New Sincerists Do It With Harder Enjambments

I think people are rejecting the New Sincerity because they believe that what is sincere must also be trite: greeting cards, for example, have destroyed all meaning to the phrases "Happy birthday," "With sympathy," and etc. The most important occasions call for (now) the least sincere sentiments. And therefore the most trite.

But sincerity is (truly) the opposition to the trite, the frivolous, the meaningless. Sincerity has money down on this game and it's not taking chances. Sincerity recognizes an investment in poetic communication that is emotional, honest, and less interested in being smart than being true.

Isn't New Sincerity really just the end of hiding behind all of our neurotic, cooler-than-you bullshit?

I've been photographed naked. I'm a New Sincerist.


  1. Hard enjambments are HOT!

    As I bet those photographs are too. Will one be gracing the boy-poet calendar?

  2. I think the ns thing has a lot of potential, I'm an optimistic onlooker--I do think it's time for you guys to come out with an anthology, maybe get a journal (online or print, either way) to dedicate an issue to the New Sincerity, let you all show, in practice, what your unified-and-diverse sensibility is. What your conscious take on the general trend of 'sincerity' is. That would be good, I think.

  3. there must be something else besides a greeting card. what about sending people watermellons for things. i think that if i put that much effort into sending a watermellon, then that is sincere. but then again, it just shows you up. maybe its all just bullshit.

  4. I think a good number of the (perceived) detractors are also quite sincere. What's in question is what one is sincere about. It doesn't seem clear to me (after all, I started my own little Georgian counter-movement). I am sincere about beauty (hence, the name New Beatitudinists). Sincerity is generally a given when one begins a movement: why else would one do it? Unless, of course, this is somewhat of a joke. I can't tell.

  5. I believe Andy Mister is putting together an ns pub.

    Maybe he should call it Hard Enjambments.

  6. This ain't your granddad's sincerity!

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  8. Charles: We must see these photos. (For the sake of theory and research, of course).

  9. Hey Charles
    I can't concentrate on the rest of the post I was so pleased to hear you got those photos made...well, hope a few were semi-dressed for the calendar :-) All of your admirers will be able to see you in a print calender via Cafe Press. When it's done, sometime in early November, Jenn and I will put out the link. Now how's that for the photographic version of the New Sincerity??

  10. Yes, photos please. And I mean that sincerely. :)

  11. Havew you seen much anti-NS talk? I haven't.

    But, I don't think that that's the trouble (greeting card "sincerity" doesn't enter into it).

    Ya know, every Harold Bloom book I've ever read, he references the same quote over and again, but when I go to try and find the quote, I can't. I think he made it up. But I think he believes he read it somewhere. He's sincere, that guy.

    The "quote" is from Wilde, and its paraphrase is this: All bad art is sincere.

    That's probably closer to the Hallmark Sincerity™ you're talking about.

  12. "All bad art is sincere."

    I referenced this in one of my newly sincere blog posts a while back.

    This makes new sincerity dangerous. We risk looking like idiots.

    But we take the risk.

    The New Sincerity is not a joke, though the idea of starting a movement seemed (and still does) a little jokey at the time.

    It's interesting to me, however, that simply NAMING what we're doing has CREATED a movement. Well, I guess there was Joe's manifesto. But the point I made a few days ago on my own blog was that we present no unified front. We all have varying ideas about poetry. But we agree on a few key points.

    As I said in someone else's comment box, we're not coming to your town and taking over. We're just writing and reading poems we believe in.

    But, as we all know, any time anybody says "I am X" then a few X-haters creep out of the walls. That's cool. I mean, as Josh H. kind of points out, there's been a lot more positive feedback about the NS than negative.

    I think we're doing okay.

  13. I've been snapped naked too! And painted! (not recently tho).

    New Sincerists to the Barricade, with poems, and wine, and candles for fucks sake!

  14. Emerging from the chaos of being a new mother, I'm just absorbing this new sentimentality stuff. Oh, and does being photographed naked on an Antarctic beach count?

  15. Hmmm..does photographing twelve nude men in the seventies count? That was for a calendar, too. Twelve. Think of the symbolism. That's GOT to count for The New Sincerity.