POETRY, RUIN MY LIFE: the poetics of trouble – Brendan Lorber

POETRY, RUIN MY LIFE: the poetics of trouble – BRENDAN LORBER

Adverse verse — the almost infinite ways in which poets get in trouble for their writing or write as a response to having found themselves in hot water. We will harness the power of destructive creation & its more popular opposite. We will learn methods that writers have used for millennia to demolish their good name and work in the name of something more compelling. Be they dissidents, visionaries out of favor with normative constraints, provocateurs, petty bone pickers, vengeful deities made flesh, brilliant fuckups or simply poets whose decision to write remarkably unmarketable work doomed them to lives of privation — they all found the secret ecstasy within despair, the covert liberation of sweet ruin, the fabulous deliverance of hopeless failure from bummer to rapture. They took on political oppression, personal demons or literary feuds and either suffered or had a balls/ova-on-fire awesome party — or both. As civilization enters its new era of volatility and collapse, it’s a good time to play with fire — to stretch the boundaries of Keatsian negative capability, Cartesian house-demolition, Wordworthian emotion-recollection and Rimbaudian disordering of all the senses. We will look at ways writers have estranged themselves from selves born of routine. We will develop our own techniques to wreck our lives, through writing, in ways spectacular, subtle and sublime — and create the heretofore uncreatable. We absolutely will not equate one writer’s struggles with another — each is unique. But what they all share is transgressions’ tumultuous opening to the immediate, various-as-possible grace of unsheltered vision — and instructions on how you can join them. Some writers we might talk about include: Anna Akhmatova, Arius, Mansur Rajih, Ibrahim Qashoush, Ayat al-Gormezi, Amiri Baraka, Hannah Weiner, Ted Berrigan, Jim Carroll, Arthur Rimbaud, Brad Will, Nina Zivancevic, Douglass Rothschild, Jim Behrle, Ezra Pound, Alice Notley, Bernadette Mayer, Lisa Jarnot, Hakim Bey.

Brendan Lorber runs LUNGFULL!magazine, hosts Secret Laboratory an online video interview series, and curates The Zinc Reading Series. He is the author of Gold Star, Dash, and Your Secret among others.