  • Here's where I become concerned with Silliman's post:

    Let’s assume, tho, for the sake of argument at least, that once upon a time Geoffrey Brock might have written as directly & intelligently as Julia Mayhew. Whatever he may accomplish as a poet going forward, he will never be able to get back to that.

    Is Silliman shooting fish in a barrel here? And did he even need to use a SoQ poet to set up his polemic? Indeed, regardless of school or camp or secret society, many poets--many artists in all fields, in fact--face this inevitable inability to "get back to that." Look at some of the AbEx painters, for example. Look at some Language poets' attempt to strip language of the cultural baggage it accrues with our acquiring it. Perhaps Silliman could just as easily have used one of his own poems as an example. I don't know, really. And yet, in the end, I fear this "return" may smack of a Romantic sentiment that I simply care to avoid.

    By Blogger Brennen Wysong, at Thu Jun 30, 02:50:00 pm  

  • Good point, Brennen. Still, I always take Ron’s fundamentalist positions with a grain of salt. He’s simply too talented to be taken at face value. On these issues, on his life-depending assault on SoQ, however, he is simply at his weakest and his worst. He sticks his jaw right up in the air, and that is frankly unfitting of him. I had to take a crack at him.

    Thanks for stopping by.


    By Blogger A.R.B., at Thu Jun 30, 11:34:00 pm  

  • Thanks for taking the time to put this site up. I've bookmarked it and will be back to spend some more time here.

    Check out my card greeting logo thanksgiving related site at


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Oct 17, 07:07:00 am  

  • is very informative. The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading every day.
    cash loans
    payday advance

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 26, 03:56:00 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home