the problem with internet poetry this year was this notion of “breaking free of shackles”—of form, of structure, of language, whatever. the shackles were broken already. what we need to do in 2012 is fix them.
artists in the 10s, as i see it, need to be the exact opposite of beatniks. ginsburg and kerouac had to go wild and crazy to escape the crushing banality of the 50s mainstream. but the 10s mainstream is wild and crazy. what artists today need to escape is not crushing banality but crushing insanity.
artists need shackles. we have always needed them, and in the 10s we need them more than we ever have. the world is chaos. at every moment we are in danger of dissipating. being an artist in the 10s ought to mean being someone who is strong enough inside to withstand that dissolving force, and is dedicated to making art that somehow confers that strength on others.
the image of wild bohemianism we see in music videos and in nylon magazine or whatever—that image is so much more seductive and pernicious than “selling out” could ever be. artists in the 10s need to be strong enough to resist it. artists in the 10s ought to have unapologetically unsexy lives—ought to wear ties, have respectable bourgeois jobs (if possible), ought to go to bed before 11.
in summary: what we need is discipline. start by resolving this new years to only have four tabs open at a time.
I think the main issue that I have with this, and a lot of the other criticism that seems to be emerging of Internet Poetry is that it only engages with the question of art on a meta-ironic level.
Artists dont “need” to do anything other than make art. The point of art is to be pointless.