Friday, December 30, 2005

Morford's poetry

Yes he has a way with words... somewhere in the midst of reading this, maybe paragraph three, I began to wonder whether this guy has a message or just loves to see his words in print or onscreen. What will his readers be talking about more - his fanciful use of language or his message? Because when it's melted down, what is Mark Morford's message? Well, it looks fairly simple: keep on keepin' on!

But Morford surrounds that simple statement with such a profusion of jabberwocky that I just know some percentage of his readers will think the man a sage, one of those off kilter, gifted prophets whose fruits harvest themselves in a flurry of color and pulp. I don't.

I appreciate the man his style because it is consistent. But what's to value in an 18 paragraph rant (excuse me: New Year's message of inspiration) that goes on and on about what is so horrible with this new world order of the second Bush (even though I agree) and yet barely offers a whisper of hope?

What's most painful is Morford's short and extremely cruel pronouncement that: "I have witnessed the death of poetry."

How can this man have any hope if indeed, he believes this is so? What is poetry if not some encapsulated vision of the exterior world, a vision that tumbles out much like Morford's rant, full of sound and fury and hoping, HOPING to make some difference? Hoping that expression, idiosyncratic or avant garde or totally traditional, expression will change the interior world of the reader, and in kind, change the exterior world that causes such expression to begin with? What is poetry if not a recognition that each seed of thought will burgeon into some tree of existence. Or that each prayer against pain will result in a resurrection? What is poetry if not a witness to what is - in plain words - pain and joy and everything in between?

Morford says poetry is dead and I say it can't be. That wild tropical lushness is surging out of his throat fed by his own loam and shit, kept alive by his own sunshine. Yeah - now doesn't that sound corny? Kinda like Morford's own final directive:

Because, sometimes, merely refusing to stop cultivating an unquenchable lust for beauty and truth and orgasmic life is the most profound and important thing you can resolve to do.

Yes, keep on, keepin' on. Poetry is alive, dammit.

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