I read Micah Mattix’s article on the reflexive anti-capitalist posture of poets from America and abroad.
As someone with first hand experience amongst performance poets (slam poets in particular), I would add that if they detest captialism then chances are they equally detest religion and indeed America itself. When I speak of religion, I am of course speaking largely of Christianity. Any hostility towards Judaism is masked in anti-Israel rhetoric often by Jewish poets themselves.
On the other hand, any critique of Muslim fundamentalism is view as Islamophobic which is ironic because many of these poets (especially those who are openly gay) would be the first to have their rights suppressed if they were ruled by Islamic jihadists. When poets speak of America they typically characterize this country as war hungry, racist, sexist, homophobic and obsessed with consumerism.
Putting ideological considerations aside, much of the language is pedantic, predictable and one poem is barely distinguishable from the other. So when someone like me comes along and reads a political piece, I might as well reside another solar system. Those who raise the flag of tolerance are rather quick to lower it when they hear a dissenting thought.
It isn’t to say I don’t come across good poetry. My roommate Christopher Kain has written plenty of good poems and has built up a small but devoted following for his unique work. In 2010, he put out a chapbook titled Twentieth Century Limited: One Hundred Years, One Hundred Poems containing a poem for every year of the 20th Century from 1901 to 2000.
Of course, closer to our side of the ideological divide there are the good folks at The New Criterion with their annual poetry prize.
So good poetry out there. You just have to know where to look.