published by Penguin in England are issued simultaneously here— but the
Penguin Book of Socialist Verse wasn't— why? why are there no
anthologies of Socialist or Communist poetry published in this
country? Every year USA publishers somehow find the money to issue
endless anthologies of "spiritual" poetry, but there is not (to my
knowledge) ever an anthol of atheist verse— why? Who puts up the money
for all these religious anthols? Who funds this vicious christer
The CIA promoted the New York School of
artists in the 1950s and reportedly helped finance The Paris Review and
Encounter and who knows how many other literary magazines. . . and if
there is one characteristic shared by all secret intelligence agencies
since WWII, isn't it the imperative to expand, to increase both their
budget and their number of personnel (the size of which are always
classified), to grow, to gain ever greater power and prestige, and to
continue to impose their ideological agendas and to spread their
influence and domination into every aspect of society . . .
So why would the CIA (or the NSA or how
many other acronymic bureaus of faceless conspirators) not continue
funding cultural entities from the 1950s right up to the present? I
mean: Why would they stop? Have they ever stopped intervening in any
other domain? Have they ever stopped for one second their constant
efforts to manipulate and control every sociopolitical / economic arena
around the globe? Does anybody believe they don't expend billions to
coerce every aspect of the media? And if the media, why not the arts?
—Really: why wouldn't they? What's stopping them? Having once created
an extensive program and set in motion departmental protocols to
interfere in the realm of the arts, and having established significant
inroads there, why on earth would they cease and desist? Given the
historical trajectories of most such clandestine bureaucracies, does
that seem likely?
given the CIA's choice in the 1950s to promote and fund the New York
School of Painters, wouldn't you expect it to continue supporting
similar offshoots of the Avant-Garde? Remember that the Agency's chief
James Angleton was a disciple of Ezra Pound (and probably ran the Op
that saved Pound from being prosecuted for war crimes). Therefore,
assuming the CIA had continued its involvement in the Arts (and I
repeat: why wouldn't it?), wouldn't it also continue its investment in
the Avant-garde? Imagine which poets it would have favored (Pound . . .
Avant-garde . . . any names come to mind?)
USA poets know that writing innocuous
'spiritual' or 'psychological' or 'existential' or 'elliptical' or
'aleatory' or 'memoiristic' or 'postmod' or 'flarf' or 'newthingist' or
massmedia-dictated 'pop' verse and other inoffensive brands of poetry
will be beneficial to their careers. Out of fear of persecution or
censorship, most USAPO suppress any wayward urge to write political
poetry or 'protest' verse.
They know where their bread is buttered,
who pays their bills, and indeed how the State sponsors and supports
them with its agencies—
of which the CIA is not the least beneficial:
because not only is Langley rumored to have
founded and funded litmags like the Paris Review, it also and perhaps
more importantly takes on the onerous task of going into foreign
countries and eliminating the potential competitors of USA poets . . .
For example: How many young Chilean poets were murdered or suicided or
impoverished or exiled by the CIA-installed Pinochet regime? Think of
the chagrin and embarrassment USA poets suffered some decades ago when
they compared their work to the great Chilean poets like Neruda and
Parra, how solipsistically small and provincial and futile their poems
seemed in contrast to those Latin American masters. . . but now, in the
succeeding years, hasn't that situation improved thanks to the CIA?
It's not just Chile, of course. Imagine
how many other South American poets have been killed or quashed and
quelled by CIA black-ops. Not to mention Africa, Asia et al.
Think of it: all those foreign poets who
right this minute might be writing better poetry than our native
versifiers: thankfully that ongoing threat is being countered daily by
USA poets know (though they rarely if ever
acknowledge it) how much the CIA and other government agencies help
promote the health and prosperity of AmeriPoBiz Inc!
They know that the majority of their
publications, most of the magazines and books their exciting
breakthrough verse appears in, are largely funded by the CIA or, if not
directly by the CIA, then through the distributive channels of other
indirect pipeline organizations via the standard "cut-out" methods,
funding which then is managed and administered by the executives of AmeriPoBiz Inc—
which USA poets are for the most part devoted or subservient employees of.
And most USAPO are grateful to be subsidized and supported thus.
And to show their gratitude they write all
these poems about how their mom and dad were only human but they love
them anyway, or how mystically moved they are by the apparitions of
tangency as it transpires in the treetops or their laptops.
Everybody knows that USAPO who write
apolitical verse are rewarded for it, they win the top prizes and
grants, their books are foisted into libraries everywhere and their
careers are glide-pathed. Louise Gluck and Charles Wright are two
egregious examples of what I mean, but really most of this country's
"leading poets" are similarly components in the con. The construct.
Bought-off, co-opted by endowment patronage
from the state's cultural authorities, USA poets know it doesn't pay
to write political poems, and ergo most of them don't—