March 12, 2011 § 1 Comment
I learned the notion of celebrity like shoe-tying, like praying. I learned distance. Names, not people, create what we imbibe, construct what we consume. Let’s take poet Kenneth Koch. The name Kenneth Koch is two disembodied words made of poems and essays arbitrarily dubbed Kenneth Koch. Can one speak to a Kenneth Koch? Just as DaVinci = Mona Lisa and Edison = light bulb, Kenneth Koch = “One Train May Hide Another.” Intangible Kenneth Koch does not tie his shoes. He sits on a cloud, sleeping with women.
Or rather, in my reverence, I mythologize these individuals, sculpting the equivalent of Greek gods or Catholic saints. Kerouac as Dionysus. Brautigan as St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes. Or I ascribe these creators with the abstract concepts they embody. Nick Flynn is childhood pain. Ann Carson is intellectual experiment. Philip Levine is blue collar work. Frank O’Hara is an afternoon carefree.