My ten cents.
Everybody wants to make a big show of how fair they'd be. Give me a break. But I understand -- if you'd told me last year I'd know personally about a third of the people whose poems I'd think were the best of the year, I'd do the impression of a trial lawyer my dad taught me when I was seven: I'd turn my head toward an invisible jury, raise one eyebrow, and say very slowly, "I see."
But there it is. I defy anyone trying to create a home brew Best American Poetry not to pick a good third friends, family, bedtime playmates, whatever. You like the people you like. You try and tell your loved ones they're not the best. Better yet, tell yourself you don't know from the best. I thought so.
And do you really want to get all panoptical and shit? To read every word of Steaming Pile published quarterly by the doctorate in poetics program at University of the Mariana Trench? To mutilate yourself on the new Pointy Dagger or to drink your way through You're No Exception? Right.
What is the problem here. Confusion? About the point of making art out of words? Sounds like it to me. The point of making art out of words is to say something that sticks, that does something, is heard, has meaning and feeling and is always a kind of party at the same time.
That divide-and-conquer "who's the best" nonsense will bring the hotel detective down on your fat ass every time. Good luck with that. See you in the next Mutually Assured Relevance.
Jordan - #