Expansive Poetics – (Jeff Nightbyrd)

AG: [turning to Jeff Nightbyrd] – You knew George Demerly (FBI informant)?.

Jeff Nightbyrd:  Very well

AG: This, incidentally, is Jeff Nightbyrd, who was the editor of the New York Rat and the Dallas…

Jeff Nightbyrd: Austin

AG:  Austin Sun

Austin Sun

Jeff Nightbyrd: (and)  New Left Notes

AG: New Left Notes

Jeff Nightbyrd: Right

AG: And an early Weatherman, weren’t you?

Jeff Nightbyrd:  No, I never was one of them.

AG: You weren’t in it?

Jeff Nightbyrd:  Austin Rag

AG: Austin Rag. And we were all in jail together in 1972 protesting  Nixon in Miami, for a couple of days, during the Republican Convention

Jeff Nightbyrd:  Bound to be good for (something)..

AG: Oh, that’s ten years ago,  yes, eight years ago.   So, there’s two things..  Now (1981),  when somebody in the (19)70’s, (a new-wave (fan) or punk from the (19)70’s/(19)80’s rejects the Beats, he’s actually got.. he didn’t think about the literary thing (he’s actually not thinking about (say) (William) Burroughs (because Iggy Pop loves Burroughs), he’s rejecting the… the loser aspect of the self-righteous ‘Sixties political movement. He doesn’t want to be a loser, presumably. That’s why they did a short-hair shot, which was just the opposite (of the ‘Sixties long-hair).

But then they did something that the ‘Sixties did even more far-out (the ‘Sixties had sentimental granny dresses and clown costumes and pretty Tolkien spiritual cosmic bullshit deals, whereas a disillusioned, a God-disillusioned (19)70’s/(19)80’s group then went all out for total expressionism, self-expression rather than God-expression, or cosmic-consciousness expression – you know, pins-in-the-nose, and parody, and green hair, and chains – exhibited their private obsessions like a flag, instead of exhibiting a cosmic sentimental cosmic-consciousness sentimental obsession.

So I think it was disillusionment then with the loser aspect of the ‘Sixties politics and the sentimental aspects of the  ‘Sixties identification with God, speaking in the name of God, actually, a bit proud, prideful (which I did myself in the late ‘Fifties, in essays, saying “God will punish America if they don’t do this or that”, like I say – I remember I ended a literary essay (“Poetry, Violence and the Trembling Lambs or Independence Day Manifesto”)   “Who dares spit in the name of poetry and spit in the face of God?”. (“When will we discover an America that will not deny its own God? Who takes up arms, money, police, and a million hands to murder the consciousness of God? Who spits in the beautiful face of poetry which sings of the glory of God and weeps in the dust of the world?”) – It was presumptuous, because I found I didn’t believe in God anyway, I was just using it as a word to beat people over the head with, finally – I (later) thought I’d better correct my own clarity before yelling).

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately twenty-nine-and-a-quarter minutes in, and concluding at approximately thirty-two-and-a-half minutes in] 

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