Sunday, August 14, 2005


It's fun to read a brand new artistic manifesto. The last one I read was le refus global, written ten years before I was born. (I don't know if the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E archive counts as a manifesto because I haven't read it yet. I just have the link on my site because it looks cool! Talk about sincere... definitely intend to read it tho...someday...)

This one I subscribe to instinctively: sincerity is a good thing, on the face of it. We need more of it. Always.

Questions, tho, which keep popping up:

Why is it new? Why does it have to proclaim itself as new at all? (This one is addressed in document, but it keeps bobbing up, like a rubber ducky...)

Does proclaiming sincerity as new make it automatically cool?

Isn't that insincere?

Isn't the New Sincerity a kind of happy face, which when you turn it upside down, becomes a frowny face?

Isn't it, in other words, a new disingenuity?

(I'd better cut this out, or I'll be accused of disingenuous ingenuity... très cool, yah!)

I come out of hiding to weigh in on this because I'm afraid ten days from now, when I'm back from vacation, The New Sincerity will already be Old Hat.

I think it may already be a fading fedorah, as I write this....

1 comment:

Anthony Robinson said...

We're here, some of us are queer, and we aren't going anywhere.

The New Sincerity had its genesis in December of 2004. It began when I met Andrew Mister in San Francisco's Tenderloin district and proceeded to drink him under the table. He lost concentration during our last couple of rounds as he was trying to chat up a girl at the bar. I maintained focus on drinking my beer and whiskey.

We talked a lot of shit about poetry we didn't like between drinks. We also sang David Bowie's "Life on Mars," though we couldn't remember all the lyrics. We watched a drag show. We almost broke a table.

But we talked about poetry. What we liked, what we wanted poetry to do. Then we exchanged manuscripts and discovered that each of us was the other's favorite new poet. We seemed to see eye to eye on matters poetical. We wrote the sorts of poems that we wanted to read.

The New Sincerity went public in the late spring and early summer of 2005. I began writing little blips about it on my blog. In early July of 2005, Joe Massey wrote a controversial manifesto. Since then, not a day in the blogosphere goes by without a mention of the NS. I like this. It means people are paying attention. Not everyone agrees with us and that is okay. There are a number of skeptics. That too is okay.

We are not going anywhere. But we promise not to take over your town.