oh man! this Simic quote really riled me,
“”I distrust poets who have a mystical experience each time they look at a tree or a falling leaf. It just doesn’t happen. It’s a kind of fakery. I’m all for nature and all the good, wholesome thoughts it produces in human beings, but in moderation. I mean it’s harder to deal with a city and that totally fucked up world of super highways, slums, subways, and the poor bastards who have to go to work every day in that world.””
There are weirdos in the city who have mystical experiences every time they look down a man hole cover. Some produce good writing over it, and some not. Does this make the ones who are poor writers fakers, or just poor writers? I am most definitely not a faker, but I do have a mystical experience every time I witness a falling leaf, I just don’t write about it as I am a weirdo too busy living it to improve my crappy writing skills. That makes it no less real, just not something that Simic relates to. Hence his distrust. Distrust of the unfamiliar is the first step toward blanket condemnation. I distrust distrust.
And I also don’t buy that it is harder to live in the city.
Living in nature cannot be separated from living rural. And the rural lifestyle is NOT wholesome; it is just as fucked up and difficult as living in the city, only in different ways. There is poverty, cruelty, ignorance, incest, and religious oppression. There is blatant, ongoing, careless environmental destruction, lack of regulation, lack of amenities of any kind, and not a single decent cup of coffee, or a lunch available that is not deep-fried. Hardworking rural stiffs suffer from lack of adequate or sophisticated mental health nets, education or cultural opportunities and protection from dangerous jobs. There is no OSHA or air quality protection and you see a lot of digit-less, limbless, asthmatic fellers down at the crossroads gas station, on their way to low paying jobs and hung over from the night before. Some of them probably have mystical experiences when looking at trees, who knows, but if they did, and they wrote bad poetry about it, I would not assume they were faking the experience.