2.10.07

CB:
Do not ask poets “to write what they know,” because they know very little of anything. If such poets know something of epistemological significance, they have much more lucrative incentive to become experts in physics or history, biology or finance, where they might reap the rewards of their epiphanic discovery—but because “math is hard,” such intellectuals have little choice but to become poets in the hope that they might increase our sociocultural understanding of language itself. No other artform, however, has set both its standards and its ambitions so low that it now no longer feels obliged to redress even its own sociocultural inconsequence. No other artform has managed to produce bourgeois audiences so apathetic that everyone who attends a reading politely applauds even when the poet performs with a forthright deficiency so egregious that, if committed by a musician, such inadequacy must nevertheless result in the immediate dismissal of the offender from the stage under a hail of booing catcalls and rotten tomatoes.