Joe Weil

Outing and Demonizing

by Joe Weil Sexuality

I don’t believe in “blessings” in disguise. I don’t believe that all that doesn’t kill me, strengthens me. I believe I was murdered emotionally. I believed that an already severe sadness was aggravated by being taunted relentlessly. This kid who was outed without his permission, who was exposed for the “entertainment” value of the reality TV culture is not merely an instance of gay bashing. He is a test of our failure not to torture. He is a victim of our pro-exposure, lack of empathy, sociopathic contempt for privacy or kindness. I keep his picture on my desk. I look at him every day.

My First Day at Dodge

by Joe Weil Poetry and Poetics
Thumbnail image for My First Day at Dodge

The church doesn’t look like much from outside, but when you enter it, Oh my God! And not one, but two grand pianos in perfect tune! The one I played was a 150 year old Steinway—with an amazingly delicate upper range, perfect bel canto bass, and not much volume. It was an intimate Steinway, made specifically for just such a classy church.

The Inward Soul: Dickinson and St. Theresa of Avila

by Joe Weil Aesthetics
Thumbnail image for The Inward Soul: Dickinson and St. Theresa of Avila

There is an inwardness so vast, so total, that it has a true integrity—not the pretentiousness of artistic temper, not the vanity of professional mysticism, not the neurosis of social anxiety disorder, but a forthrightness, an honorable, hourly withdrawal from the world that seems, for lack of a better word—ecstatic.

Using the Tools of Postmodernism

by Joe Weil Aesthetics
Thumbnail image for Using the Tools of Postmodernism

Part of the 20th century revolution in poetry was an interest in parody, pastiche, send ups, cut ups, a constant recapitulation of tired tropes in such a way as to reinvigorate them. If we look at poetry aesthetics as tools rather than as truths, then everything becomes available to us—all the thousands of years of utterance.

Towards a Different Kind of Workshop

by Joe Weil Academia
Thumbnail image for Towards a Different Kind of Workshop

I am not the expert teacher here, but the experienced learner, the one who has a love for poetry and gets excited by weird things like grammatical ambiguity, or how the poet used the weather to suggest a mood.

Rules for Readers

by Joe Weil Poetry and Poetics
Thumbnail image for Rules for Readers

Never, never say: three more poems, or six more poems, or any number. Someone in the audience is thinking, ” Oh my God, six more? This is torture.” Just read and when you have come to your last poem, say thank you.

In the Kingdom of Unmatched Shoes

by Joe Weil Poetry and Poetics
Thumbnail image for In the Kingdom of Unmatched Shoes

I met him once. Laura runs a reading series out of a Barnes and Noble in New Jersey. I could not believe love could get a true second generation New York poet who had been widely anthologized and published by Wesleyen to come out to a Barnes and Noble in Jersey, but love has some strange powers. There he was, like a rare European bird blown off his migration route by a fierce ocean storm and perching on the neighbor’s satellite dish.

“Minor” Poets and Imagery

by Joe Weil Poetry and Poetics
Thumbnail image for “Minor” Poets and Imagery

Literary theorists use literature as an excuse for ontological truths (or gender, or sexual, or identity issues). This is a legitimate way to ransack texts, but it will not teach you how to write. Ontology begins with detail selection—in terms of word choice, verbal relationships, rhythm. A theorist wouldn’t know what to do with this poem, unless the theorist started to write a book on kinetics in terms of verbal constructs and the cultural bias of admiring athletes as per one’s gender, or class. Minor may only mean a theorist can’t find much to theorize about.

In Memory of Harvey Pekar

by Joe Weil
Thumbnail image for In Memory of Harvey Pekar

Here was a guy with the same ability, in American vernacular prose, to make a drab world come alive–the same ability to make magic from the ordinary that Japanese poets showed in haiku. Harvey gave the urban rust belt, and its daily triumphs and frustrations, a reality, a comic, deadpan glamor. No fiction writers or poets of that time approached. Long before Seinfeld, Harvey Pekar was doing his own small version of Flaubert’s book about nothing.

Towards A Theoria, Praxis, and Poesis of Modernist/Post Modernist Poetry (A Procedural)

by Joe Weil Poetry and Poetics
Thumbnail image for Towards A Theoria, Praxis, and Poesis of Modernist/Post Modernist Poetry (A Procedural)

Lyrical poetry can be very dense. It can even be “high gibberish” (a form of ecstatic speech that does not yield readily to a standard meaning, but may create a mood, an orver all emotional or intellectual atmosphere). It does not usually explain. It is not prone to giving information in an overt and easy way. Why does it beat around the bush? Get to it! Say what you mean! Many a person has turned away from lyric poetry because it refuses to do the one thing people seem to insist on: get to the point! This is exactly where modern poetry wanted poesis to go—to the thing, the object, the point.

Translations of Irish Triads

by Joe Weil Poetry and Poetics
Thumbnail image for Translations of Irish Triads

These are my loose translations of a form in Ireland known as “three things there be.” Long before Saint Patrick came, the Irish thought in threes. They were a triune people, with a Celtic triune God, and they, like most Celts, cast spells, and framed their tales by the magic of threes. I have translated some Triads previously translated by the wonderful Irish poet, Thomas Kinsella.

Looking at Ballad Form, and the Nature of Voice

by Joe Weil Art
Thumbnail image for Looking at Ballad Form, and the Nature of Voice

We are in traditional ballad country the second Auden writes “As I Walked Out One Evening” (see “The Streets of Laredo”). He is not mocking the structure or form of the ballad (except perhaps the way a lover would tease his beloved); he is reveling in the cliche. He trusts his own ability to have fun with cliché (something Ashbery also trusts).

The Flaming Poodle of the Mind: Poetry Readings, Vaudeville & Louise Gluck’s Legs

by Joe Weil Aesthetics
Thumbnail image for The Flaming Poodle of the Mind: Poetry Readings, Vaudeville & Louise Gluck’s Legs

If I am anything at all, I am a vaudevillian. Considering that vaudville has been stone dead the last 80 years, that’s a hard thing to be, but wouldn’t you want to attend a reading where, first, someone read Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” beautifully, followed by a white poodle jumping through a fiery hula hoop, then a great tap dancer, and then a good torch singer doing “Strange Fruit,” topped off by a rousing version of Etheridge Knight’s “All Fucked Up”?

A Cuban Sandwich and Levinas

by Joe Weil Academia
Thumbnail image for A Cuban Sandwich and Levinas

Suppose you are reading Levinas, having a nice Cuban sandwich, minding your business, thinking about the self, the other, the other self, the otherness of self, the selfishness of other, etc, etc, and the sun slants across the legs of a woman you pretend to have a deep rapport with—striping them apricot. What do you do?

Tangent

by Joe Weil Art

On fourth of July, alone in my kitchen and the sound of distant fireworks. I drink cheap Merlot, watch the dark break and enter through the windows. I am all over the Internet, but would rather be all over someone else: a tangent. A tanager. Today, by the river I saw a scarlet tanager. Had […]

Writing Prompt Patter

by Joe Weil Academia
Thumbnail image for Writing Prompt Patter

I worry about graduate students. When intention, and goals, and focus outstrip the accidental, the possibility of falling into exactly what you need to trip over, you ought to take stock: what do you just allow to happen? Some students will say, “Easy for you. You have a job.” They’re right. But I never planned […]

Page 9 of 9« First...23456789