Poetic Torque or Toetic Porque?

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Leni Riefenstahl was an artist-Frank Sauce is art, poetry and a bloem

I've been running into Ron Silliman's theory of 'torque' all over the fuckin' place lately. Now, I read The New Sentence years ago and while it was a fun read and full of interesting ideas, Sill's idea of 'torque' has become pervasive. I really don't have a problem with this. Coinage is important in language and the theory of language and poetics. Yes, fifteen bucks and you'll have yourself a good time.

However, its [torque] use has been driving us nuts at Frank Sauce, lately.

Yes, it's our fault. We know. But it still fuckin' bothers the hell out of us Saucers, ya know?

Torque vs. SoQ (School of Quietude)?


There's so much fuckin' poetry out there, you couldn't read it all even if you tried. Hell, most poets don't try or even know what to try.

(we're feeling a bit overwhelmed at the quantity of poetry to be read here at Frank Sauce, that we've given up on all but the classics and fiction [prose-sans poetry] just for a break from all the fuckin' poets out there with a fuckin' trade paperback of poetry in their arsenal with hopefully a couple of fellowships and an award or three to justify our buying their book and reading it.)

This is our problem here. It's as if awards and accolades and blurbs have replaced our ability to read the work and see if it pertains to us or enriches our lives in some way. It's [the publishing and reading of poetry] become such an extreme that we can't read critically without someone else giving us at least a brief bit of their critic before we actually read the poet's work.

There's no recognition in poetry with a readership of 1-500 (most books of poetry are in this realm of readership). Therefore those that love poetry and write it seek even the slimmest of praise. Each little, tiny, minuscule glimmer of recognition becomes a justification for our $20,000-$40,000 debt for our MFA. And what about the 'street poet' who may not even have a BFA, BofA or a BS?

Fuck you!

Most of us are crappy poets anyway.


The turd of torque is a turdation.

Here’s what Wikipedia starts with on Torque: “In physics, torque (or often called a moment) can informally be thought of as ‘rotational force’ or ‘angular force,’ which causes a change in rotational motion.”

If one writes that a poem doesn’t have enough torque, then one is saying that the moment(s) aren’t there enough. Just from the idea of using the scientific expression of torque.

If a poem doesn’t have enough torque, then that’s a subjective value placed upon the work. Science, while often subjective, tries to be objective. We assume that through the scientific theory, the scientist(s) are being objective as possible even though we’re human.

Poets? Subjective.

A torquey poem has motion, movement and/or gets the reader to move rotationally. A poem may move us or not move us, but it doesn’t mean the poem has or does not have a quantitative quality or value.

To use a word to express the defining judgment of one’s experience of a poem is sad and this is why the overuse and cliché of torque torques us here at Frank Sauce.

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