Last semester, I asked my workshop students to write an artist's statement or poetics statement, per their respective conceptions of either or both, in an idiom most everybody could understand. I did the exercise along with them, as I always do.
I write (currently) in 2 modes. One is like collage: I take a lot of documents, photos, & found material, select certain parts or quotations, then weave them together w/my own words to form a narrative. About history. These are long poems - book-length. They're very much in the modernist tradition of Ezra Pound, early Louis Zukofsky, Charles Olson, Muriel Rukeyser. Hopefully they're entertaining as well.
The other mode is the serial poem: longish poems, made up of smaller segments - "poemlets," you might say. These are written over a period of time - maybe a month, maybe a year. They are the opposite of the collage poems, in that these are very voice-based - a persona - who speaks in complete sentences, but they don't always make good sense. Sometimes perverse sense. These tend toard satire. They are influenced by the essays and novels of Joy Williams, a lot of contemporary US poets, and Hannah-Barbera cartoons form the 60s.*
In general, what I like best about poetry in the US today is that it can mean anything. Once upon a time, novels were novel . . .
* I've been calling these "f*d-up nature poems," but I think maybe the polite term nowadays is "necropastoral"?
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