Al Jazeera and The Poetry Brothel, within a week or so, or a Slice of This Poet’s Life

Bleaders and Celebrants,

I come to praise the year, not to bury it.  What a wack bag of tricks this passing year was, a scatter of events as cracked as a cubist.  Great lows, great highs (yes we can), and great contradictioned collisions.  Of the last, a local case in point:

I decided a few years back that I’d say what I think and feel, if I can, even should it cause me some trouble.  It isn’t that I am unusually radical in any direction, but that I hold so many directions that especially in this age of branding, I confuse my audience.  A person who varies their actions along with their interests makes the shopper nervous.  I myself remember, as late as grad school, being a bit rattled when I saw in the learned astronomer’s Also By This Author included in the list some oddfellows: poetry or a cookbook.  What the?  In a phrase we all learn from our Indo-American friends: “What is he playing at?”  I was even then a poet/historian but it still made me twitch.  Well, children like their food unmixed.

I have a poem in my new unpublished that is called Please Use This Against Me, where I note that “future me” might be offered fruit or office and be tempted to join the bad machine and how can I stop her?  By telling you my fellow knees and Miss. Dee Meenors. My sins on a platter.  But I tell em slant.  Still, it’s a good idea, right?  So I’m already sunk and can do what I want.

Still, Imagine being on video, on the web, in two different news spots within two weeks, (no, not news videos that many of you likely normally watch) one on Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan show, I’m arguing with a priest about the Vatican’s recent condemnation of all contraception and stem cell stuff, etc.; and the other on Agence France Presse (AFP) being “The Professor” at the Poetry Brothel (the production of Stephanie Berger and Nick Adamski, graduates of the New School MFA) (there will be another Poetry Brothel soon, in January I think — I’ll let people know here and on Facebook yes, Friend me, I’ll click you in).

I mean really!  I’m not linking to these things because the latter one makes me blush and the former one, while I’m pleased with my own performance, the priest I am arguing with speaks so slowly and repeats himself a lot so it is dullsville.

Anyway, you get the idea without moving visuals.

So there you have it.  Against the slogan of our fine military, I believe we should Be All That You Can’t Be.

Heh, heh.  I think I’m almost there.

And you, my ethereal friends?  Are you too many things, and feel it’s to your own good?

Despite the nervousness it causes in others?  I bet you do.  Because you rock.  I can tell from here.

Happy holidays!

December 24, 2008

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About jennifermichaelhecht

I'm a poet with a PhD in the History of Science from Columbia University and I've written five books, two poetry, two popular philosophy, one intellectual history. I live in Brooklyn with my husband and our two little kids. I teach seminars in poetry in the MFA programs at The New School and at Columbia.
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