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The Realpoetik Manifesto

The Realpoetik Manifesto

[a declaration in progress by Jessica L Wilkinson and Ali Alizadeh]

For too long has poetry been disregarded as a valid vehicle for the exploration of real world experience. Too often has poetry been filed in the ‘too hard’ basket and deemed ‘irrelevant’ and ‘inaccessible.’ This declaration calls for an end to the mistreatment and marginalisation of poetic language; an end to the segregation of poetry from and by the authoritative discourse of prose. We summon forth the potential of poetry to expand our conceptions and perceptions of the ‘real.’ To this end:

We the poets Jessica Wilkinson and Ali Alizadeh, and others who shall soon join us, in order to advance and expand the field of writing, declare the following conditions for the Realpoetik, an unavoidable and necessary code for the art of non-fiction poetry:

• The Realpoetik recognises the unquantifiable potential of poetic writing to convey a deeper experience of reality and ‘real life’ accounts than may be possible through conventional non-fiction prose.
• The Realpoetik recognises the unquantifiable potential of poetic writing to convey a deeper experience of reality and ‘real life’ accounts than may be possible through conventional non-fiction prose.
• The Realpoetik celebrates the power of the poetic form to realise and enact factual content.
• The Realpoetik unsettles the historical landscape of facts and accuracies, and directs the poet/reader towards the enlivened dramatic stage whereupon the past may be launched into action.
• The Realpoetik travels through gaps in the historical imaginary.
• The Realpoetik demands a poetic reclamation of the historical field, the biographical portrait, the autobiographical reflection, the scientific analysis of facts.
• The Realpoetik demands that poets join novelists, historians, memoirists, biographers and philosophers as writers of the real world.
• The Realpoetik hears Ed Sanders calling, and we reply Yes! The poets ARE marching again upon the hills of history.
• The Realpoetik encourages the trawling of libraries, archives, newspapers and museums, for poetical fodder.
• The Realpoetik advocates rigorous research as poetic process.
• The Realpoetik respects the gifts of poetry: the line and the play; the rhythm and the space; the sound and the silence.
• The Realpoetik may incite bold experiments with the line, with rhythm, with form; it revels in words that function not only as signifiers of linguistic meaning, but as visual and sound potential.
• The Realpoetik follows the revolutionary threads unravelled by Julia Kristeva, Rachel Blau DuPlessis et al. and welcomes the immense power of the semiotic undercurrent of poetic language.
• The Realpoetik hears Alain Badiou calling, and it breaks with arrogantly lyrical, fashionably experimental and simply educational schemata.
• The Realpoetik rejects the view of the poem as an exercise in classical versification and conventional aesthetics.
• The Realpoetik rejects the view of the poem as an exercise in formulaic experimentation and sophistic aesthetics.
• The Realpoetik rejects the view of the poem as an exercise in prosaic representation and populist aesthetics.
• The Realpoetik reclaims the view of the poem as an exercise in direct intervention and dialectical aesthetics.
• The Realpoetik does not conceal the poet’s entrance into, and dialogue within, the world of facts.
• The Realpoetik celebrates the performative, the playful, the adventurous.
• The Realpoetik claims a space for the frivolous alongside the serious.
• The Realpoetik encourages tea and cake.
• The Realpoetik willingly follows the White Rabbit down the hole and into a world fit for alternative thinking.

Every poet sees the world through a unique lens; hears the world through their own exceptional ear. The Realpoetik does not curtail such diversity through stringent adherence to formal Law, but instead opens the field to these singular engagements with real world content. We aim to establish an expansive literary space within which poets can openly engage with auto/biography, history, politics, economics, cultural analysis, science, the environment, and all other aspects of life in the real world.

We promote a Poetry that is multiple, transformative, moving, contradictory, evental, rhizomatic, inaesthetic, evolving, whispered, piercing, stuttering, disruptive, performative, active, enveloping, epidemic.

We invite YOU, the poets of the world, to join us in our expedition through and across the excitable terrain of a non-fiction poetics.

Signed:

Jessica L Wilkinson
Ali Alizadeh

 

Originally published in The Victorian Writer.

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Comments

  1. • The Realpoetik recognises the unquantifiable potential of poetic writing to convey a deeper experience of reality and ‘real life’ accounts than may be possible through conventional non-fiction prose.
    I find this very debatable, many many diaries convey and have conveyed deeper meaning of “real life” ditto biographies, and histories, etc etc. Privileging “poetry” to “convey a deeper experience of reality” sounds very much like you have eaten of the Shakespearean cake, fishbones and nuts.
    • The Realpoetik recognises the unquantifiable potential of poetic writing to convey a deeper experience of reality and ‘real life’ accounts than may be possible through conventional non-fiction prose.
    To posit that poetry has an “unquantifiable potential of poetic writing to convey “ may be more accurate i should think.
    • The Realpoetik celebrates the power of the poetic form to realise and enact factual content.
    To “enact factual content” is a puzzling series of words, but if by that what is meant that it can use or “realize” facts better, then it falls down there too, what of the scientist and mathematician, surely they have realized their facts sufficiently well. When poetry uses “facts” it tends to use them for other reasons, such as semantic or linguistic advantage, in the service of the “construct” whether or not it is related to “reality” or not.
    • The Realpoetik unsettles the historical landscape of facts and accuracies, and directs the poet/reader towards the enlivened dramatic stage whereupon the past may be launched into action.
    I’m not so sure that this is a definitive claim, it may or can be, but even poetry that doesn’t call-to-arms is relevant surely.
    • The Realpoetik travels through gaps in the historical imaginary.
    I think good poetry travels through gaps in the “imagination” (whether or not it is historical or not); but that is because those “gaps” are always the richest, which is why so many poets play there.
    • The Realpoetik demands a poetic reclamation of the historical field, the biographical portrait, the autobiographical reflection, the scientific analysis of facts.
    Please lets not just limit this to those catagories — keep spreading it out, eg howabout the mathematical field! the scientific! etc! etc! Lets NOT LET a traditional poetics influence this manifesto, pleeeeae!
    • The Realpoetik demands that poets join novelists, historians, memoirists, biographers and philosophers as writers of the real world.
    I would NOT like to join the novelists, biographers, etc, cos from where i sit, you have put the cart before the horse i.e. in my poetry there are novels, biographies, histories,… and those “other” arts came out of poetry and not visa versa!
    • The Realpoetik hears Ed Sanders calling, and we reply Yes! The poets ARE marching again upon the hills of history.
    I’ve seen a lot of “performance” poets and “rappers” and “hip pop artists, and “spoken words artists” marching, and i can assure you 99% of it is crap. A call to arms is always problematic, and the assumption here i think is that we are of “one” mind, otherwise how can we march “together”?? And i don’t think i am of “one mind” with soooo many! Sorry, but i understand the sentiment. Perhaps if we had a common cause???? I got an idea, howabout i put a few things forward and YOU (all) follow me??? I await your enrolment!
    • The Realpoetik encourages the trawling of libraries, archives, newspapers and museums, for poetical fodder.
    Sounds like a very, “academic” and “literary” think to be doing. Surely there are better ways to get “raw material”.
    • The Realpoetik advocates rigorous research as poetic process.
    As Above.
    • The Realpoetik respects the gifts of poetry: the line and the play; the rhythm and the space; the sound and the silence.
    Does poetry also respect the “number”? Pythagorus said it is ALL number! Please include!
    • The Realpoetik may incite bold experiments with the line, with rhythm, with form; it revels in words that function not only as signifiers of linguistic meaning, but as visual and sound potential.
    Yesa, i think it does at times and for good effect.
    • The Realpoetik follows the revolutionary threads unravelled by Julia Kristeva, Rachel Blau DuPlessis et al. and welcomes the immense power of the semiotic undercurrent of poetic language.
    I think your choice of “heroes” and “Heroines” is soooooo simplistic, and sounds a bit opportunistc may i add. There are faaaaaaaar better exponents of poetry and philosophy to listen to.
    • The Realpoetik hears Alain Badiou calling, and it breaks with arrogantly lyrical, fashionably experimental and simply educational schemata.
    To start quoting Badiou and not understand his relationship to “number” and “mathematics” and to “poetics” i think peculiar!!! There is NOTHING wrong with a good lyric — i often hum one to myself.
    • The Realpoetik rejects the view of the poem as an exercise in classical versification and conventional aesthetics.
    This i think is a shame — “exercises in classical versification and conventional aesthetics” is the very fabric on which poetry has been built — ! To throw the baby out with the dish-water is a bit crazy! All great poetry has both a conservative and revolutionary element, and as such should be respected. The problem with both sides is when they become poetic-dogma! And that tends to happen by institutions, and writing schools – it is very rare to have a school like the Black Mountain poets under Charles Olson. Most institutions are predicated on giving the public (its students) “competence lessons” and as such breed mediocrity!
    • The Realpoetik rejects the view of the poem as an exercise in formulaic experimentation and sophistic aesthetics.
    Please, no “prescriptive” tenets, or “thou shalt nots”!
    • The Realpoetik rejects the view of the poem as an exercise in prosaic representation and populist aesthetics.
    Please, no “prescriptive” tenets, or “thou shalt nots”!
    • The Realpoetik reclaims the view of the poem as an exercise in direct intervention and dialectical aesthetics.
    Please, no “prescriptive” tenets, or “thou shalt nots”!
    • The Realpoetik does not conceal the poet’s entrance into, and dialogue within, the world of facts.
    When did it hide itself from it???
    • The Realpoetik celebrates the performative, the playful, the adventurous.
    And more!

    • The Realpoetik claims a space for the frivolous alongside the serious.
    Problem here, is that you have already “divided” the 2 terms, instead of demanding that “everything” is frivolous and serious and NO distinction should be made between the 2.
    • The Realpoetik encourages tea and cake.
    Why not hamburgers??? and Coffee???
    • The Realpoetik willingly follows the White Rabbit down the hole and into a world fit for alternative thinking.
    Long live the Rabbit!!!!!!!!!!

    • I’m with TT.O on this. For a proclamation of non-fiction poets, this seems awfully gentrified. Research, tea and cake, and the ‘white rabbit down the hole’? Why not Life, Coconut rum and burgers, and the black rabbit over the freeway?

    • A brief note on Badiou (phrases in inverted commas are specific Badiouian terms): there is a marked difference between the ‘conditions’ of science/mathematics and art/poetry. They are different ‘truth procedures’, that is to say, they operate and produce an Idea differently. As explained in Badiou’s key texts on art — which for me are The Handbook of Inaesthetics and ‘Third Sketch of a Manifesto on Affirmationist Art’, both really terrific reads — in art the relationship between Truths and the condition is simultaneously singular and immanent, and art/poetry is absolutely unique among the four conditions — the other three being science, love and politics — to host such a relationship. Should you be interested, please do read my own little chapbook on Badiou — which includes mathematical formulas! — Evental, as well as Badiou’s own writings, of course.

      • Hi Ali,

        I have not read a great deal of Badiou’s work, but from what I have gathered he would agree that the ‘truths’ to be found in his writing will not (nay must not) require any previous knowledge, since truth is ‘something new’ that emerges from thought; “not as a judgment, but as a process in the real” (Alain Badiou” Philosophy and Truth).

        Now I have something like a paradox found, I think, to get my head around – as per the following:

        “The Realpoetik hears Alain Badiou calling, and it breaks with arrogantly lyrical, fashionably experimental and simply educational schemata.”

        I can’t immediately know how to hear the callings of Badiou that the Realpoetik are hearing, since the Realpoetik aren’t explicating here wherefrom and how they are hearing them! The paradox, of course, begins with the fact that I think it’s fitting that a Realpoetik with its hand on its heart would make me go look for myself, since that’s how some ‘events’ are created as I have seen them.

        On the other hand, I can’t see where the ‘arrogantly lyrical’ and ‘fashionably experimental’ fit into a Badiouian schemata of things that include ‘simply educational’ things. As such, it looks to me like they’ve all been reduced – through a process of thought – to just numbers.

        I’d really like for you and Jessica to help out with more details, but maybe that’s a cop out. Maybe… but that’s a take on my reality of it.

        • i have difficulty with “truth” even scientific truth that seems to shoot off into indeterminacy — looking for truth in poetry is like looking for a black cat in a dark room that isn’t there. And what of these “truth” producers — how shall we honour them? It smells. what i like about Badiou is how he reasons not what he reasons — i like how he takes us back to Number and Numbers and Mathematics and tells us to start again.

          • There does seem to be a level of scientific truth in poetry, to the extent that something like iambic pentameter can be reproduced faithfully by putting 5 iambic feet in a row, but then it would be weird to go on and say it’s been scientifically proven to be true that if you put 5 iambic feet in a row it will be a line of iambic pentameter every time! I think mathematical functions and formulae are very handy devices to have in the toolkit. Analogue and digital components are also very useful, but then when you get to the digital engineering side of poetry, you need to know the truth tables! I’ve started rereading my copy of Badiou’s ‘Number and Numbers’. Thanks!

            Oh! I just pictured an AND gate in my head and understood for a brief moment how Truth and Reality can be conflated!

  2. I’ve already asked about hamburgers, over yonder at Cordite. I had one the other day, and it was quite a serious hamburger.

  3. All of which proves the point, I guess, howsoever the crosshairs are split: poetry invites a richly polysemic text.

  4. Maybe my flippancy was uncalled for, Dennis? O’Hara liked a hamburger, as best I can tell – and ‘Personsim’ danced in the land of the piss-take. Personally, I’d much rather have a beer than a cup of tea, with all due respect to rabbits…

    • Side orders of hamburgers, beers, piss-takes, Ohara’s and rabbits, along with tea and cake, are fine – that was me being conciliatory. Cheers!

      • Hi Maxine,

        Did I flip? Dunno? Poets, as a general rule, seem to take themselves and (dare I say it) their pronouncements a little too seriously. You could write a thesis about Kinsella and his piousness (is that a word?)

        As to Realpoetik, it strikes me that Ali and Jessica aren’t calling for anything new – so why a manifesto? I’d be interested to hear why they think this so pertinent to the moment. Should I feel uncomfortable suggesting that it simply bolsters modes they are working in? And that’s no slight on them, just a query. I like their writing, but why the prescriptions?

        Going by the Realpoetik manifesto, we could already include Pound, Williams, Moore, Olson, Schuyler, Guest, Dorn and probably a thousand others – I realise I’m biasing North America there, but that’s my schtick. And Maxine, going on your emphasis on the immediate, the material moment of the poem, that needs some unpacking too.

        Jessica, Ali, where ya at?

        • What did you want, Cam, for W & A to come up with something you’ve never even dreamed of? You’ve probably noted that the manifesto looks like going out in Greek at Cordite. That’s new(s), as it seems to be going nowhere here, other than schismatically.

          • Shit yeah, Dennis, why not? Ya want to write a manifesto, why not be excitingly new with it. And if not, who cares?

            But I agree, enthusiasm for the discussion is running low and I prefer reading poetry than reading manifestos – Malley’s statement of intent excepted…

  5. I prefer poets to be dancing upon the hills of history; pails slopping over, with a little tumbling going on. Tea and cake most definitely, to which I would add a gin-soaked dormouse.

    I am glad frivolity is mentioned; she too often stands outside the gates, telling jokes to the stern-faced gatekeepers, who so very rarely lower their drawbridges.

    But I’ll believe it when there’s an outbreak of limericks…When the pages of certain journals are lousy with them…And clerihews jerking like paratactic ticks.

  6. Hamburgers? Sure – though we have to make them ourselves, or at least avoid the sausage factory wares of fast food chains…no?

    On Personism – ah, one of our inspirations for sure! – I love O’Hara’s pull away from the seriousness of the damned poetic soul–laugh or smile we must, if only at times…!

    Tea and cake? A cool beer? A coffee? I don’t mind your preference – but the community that develops over a serving or two of these things – the discussions and debates and sharing of ideas and poems and approaches to the poetic – this is what is important, yes? …

    • Hi Jessica,

      Sorry, I missed this yesterday. Glad to hear beer and hamburgers fall within the realm of the Realpoetik. Perhaps I’ve been overplaying the ‘frivolous’ – ‘ridicule’, as suggested later in this comments thread, was not the intention.

      ‘…the discussions and debates and sharing of ideas and poems and approaches to the poetic – this is what is important, yes?’

      Sure, of course. Whether a manifesto is necessary to achieve this – or helps to stimulate such discourse – I don’t know. Possibly, and if so, then good. People seem keen enough.

    • It’s a bit of a generalisation, but ain’t that the Aussie way; the disinclination, superficially at least, to take ourselves and ideas seriously? Also, the lack of a serious response could be itself a response to the lack of a follow-up reply from the manifestists, by way of explanation. Also, to begin with, the theses were posted soundlessly on the various Wittenberg doors with a make of that what you will wont, and people did. The longer the hiatus, the sillier it got. Personally, as a political subject, I do not give myself over easily to sloganeering, however political, however serious, however worthy, however much I might be in agreeance with proposals that might be of benefit to me.

      • I’m sorry for the lack of a follow-up reply, but Jessica and I are quite busy at this very moment (with a conference) and will be for a few more days. We appreciate your interest, and patience.

  7. re dennis
    the australian way sounds like a call to arms by a scoundrel(s) surely! i.e. hiding behind the flag…you don’t have to like a manifesto, and i don’t, but rather engage the issues (and there are many)it seems to have descended into trite! ridicule is a political statement and i accept that — the only problem being that it seems to be a regular feature of poetry and literary activity. it seems nothing can be discussed or engaged and everything personal applauded
    TT.O.

    • I’d argue that contesting most every point of the declaration in progress is not engaging with the manifesto’s issues (more your own), and that credit first has to be given to those who wrote the declaration, with the understanding being that it was composed by those who work, think and practise in the field, with much consideration given to the take they want on what they call non-fiction poetry (realpoetik). Anything other might not square with that realpoetik, would not be that realpoetik. (Write your own manifesto if you want a different sort of poetry.)Sure, it is a declaration in progess, so some fiddling with points of the manifesto may occur along the way, but the manifesto as it stands is the base for launching the realpoetik, to my understanding, which you mostly accept or reject as a whole to begin with. I simply would have liked a little more point and purpose from the authors about a document of which I am mostly in accord.

      • “I’d argue that contesting most every point of the declaration in progress is not engaging with the manifesto’s issues (more your own), and that credit first has to be given to those who wrote the declaration…”

        I am of the mind that the ‘manifesto’s issues’ are expressed in each point of the declaration, if by the manifesto’s issues we agree this to mean the issues raised by the manifesto itself. I would be willing to argue for an alternative to that, but I am yet to see an argument that would convince me that the manifesto’s issues might be found somewhere other than within the manifesto’s points, so for the time being I will claim that the highest level of credit one can give to those who wrote the declaration in question is to contest most every point, if not every point, since that which is not contested is not an issue.

        “with the understanding being that it was composed by those who work, think and practise in the field, with much consideration given to the take they want on what they call non-fiction poetry (realpoetik).”

        Indeed, I find myself torn – like one whose entrance has not been concealed – between expressing some level of admiration for the concept of a manifesto in progress, and some level of disappointment in the fact that some of those whom would say they are mostly in accord with a document that openly encourages further development through conversation would so boldly reject any comer who might have something contestable to offer: something to offer that might in fact prove to have left one not merely mostly but wholly in accord.

        As I understand the dialactical method, a Realpoetik embracing of a dialectical aesthetic would not be inclined to reject anything that might prove to be, upon further analysis, synthesisable. That seems to me to be in accord with TT.O.’s repeated request…

        “Please, no “prescriptive” tenets, or “thou shalt nots”!

        So, I guess having said all of that, I should take my own position and respond directly to the points in The Realpoetik Manifesto. Accordingly, I await
        The Realpoetik Manifesto 2.

  8. I propose that rather than declaring how it should be done, we just get on with doing it and demonstrating thus-forth with examples (and exemplars by extension) of how it might be done.

    • one reason why i spent so much time on this tete-a-tete, is precisely because i do write a non-fiction kind of poetry, hence my being “engaged” by it. Its not a poetics that i use to the exclusion of all others however. so if a manifesto is to be written then perhaps one should centre it on what it “is” rather than a series of “oppositional” stance eg “We propose a poetry that supports a Realist aesthetic” …only problem being, that in one sense “all” the “isms” purport to be more “realist” or more “real” than the rest — even those based on improbables, probabilities, and fantasies etc.. I suspect however that hidden underneath this “realist” tenet, is a simplistic notion of what poetry should be — i.e. a rejection of the notion of “poetries”. Perhaps a better strategy would be one that outlined the “advantages” of adopting a Realpoetik — that way one could see what was flourishing.

  9. “Jack” Cooper 1889 — 1917

    “Jack” Cooper played for
    the fireworks; the maroons, (gold, and
    blue); for the football — exploding in the sky
    over St. Georges Road. He was born
    in North Fitzroy; attended Alfred Crescent State School,
    became a Storeman. (He and his wife, lived over at
    38 York St). A champion Half-back: 5 foot 10, 12 stone.
    What you lose in feet, you gain in scrum. He had heart, (liver,
    lung(s)) and the courage to Go — go! go!; enough pluck
    to score: 8 goals. He did what he was told; he
    stuck by his man; running & scooping up the ball;
    he won the 1913 premiership against
    the red-white-n-blacks; the best & fairest; over
    one hundred, and 36 games; He done what he was told.
    He was reported once for charging and striking. (But he done
    what he was told). He enlisted in the 8th Battalion
    when the Great War broke out. A “look in” is
    a better-than-even-chance. He left for France; saw action
    in the Somme. (Some songs are marred by
    being played on old gramophones). He done what he was told.
    There’s no record of a card game in Chaucer, or
    of a pool hall in Beowulf. He got gassed (on the Front).
    A twig is where a branch splits off. A polygon is
    a dead parrot; only a whiff, he said, of the Keiser’s gas.
    They fixed him up, and sent him back. He got
    killed, in Belgium. (His remains were never
    recovered); he done what he was told. Fitzroy’s a working—
    class suburb, and a gum tree, is no shade;
    Lest We Forget (on St. Georges Road) an exploding
    football, in the sky.

    • Unquantifiable potential: how to write a manifesto on the run.

      A google search on the potential of
      poetic writing releases about
      9,100,000 results
      (0.34 seconds) at 4:
      36 PM 26th of Nov
      ember 2012 into my Fire
      fox browser on an Optus Pre-paid broad
      band connection in Sydney’s Beacon Hill
      2100 compared to about
      42,900,000
      results (0.36 seconds) for
      the potential of conventional non-
      fiction prose – other things equal – apart
      from the search-time coordinates imposed
      by the nature of our biologic
      al time (which is not so different from mine).

      It don’t need to be let stay that way.

      There’s this google tool youse can use to change
      location without leaving yer browser.

      If youse do youse don’t
      get fed up local results;
      others may join us.

      Thank you TT.O. and everyone.

      p.s. this being a comment box, not all the line breaks above should be assumed to be mine.

  10. Nice touch, for someone like me, an old Fitzroy supporter who has never attended an Anzac Ceremony or set foot in an RSL Club.

    As to the game of frisbee with the manifesto war, I’m flinging you the old the whole is greater than the sum of its parts line.

    As JL Wilkinson stated, it’s what the Manifesto allows when it comes to “the discussions and debates and sharing of ideas and poems and approaches to the poetic – this is what is important”.

    • And should Brad Frederiksen or TT.O. not be happy with that explanation, I suggest they take a point from the Manifesto (say the Badiou point) and engage with its issues by considering an abolished flash and argue why “demonstrating thus-forth with examples (and exemplars by extension)” the event is better realised through number than poetry.

      • i seriously don’t understand you (dennis)
        i mean your sentences “the whole is greater than its parts” what does that relate to??? eg “(say the Badiou point) and engage with its issues by considering an abolished flash and argue why “demonstrating thus-forth with examples (and exemplars by extension)” the event is better realised through number than poetry” what does that mean? Number is already poetry, in fact all poetry IS number.

        • Sorry for the lack of clarity: it’s my problem if I can’t be any clearer.

          “the whole.. etc.” – accepting the manifesto gives the independence to run with the thing, rather than being like the centipede falling over when asked how it can walk with all those legs

          poetry / number – I didn’t draw the distinction – you did – so I assumed you were referring to mathematics

          That’s as clear as I can be.

          • or another enigmatic statement – it must be this flu i’ve got – and i forget which philosopher(s) – nothing is always simpler and easier than something (i.e. manifesto)

  11. After reading all the above comments (from BF on 25 Nov. 2012 at 6.51 pm to the last), my head is spinning. I think I’ll finish dusting my bookshelf and vacuum my loungeroom. Doing this ‘realist poetic’ will unspin my head.
    P. S. I enjoyed the ‘Jack Cooper’ memorialisation. Thank you, TT.O.

    • dear everyone
      this has been the worst conducted “discussion” i have ever been involved in — the principle writers were absent — tooooo busy with their “academic” conferences and only coming up to throw the odd potshot! You’d think that if they posted something they would be available but obviously NOT.

      • I think the authors may have waited too long, for whatever reasons, to pick up the discussion effectively now, TT.O. It seems a shame, but perhaps they can compensate with a full and frank follow up post of some sort.

        I’d offer to hold my breath, but my lungs aren’t up to that kind of behaviour anymore. Some people might counter that offer is frivolous, but what might say Badiou? Voids of Significance! How long must one breath be held before it is said to exist in a set with no elements?

        Despite the absence of the Manifesto writers in this discussion, TT.O.,this has actually been one of the best discussions I’ve been involved in at Overland. This leads me to conjecture that one need not be the principle writer(s) in order to be an inspiring discussion conductor. Thank you!

  12. The principles seem pretty clear from the manifesto, but the principals pretty absent. Does poetry matter? Does red wine? Do manifestos? Who likes warm beer? As Schuyler wrote: ‘What is a/poem, anyway’

  13. Pertinent too is how Dougal McNeill positioned manifestos and poetry so succintly in his excellent Overland blog, Writers and Terrorists (26/11):

    “Manifestoes and artistic declarations from within imperialist countries often ring shrill or false not because they’re wrong or objectionable (quite often the opposite) but because they’re forced to acknowledge, no matter how obscurely, that they haven’t an audience. Poets have no public or programmatic profile in countries like Australia and can’t wish one into existence. Poets in Palestine can’t escape their public profile.”

    So much for poetry and its ineluctable binds.

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