There's an interesting discussion on the topic of poet bloggers going on over at Hayden's Ferry Review. Darren Morris wonders whether poet's blogs detract from readers' experiences of their work while Sandra Beasley notes that her creative life is on a "different plane" from her personal life, which is another way, I guess, of agreeing with Morris' assertion that we poets who blog hope readers will be able to "erect a partition" between our blogs and our poems.
Morris and Beasley make great points. However, it is the fear of what Morris articulates in his post, the TMI cloud, that has kept my blogging to a minimum over the past couple of months. Does anyone really need to know the details of my trip to Eastern Europe? Is there anything worthwhile that can be gleaned from my bitchy overanalysis of the 2-day chapbook rejection I just received?
Occasionally I have insightful things to say and occasionally I say them. Ideally, everything I write here would be considered, well-written, and a vibrant addition to the discourse surrounding contemporary poetry. Or a funny-as-hell send-up of the ridiculousness of contemporary poetry. Or something. Or not. Maybe, ideally, my most concerted writing effort would be spent on my poetry.
Beasley writes, "You’re not doing things right unless you’re getting on someone’s nerves. Unless you’re an anesthesiologist." It's a clever statement, but I have to take issue. Anyone who's ever taken in the flame sessions that pass for comments on Harriet is familiar with the effects of this approach to blogging. The definition of "right" is up for debate, of course, but the idea that a good argument = emotional disturbance is tied up in our American obsession with polemics and self-identification via ideas. That is, Love me, love my ideas. Hate my statements, hate my person. Which is dangerously close to Know the poet, know the poem and vice versa.
Anyhoo, I'm still grappling with it all. I will continue to grapple. I will continue to blog as I grapple. I will continue to write poems.