On Poetic Living
When I speak of poetry, I am not talking about versifying orwordsmithing. I am speaking about creating lives of passion,intensity and wonder. I call those people poets who go into theworld with the creative intention of living life to the full. Theymay then choose to express the wonder, the intensity, the passion– the marvelous – that they discover in words, but the words arenot their poetry – their lives are.Those who try to pass themselves off as poets at most “poetry”readings have little to do with real poetry. The sonorous,pontificating voices with which they choose to read their banalverses prove that they have more in common with papish priestsand sleazy televangelists, those buzzards voyeuristically feedingoff the corpse of the marvelous banalized. A true poet in themidst of these slimy ghouls can only have the lycanthropic urgeto rip out throats in order to stop the insipid babblings of thesesentimental saps.
I have always had an ambiguous relationship withpoetry. I detest most poems and most poets. Butpoetry as a way of living and encountering the worldattracts me. The poets for whom I have a high regard(William Blake, Arthur Rimbaud, Renzo Novatore,Benjamin Peret – a few others) have all, in different ways, been rebels against the values of the societythey lived in and therefore also adventurers.I agree with the surrealist idea that poetry is to bean expression of the marvelous. Sadly, in this era in which even the deeper realms of the mind have beencolonized by commodity fetishism and the images of television, movies and advertisements, even psychicautomatism can often produce results as banal as theconscious verses, the hard turds shat out by theconstipated wordsmiths this society calls poets, thatfill the poetry shelves of most bookstores and libraries.Only those who reject the values of this society,those who consciously choose adventure and lifeoutside the mainstream, can actually write poetry. That is to say, in order to write poetically one mustlive poetically. Only willful rebellion allows one’sunconscious to remain free of the banality of commodity fetishism and media domination. Thisspirit of rebellion alone can express the marvelous,and from this source it is expressed equally in psychicautomatism and in willful consciousness. Now morethan ever, poetic expression can only be the free playof the proud and willful vagabonds and rebels,outlaws and anarchists – those who reject this societyin its totality. —Wolfi Landstreicher