Sunday, 23 April 2000

From "Don't Start Me Talking"

It's a risk for liars to improvise if people are going to ask them fundamental questions, and situational control gives all sorts of scope for manipulation. You buy a fish or a fruit, you can tell what you're getting: packaging dissembles (and what 'truths' they're forced to tell are data shaped by ludicrous anxieties about diet inculcated by the culture industry and government). Despite the phrase, nothing does what it says on the tin. In the 1980s boom, capitalist lies about profitability became epidemic, it actually ucked up their ability to function as capitalists! In this context, truth and immediacy become explosively subversive. I think the basic weakness in most mainstream middle-class poets is hypocritical sexuality and collusion in class society -- they wouldn't dare write automatically because of what it might reveal. They fear chaous because it'll make them look uncool. My plan was always to live a life I wasn't ashamed of so that everything that comes out is vital. That's why the idea of fiddling about with the words, desperately seeking substitutes and improvements -- 'polishing a poem' -- seems petty. I was pleased when Prynne mentioned he wrote at one blow, I'd thought his poems had that kind of gestural grace and unanswerability.

No comments: