To a great extent, this crisis is about hubris. It seems to me that Europe thought it had made it when the euro was launched, that the European project had entered its final phase or had even been completed. We perhaps felt that economically, politically, socially and even culturally we had reached a higher plane than the rest of the world. While there is much to admire about the European project, this feeling of accomplishment simply covered up the cracks in the architecture of the EU and euro as well as the chasms between its member states. The idea that we had attained convergence was wrong as was the idea that Europe had a divine right to prosperity.Nick Malkoutzis
EW: So what is a professional poet?
JM: All right, a professional poet is somebody who hustles and makes a living from the shit, or who tries to make a living from it. And a living poet is every minute you are a poet, you don’t have to write to be a poet. A shoemaker could be the greatest poet. The way he hammers the nail in the fucking shoe is poetry. The way a woman lifts up her hair, lifts her skirt, a hooker, the way she smiles, that’s poetry. When it’s a living thing, it’s poetry. But these people who are hung up on fucking words and shit, the academic mentality, they’re not poets. They’re jerking off, one hand against the other. So it isn’t what you say, it’s what you do that makes you a poet.
EW: But aren’t there some, what you would call professional poets, who are also living poets?
JM: Right, sure, they study the poems, they read everybody else who comes out. They read in the universities. They get the rich people to back them or the big companies to publish them. But to me they are not saying anything. So they might have good use of language, they may write some interesting poems; but they are not moving it out to the masses, they are not saying anything to the people who are dead, who are the living dead. And the idea of a poet is to wake up the dead, shake up the ones who cannot think, cannot smell, taste, feel or breathe. And so they are not revolutionaries in the sense of trying to shake up the system. They want a piece of the action and they want to be rich and famous and they do not want to shake up anything. They are not revolutionaries. They are not people who are willing to put their life on the line to change the system or to make the world a better place for most people to live in. In other words, they are doing it for the money.
Eddie Woods interview Jack Micheline for Exquisite Corpse.
I did a project to prove that the literary establishment didn’t like me,” author Stewart Home is explaining in a crowded East End pub on a late Saturday afternoon: “I applied seven years in a row for an Arts Council writers award, and didn’t get it. The eighth year I applied, they’d introduced blind submissions and I won, that was my vindication. I had the joy of Salman Rushdie refusing to shake my hand when I got the award.Stewart Home
ASAP zine submissions due Nov 30. Email BRUMAL themed writings, photos, paintings, drawings, etches, & sketches to email@example.com
Brumal will be the last ASAP zine.
8 issues in a year ain’t bad. We’ve published some great stuff and have been acknowledged for the quality of the content and the format of the publication. Still, the editors’ goal has always been to pay contributors and the current model ain’t cutting it.
We love doing this and will be exploring other funding mechanisms likely in partnership with other artist-run centres. Hope to have a new publication hitting the presses and paying artists in 2014.
I like writing disagreeable poems, or certainly don’t mind if a poem strikes someone as unpleasant. It is possible to offend people still, and my poems not infrequently do. One way to do it is to write beautifully what people don’t want to hear.
Yes. The wrong thing to say, a harsh way to say it, but done beautifully, done perfectly. I like poems that are daggers that sing. I like poems that for all the power of the sentiments expressed, and all the power to upset and offend, are so well made that they’re achieved things. However much they upset you, they also affect you.
“For the West, I do not feel hatred. At most I feel a great contempt. I know only that every single one of us reeks of selfishness, masochism, and death. We have created a system in which it has simply become impossible to live, and what’s more, we continue to export it.”
Michel Houellebecq from Platform. Translation courtesy Frank Wynne