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Tuesday, December 13, 2005


American poet Ron Silliman notes the addition of the 700th name to his blogroll of weblinks.

That's 700 fellow bloggers in his online community of like-minded souls. Does he read them all? Maybe he does. In which case, poor Ron Silliman.

In an endnote to a poem, Thomas Kinsella (which Thomas Kinsella poem? See, unlike Ron Silliman's this blog makes NO effort whatever to get off its backside), as I was saying, Thomas Kinsella notes that Albert Speer notes a description in his diary (long sentence this, but we're getting there) of some monks hearing polyphony for the first time, having previously heard only plainchant. They fainted. And so it is that every artistic or technological advance brings with it an inescapable element of decadence and decline.

Here we are blogging away and free, if we feel the need, to have 700 links to other people's so-fascinating blogs too, rather than good old Ron having to send you or me a postcard about how we can read X or Y's thoughts on poetry in The New Mexico Post-Avant Quarterly, should the mood take us. But maybe their and our thoughts aren't so fascinating after all. Maybe Ron Silliman should unplug his computer for a while and go for a walk, or better still get drunk and go AWOL for a week. Maybe I should too. Maybe like the goldfish in the cartoon we're just swimming in ever multiplying pools of our own shit. And even if we aren't maybe it's good at least to entertain this paranoid fear/entirely justified suspicion from time and time.

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