Thursday, 30 May 2013

Ridiculous Machine

08:00:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , 1 comment
Television is the antithesis of poetry.  It is mushed up banana porridge, fed through a tube.  It splurges from a rectangular window into our oval eyes and curly ears and bathes them in a sludge of sugary sap.  Single chain molecules, easily broken down and absorbed.  Tropes repeated night after night so that their simple messages such as 'it's more important to be beautiful than intelligent' begin to ring with truth.

Television trawls through the slurry of human emotion and throws it back at us, crude or refined.  It sniffs out a trend and proliferates, cramming zeitgeist down our throats with plungers.  It refuses to re-think until we're bent over the toilet, heaving reality against its porcelain cheeks.

Television pacifies.  It lets us off the hook.  'This,' it tells us, 'is all you need to do this evening.  This is all you need to know.  This is all you need to get by.' 

Television has formats.  It has policies and regulations.  There are limits.  Avant-garde means running five minutes behind schedule.  Cutting edge means swearing before the watershed.  The next big thing will always bear a resemblance to the last big thing.

Poetry is a meal which hasn't been prepared.  Poetry is always running from you.  It requires you to carry tools: a hunting knife, crockery, utensils, and seasoning.  It's a long chain molecule that's slow to digest.  It probably fights cancer. 

Poetry notices the gunk on the sole of your shoe.  It smells of freshly turned earth.  It burrows into your pores, sealing itself beneath the surface of your skin and refusing to be squeezed.  Poetry impregnates. 

Poetry is disturbing.  It takes you down a dark road, reveals a semi-digested corpse then forces you to poke it.  Poetry follows you home with dead frogs in its pockets and baby's hair in its mouth.  It insists that you wade back into the bog.

Poetry makes towers in order to knock them down.  It drags you across the grass while shouting 'keep off the grass!'  It crosses the line then runs back, picks up the line and places it somewhere else.  Avant-garde means you might not ever understand.  Cutting edge means they know what you're thinking.  The next big thing will always bear a resemblance to the last big thing.  But the last big thing hasn't happened to you yet.



Colin Davies said...

It drags you across the grass while shouting 'keep off the grass!'

Would love to hear this line in a TV programme.

Love this.