Funny---I write nothing like Dean Young. Nothing! But that's okay. Maybe you should just read my wretched little book and find out.
Um...who to read. Well, throw away your Mary Oliver and your Philip Levine and your Sharon Olds and your James Tate and your favorite Polish poet and your Robert Lowell and your Robert Hass. First of all.
Um....Ted Berrigan, Maureen Owen, Joseph Ceravolo, Clark Coolidge, Susan Howe, heck, Sandra Simonds, Andrew Mister, Joseph Massey, David Shapiro, Barbara Guest, Lyn Hejinian.
Um, the latest issue of the Canary is very good. Oh, don't forget your Big Name New York School poets. And Berryman is, of course, essential, even though the post-avant crowd considers him one of the enemy, which is just plain hogwash.
Emily Fucking Dickinson. And read all her letters too. Now THAT'S experimental poetry.
Do a google search on "Flarf" and ask yourself why it exists.
Read Ezra Pound with great difficulty and little reward.
Do a close reading of Shakespeare's Sonnet 20, or any of Donne's Holy Sonnets.
Compare Wyatt's original version of "They flee from me.." with Richard Tottel's edited version. Why did Tottel make the changes he did? Do they improve or worsen the poem?
Then have a beer.
Then contemplate the uselessness of our existence on this cold, dark orb.
Then roast some asparagus with olive oil, and fresh pepper.
When you've done all of these things (or one of them) let me know!