13 October 2011

why we write

Talking about his photo blog, which documents the homeless in the United Stateas, Linh Dinh talks about poetry.

"Poetry is too slow for this culture."

"By definition, a writer or artist must work in isolation. He must be removed from the world as he writes, paints or whatever, but a writer must also be among other people so he can have something to write about."

"You asked about the media. Well, the media is all about getting stuff. It’s about having all of your natural and unnatural appetites fulfilled. It’s about whooping it up, partying, fucking, and spending, but real life is not anything like that. Well, you might have a few highlights here and there, fondly remembered, but most of the time, it’s incredibly hard just to get by."

"As an artist, you’re always a kind of vulture when you’re around people, you’re always trying to make use of what they say, how they look or who they are, and since art is always subjective, a kind of distortion, you’re always deforming people to suit your purposes. Although art is always, in this sense, an exploitation, it is also a kind of tribute, and hence, of love. Sometimes I can barely stand how magnificent and beautiful people are."

"American cities are outlawing sleeping or camping in public. In many places, dumpster diving is also illegal. One should remember that during the 1929 Depression, much food was destroyed even as the nation starved! In Hawaii, Santa Cruz, and elsewhere, you can’t sleep in your own car, and in San Francisco, you can’t even sit on the sidewalk. These cosmetic measures are designed to mask our accelerating economic collapse."

Which is why we take our poetry to the streets.

And make poems for people, not magazines. 

(Thanks, Mom, for the pictures of me doing Poem Machine!)


Emerald G. S. said...

Hey Maya, awesome and sweet post. I enjoyed it. And your hair - it's so long; it looks great. Take care,

Maya said...

thanks, emerald! good to hear from you