Monday, August 01, 2011

"American Poetry Has Entered Its Big Hair Phase"

Daniel Nester interviews Micah Robbins.

Nester: My latest shibboleth—I’d like to run it up the pole here for you and see what you think, and I am sure I am wrong, because I usually am and I’m, like old now—is that we have reached a period of late style, where the already bankrupt aesthetic battles of yore—lyric versus narrative, Ron Silliman’s Post-Avant versus School of Quietude, subjective versus written-for-the-ages—have all been decided on. We’re all to be lyric, subjective, post-avant poets now, and that’s that. Baudelaire used the term “Rococo Romanticism,” and I think American Poetry has entered its Big Hair Phase.

Robbins: I find this both depressing and hilarious! And I don’t disagree with your assessment. I’m imagining Charles Bernstein, Kenny Goldsmith, Christian Bök, and Ron Silliman in leopard print spandex and frilly boas dancing around to “Rock You Like A Hurricane”! Ahhhhh. No! Someone make them stop!
OK. So what do we do about it?