Our Smiling Manifesto on Poetry

Well. Hello there. How are your grandkids. Do you remember what they invented back when you were born? Poetry. Silly idea, right. Well I’m going to let you in on something. I’m cooking up this idea that poetry doesn’t require thought. I think it’s going to catch on. It’ll be simple, for simple people, and anyone who wants more will just have to go somewhere else. If they don’t like it, tough! We’re too nice to deal with dissenting opinions. After all, they are just opinions, unlike our lordly facts.

But we’ll project our qualities onto them so we won’t look bad. If we call them out for acting like us, the rest of the plebs will tear them to shreds. Hopefully they’ll even turn on themselves once personal disagreements show up into the field.

I got this buzzword I cooked up. It’s called “elitism.” That’s what we’ll brand them, elitists, and then everyone who wasn’t born with the silver spoon, or the good folks who like slumming, will feel like us, in that elitists are concerned with the technical side of things, you know, the heartless parts. None of that matters.

All that matters is that you feel it. So what if it’s rehashed sentimental garbage we pulled from a church magazine? It’s the NWO. So long as you know your humble place under the foot of Him, there are no judgments here!

So are you and the other grandmothers with me? I’ve drawn up the recruitment plans. First we’ll insinuate our propaganda into the mind of the young by convincing them the guidelines of poetry are in fact the rules of poetry thought up by very old men. Not that it’s true, mind you, but there’s no other way we’ll get the youth on our side if they think pragmatically. We’ll convince them it’s hip to not care about poetry, and the only way to write poetry is to do it as hastily and carelessly as possible. We’ll say, “When you think about poetry, you’re really ruining it. You just have to say you read it, and no matter what you read, if it appears to harbor unmatched simplicity, you must praise it. This is important. That’s how you will spread the Word to others in your bracket.”

Second for recruitment I’ll pass out pamphlets in the nursing home. They’re pastel and they proclaim, “You Will Know It Through The Lord.” Thing is, though, it’s written in Latin, so only we will know what’s under that headline. I’m considering writing, in Latin of course, “Under no dominion but that of the Pleb will there be peace.” And other trivia. From all the Latinates in the English language, soon to be renamed Plain English, there’s a risk some people will have the capacity to translate the by-line. However, there’s the trick. The only kind of people we want almost solely use the Germanic branch of English. Isn’t it wonderful laze is such a habit of supposedly literate people?

The toughest gauntlet will be the critics. They’ve always been a nasty sort, what with qualifying what history should remember and this silly concept called “merit.” Since the majority of poets are already so sensitive to anything but niceties, in Plain English of course, the battle against the critics will be half-completed by the start. We plan to instill a two-fold paradigm.

The first fold will be planted in the poet. Being of a poetic disposition they will naturally despise any sort of authority. By listing to them certain staples that critics favor, we hope the poets will avoid those staples at all cost. They shouldn’t figure out all their poetry starts to look more similar, not less, but, again, we’re dealing with our kind of people. I don’t foresee difficulty in this respect.

The second fold will be planted in the critic. Any human group will over time splinter, either for an intellectual reason or an egoistic reason. By suggesting to the critics they pander to the new wave of poets, writing in Plain English mind you, one portion of the critics will splinter into two portions, critics who curry favor to the poets, and critics who are at odds with the poets. If enough poets “work” under our assimilation, the first group of critics will far outweigh the second group, and by the law of intellectual decline, which we first created I remind you, the second group will all but disappear.

At this critical stage we will have poets who write like each other, but do not know it, poets who take any criticism as offense, poets who can withstand some criticism but only a meager portion so as to disband all ideas of honesty a wayward soul may have, and we will have critics who no longer care about poetry or understand it. They will only understand The Mass. But what of the general reader of poetry who does not take part in the writing of it nor its discourse?

My dear, they are already on our side! We don’t have to do anything to convince them poetry doesn’t require thought, what with them never having an education, and if so, they know only of liberalisms, thereby limiting their ideas of conformity into a singularity. After all, they invented conformity. I dread to think one day they may realise the fewer tools a poet is allowed to use the less diverse a body of work can be, but that, of course, is such a small possibility. I feel silly for thinking it.

There will remain a small group of intellectuals who understand diversity equals art, and I mean proper diversity, not our diabolical understanding of it. They will continue to write since we, being nearly human, cannot be perfect in all our endeavors. They will have very few readers. And very few publishing outlets. They will haunt universities along with our consorts there, never knowing who is who, and they will keep fast to a few print strongholds, and they will always keep a steady grip on the more thorough of poetic discourse. But they will be so few and so hated we will have no choice but that of victory.

And once poets, critics, and readers of poetry are all of the similar mindset, taking anything complex for elitism, we will implement the next stage of our plan. I call it “The Second Coming.” I expect this nursing home isn’t large enough to house all the hostages, but if our sons bring in too many, we can always kill some off. All we have to do is make them read the “poetry” we’ve created!

Now, ladies, what’s next on the agenda?

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~ by Jeremy on June 28, 2010.

One Response to “Our Smiling Manifesto on Poetry”

  1. …the future? Hmm, perhaps the present. Déjà vu.

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