Poultry (Chicken-Shit Scribblings)

I’ve been writing a lot of political poetry the past eight or nine years, much of which you can find in the sidebar over there, work which I called Poultry (chicken-shit scribblings), a term based on a poem by David Ignatow called “No Theory”:

No Theory

No theory will stand up to a chicken's guts
being cleaned out, a hand rammed up
to pull out the wriggling entrails,
the green bile and the bloody liver;
no theory that does not grow sick
at the odor escaping.

That poem and the content I wanted to pursue in my writing felt appropriate to the political climate. The term ‘chicken-shit scribblings’ seemed apt to explain how, in the context of a political poem, a protest of sorts, sitting down to write about something isn’t really doing anything about it. Not that I would anyway, because I'm scared of everything, so merely writing about sociopolitical issues was maybe just a way of keeping my distance.

So many hands too busy writing about the issues, theorizing, not enough rammed up the system’s what’s-it, actually pulling out the entrails to see what it's made of. The theory grows sick as it comes into contact with the real problem, the real smell of American or capitalist or imperialist decay.

I also meant to exhibit my own contradictions, complaining that nothing was being done while not doing anything.

What any of that means now, I'm not sure. I've been slowly writing away from all that, as everything in life is political and therefore contradictory anyway. It's taken a while to realize there's really nothing to fight, nothing to prove, nothing to be afraid of.

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