Friday, November 10, 2006

A Modest – Perhaps Not So A Modest – Proposal to Annihilate All Other Poets

by Lydia Cortes

We are the world, we are the best poets, we are the only ones who count, the only poets. Therefore, I offer my modest? proposal (and should it be not accepted it will, in fact, become a formal decree, a command that must be carried out) that all other poets be annihilated. And it should occur as soon as can possibly be; after all, that is the only just solution to relieve them of their own delusions and us of the insufferable rubbish they put down on paper or go around muttering almost boring us all to death. Forget all other poets – the Beats, the New York poets (languaged or not), the San Francisco poets, the Black Mountaineers, the Umbranese, the Flarfistas and whatever other group they may invent up in their minuscule underdeveloped minds. They think, each group thinks, they’re it. Shit! Can’t they see? The mere fact that they need to divide and further subdivide themselves into so many factions, give themselves ever more ridiculous names to distinguish each own’s group from the other only proves my premise; it proves that instinctively they know absolutely that they are not the ones. Don’t they know just the same, why don’t they just admit it already, that we are the ones? It is we who are on the most cutting edge. We are the most cutting, the most on the edge, the edgiest ones always pushing the envelope; in truth, we are the envelope and all that’s in it too, the inside and out. We are all there is to be. We manage to be on the edge without falling off, never failing with words. Never bereft of, without words never ending, amen. And yet, we have always been both women and men – we are egalitarian in that way – at most. We’ve never excluded merely by gender. We’re way above that, just as we are completely above all the others who have the audacity to call themselves poets or bards. We only exclude by divine right because we are the ones with inner, with inimitable brilliance. All others by comparison are complete idiots. If we were to put it in terms of PI – poets’ quotient (like a type of IQ) – we’d be off the charts; for we truly are our own world, simply the top of the top and they – the rest are only the heap. And you can’t touch that, and neither can they, so why even try? We laugh, sometimes getting the occasional thrill, seeing those who still try to be like us – or worse, those who have the temerity to think they could ever be part of us. It just doesn’t happen like that. You have to be invited to be let in. Membership in our league has to be conferred like a prize – a Mac Arthur or Guggenheim or best yet, the Nobel. So, therefore, as I began this brief, yet truthfully immodest treatise, I propose that all other poets should take a long hike or best yet take the permanent route and commit mass suicide. Why must they insist on taking themselves seriously, the way to certain embarrassment, trying so hard in vain? We certainly don’t give them a serious thought! But we wouldn’t join the complicity in their own homicides and dirty our hands; though they certainly deserve it for being less than second-rate while taking up precious space and air. Let us all finally live in peace and not have to be chagrined and mortified by their lack of grace and poetics. For, I’ll say it again, we, we, we are the chosen –The Chosen – do you all hear? We are the only ones who have the right to be...to be chicly and cheekily understood or even misunderstood yet always with an artistic purpose – being truly uniquely original; by right and God-given to exist in our very own Eden – Paradise (don’t worry that it sort of rhymes with patricide and parasite) Lost to all others who ain’t us...The Almighty Ones.

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