It is as if poets have vanished. Vanished into an old world making way to ‘progress’ and ‘development’. In need of being an absolute professional poetry is in distress. In desperate need of stating total professionalism a poet is something incomprehensible (how do you make a living. Do you get paid for what you do?), because anything else than professional money-making is ridiculous. Same goes for fine artist of course, but it is obviously more rare to be a poet. It takes something else. To say I am a poet and publish my work online is a hobbyist way unless one makes money. I personally resent the idea of professionalism since my professionalism has been under suspicion always, whatever I did, whatever position I had. It is not enough, never enough. At worst it is nothing, my art is not art and there is always a consultant telling how to make things so that I would be convincing to those who need to be convinced. To be an artist, a female standing alone and do art, should be finding a role of a saleswoman, advertiser, entertainer and please. Poetry to me represents the opposite of that role. I don’t have to please in any way. That is what I am set to do. I enjoy the marginal outsider position for that reason. That is freedom. Professionalism as such is not something of a goal at all. That itself is a flawed way of seeing making art.
Strength of poetry now is to break the need for absolute professionalism, to disturb a search for stability and getting entertainment to keep politics, activism, feelings and other distresses aside and away, to absolutely jeopardize contemporary consciousness and threat the norms. To question the mindset of absolute money-making machinery, ideology of winning, the exceptional of it, smugness of it. To bring anarchy into writing in the net, to making art altogether. To question the ways of making and why make.
Even within the fine arts it is not self-evident there is interest or knowledge over poetry. It is somehow below the image, below the hype and contemporary ‘self-evident’ excellence of educated and notified skill and talent.
When I tell people I teach and – God help me – even write poetry, they often say, “I wish you could explain modern poetry to me. I just don’t understand most of it.”