Neo-Romanticism and Lyrical Ballads



The sound recording I have circulating now called Live In Brooklyn features Amy King, in her introduction, mentioning the imminent release of my chapbook Posit. Its official release date, when I mailed out the first copies, was June 9, 2007. Just the mention of Posit, for me, makes Live in Brooklyn more important than the video taped at Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick in August 2009, of me reading some When You Bit… sonnets. The reason is simple: for Neo-Romanticism, for the Philly Free School, Posit has prescience in it which can effectively make it our Lyrical Ballads. It provides an intellectual spine and framework which supports the entire Neo-Romantic endeavor: from defining Neo-Romantic subjectivity, establishing an engagement with Deconstructionism and other forms of philosophy, re-affirming, past the English Romantics, the power of the personal, the first-person singular in art, and also incising into our gestalt sensibility a warm, humanistic approach to human sexuality, in defiance of English Romanticism’s wonted frigidity and more in line with Neo-Classicist painters Ingres and David, Posit stands as a document which leaps past 2007 (just as The Posit Trilogy leaps past '17) and establishes what the twenty-first century might hold for high art, from Philadelphia on out. For me, Posit is the most seminal text with my name on it until Apparition Poems and the Cheltenham Elegies. The likability factor, huge in work like the Dancing With Myself Sonnets and Chimes, may not be as omnipresent, but Posit was not channeled specifically to be likable: it is there, as Lyrical Ballads was, to lay the groundwork for a revolution in consciousness, away from the vacuity of previous American art and towards creating representative American work which could stand comparison with anything produced in Europe in the last thousand years. The dialogues with Wordsworth, specifically, have continued into the present day.