Left Bank Poetics, 2014


Don't seek our poets in the garret.

Stored softly now in a gulag

Of deconstructed ivory

Towering orthodoxies

Disambiguated truths

Mutual assurance

of progressive correctness

post modernly detached

Insensate to life

In the muddied streets, the flown over

Emptiness peopled by those

They can not reach, they will not hear

To whom they never speak.


About this: The American Academy of Poets publishes a poem each day, mostly written by academics.  Each poem is accompanied by a note, like this. Often the notes, especially from the academic poets, are more obscure than the poems - which are not themselves models of communication.  

For example, one recent explanation read: “This poem contends with ego-pain in a context of non-duality.  . . . But if everything is everything, then everything is everything”. 

My poem was inspired by this ‘explanation’ of a work called Translator’s Dilemma:

“The idea of the ordinary interests me in relation to a poetics of necessity, which is in turn connected to my long standing delight in what George Oppen called ‘small nouns’.”

And still they wonder why no one buys the stuff!

 © Philip Knight 2018