Well for one it’s because the avant-garde always has more fun creating the work than its readers do reading it… In fact it is this sheer attention to joy that should make others suspicious. After all poetry lives in the frayed ends of ropes and lashes while on bent knees–my father preferred to use bricks recently pulled off of walls for replacement because they are falling apart, and therefore less smooth, inflicting the maximum amount of pain. Poetry is born of introspection. The avant-garde is as introspective as an MRI. The avant-garde boasts that it is born of happy moments, no suffering there, not like the old masters, dark and starving in garrets–or at least figuratively starved. No, a good person cannot abide a literature of aloof, a lofty and erudite expostulation crafted solely of life’s excesses. No, one wants a little more blood in one’s verse, a little less techno-babble, more feeling, less constraint, a little more heart and a little less sheen. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we should eradicate the strand altogether (there is occasionally an idea or two worth pilfering, not that you want to let them know that), but I might suggest that one weed can ruin a perfectly good lawn. And what is more restful to the eye than an even expanse of green?

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