Odds and Ends ... - Infante's Inferno
Jun. 22nd, 2010
06:53 pm - Odds and Ends ...
I've been sort of compulsively flipping through Facebook photos from my 20th high school reunion, which I was unable to attend, what with the vagueries of cross-country travel. I find the photos fascinating. And indeed, I've often found myself flipping through old schoolmates' online photo albums -- the people I adored and admired, the people I didn't much care for, even the ones I didn't really know -- and trying to reconstruct the narrative of their lives in my head.
It's hard to remember sometimes that people are all deeply engaged in their own stories, in which sometimes you're just a bit part, and other times you're a bigger player than you realize. Some months back, I sent a note to a woman who was the first girl to dance with me at a school dance. She doesn't even remember it, nor should she. It was weirdly huge for me, just another school dance for her. But that's the way our lives intersect. Perhaps if we take care to move through them with more care and kindness, we'd do less damage as we pass, and do more inadvertent good. Certainly, it's amazing how much small kindnesses stand out over time, far more even than petty meanness, which is far too common.
Hopefully, I can remember this the next time I'm behind deadline and in a foul mood ...
I really didn't mean to take this Essential Contemporary American Poet poll nonsense so seriously, but I must admit, I've had a blast watching the results come in (although few are bothering to write defenses. Step up, people! :)
What's really grabbing me is the mix ... people whom I know have slam backgrounds voting for academic types, people whom I know to be page-oriented having the occasional slammer in their list. It confirms my belief that the worlds are no longer as stratified as they once were. There's room for Billy Collins and Patricia Smith and Rachel McKibbens and Mary Oliver and even KRS-One at the table. Poetry's a big tent, and stratification only leads to stagnation.
But a game's a game, and fun is fun. So go vote.
Dispatches from around the Internet:
Bronnie Kush's story on "Star Trek and Humanism" has certainly been a discussion piece, even if -- in the fine tradition of newspaer online comments -- most of the discussion has gone far afield from Mr. Roddenberry's TV legacy. Still, it's a good story, and worth a read. DC Comics' Dan DiDio tries to defend the house that Kal-El built's diversity record by pointing to Dwayne McDuffie 's run on JLA. Hilarity ensues. Stuff about poetry I intend to read more closely soon, save to say that I always wonder if the people who write these things ever really deal with real-life poets. They always seem too damned hypothetical, and divorced from living, breathing writers and their writing.