Don’t Bitterness! Be Happy–You Sellout! Now with Banjo, Accordion, Wallet Chain, & Jack Spicer

Posted by @ 10:39 am on March 10th, 2010

[Jeremy Schmall, by way of reply/addendum/rejoinder to Jim Behrle’s essay about how to become a famous poet overnight that Ken linked yesterday, sent me the following  – JT]

(1) To ease the bitter bitter cynicism: httpv://

(2) This power quote from Jack Spicer seems especially resonant now:

“But the point is that most people will exploit poets. They’ll exploit the older ones for the knowledge they have, and they’ll exploit the younger ones for the promise they have, which somehow or other gives the people some kind of thing that maybe they have promise too, which they don’t.

“Essentially, what I mean is, stay loose. Stay absolutely loose, and don’t accept any offers whatsoever.

“But you’re not just a poet. You’re also a human being who wants to be recognized and everything else. One of the best things that I heard on that was last night on KCBS where some guy–his name was Anderson–was talking about peach farmers, and he said the peach farmers didn’t know a good goddamn thing about the number of peaches that were needed in the market. In other words, they would send in peaches, and peaches would go down to one cent a peach, or whatever it was, and that this had a great deal to do with farm labor.

“What I’m saying is that you’re going to sell out eventually. You have to, just for economic reasons. But when you sell out, know exactly what your peaches cost. Know exactly how many peaches there are on the market. Know exactly what is the price you can sell out for.”

– from Lecture 4, “Poetry and Politics,” July 14th, 1965 (page 154)

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