“The poet”, Rollo May writes, “is a menace to conformity. We cannot escape our anxiety over the fact that the artists are the possible destroyers of our nicely ordered systems. For the creative impulse is the speaking of the voice and the expressing of the forms of the preconscious and unconscious; and this is, by its very nature, a treat to rationality and external control. So the dogmatists try to take over the artist, the Capitalist tries to take over the artist by buying him, and the Church, in certain periods, harnessed him to prescribed subjects and methods.”
I wonder which domination systems, which monarchies, governments, Churches, would be brave enough to employ a ‘dirt laureate.’
History has seen the rise of the position of Poet Laureate – someone to fashion words to massage the ego, to glorify and ensure that on all occasions there is pomp and affirmation of the present system. All is settled. All is good.
A ‘dirt laureate’ – I suppose the court jester is the closest thing we’ve ever had – would be employed to deliberately subvert, criticize, throw dirt at official policy. To speak the foul truth and be the challenging ‘no’ to the maul of ‘yes-men’ that surround our leaders… and the fictions I build around myself.