Poetry took form inside Traditions.

Networks have now practically replaced Traditions.

Traditions are formed between the Living and the Dead.

Networks are formed between the Living.

The absence of the dead gives Networks un-wordly qualities.

Writing done in Networks is different than writing done in Traditions. This distinction is crucial.

Understanding poetry today means to understand the co-presence of traditional elements and networking elements inside aesthetic form.

Reading mutated through Networks. Traditional reading is now impossible. Traditional reading is now a dead tongue.

Through the screen of Networks, traditional poetry seems to asks for “Deep Reading”.

When you want to understand what “Deep Reading” is, you go deeper and deeper into the blackhole.

Even 19th Century critique seems to be akin to Networks.

Struggles in poetry at the beggining of the 21st Century consist in a dialectics between Traditions and Networks.

Because it strongly involved communication with the sacred, the dead, the absent and censorship, traditional poetry shaped itself as a non-standard form of communication.

Traditional poetry eventually defined itself as non-communication. Traditional means here the non-ordinary, the transditional.

In Networks, poetry frequently also resists being communication but can’t avoid becoming feedback.

What is co-produced between the Dead and the Living in Traditions can disrupt exchange inside Networks.

When Tradition trickles down into History, History hysterically laughs back. That’s Networks.

We need the Dead to cause revolution in our networked society. But the networked society can only imagine the Dead in the form of zombies.

If we think Network-forms through Traditional thought, apocalyptic images and moral agencies arise.

Tradition-based readers feel network-based-poets are shallow. Network-based-readers feel tradition based-poets are old.

Tradition-poetry tends to have Romantic vocabulary and pre-industrial imagery. Network-poetry favors theory and technical images.

Nature and Gods are strong non-human agencies in Traditions. Technologies are the strong non-humans agencies in Networks.

The irruption of Spirit fragmented Traditional-Form. Today Capital is Form’s regular break in.



Hölderlin’s palimpsests represented a struggle between traditional individual rapture and a prefiguration of machine writing networks.

Pessoa’s heteronyms were an experiment in a single person becoming a network. Pessoa was a network.

Dada didn’t ignore tradition but it cleared the way for a poetics of Networks eroding that of Traditions.

Breton’s manifestos wanted to establish Surrealism as part of a lineage. Surrealism was an attempt to Return to Tradition.

As a poet-thinker of Tradition, Heidegger was scandalized by the birth of Networks. Wittgenstein was 50/50.

Lorca’s poetry is traditional: poetry erupts once the Duende arrives. Beckett’s poetics depends on Godot never showing up.

Brazilian Concretismo was the first predominantly network-based poiesis. The canonical De Campos brothers-Pignatari’s photo captures this stage.

Celan and Jabès were the last full poets of Tradition on the other side of the Atlantic. Neruda was both traditional and communist.

Beat Poetry and then Latin American Neobaroque were still Tradition-based-poetics.

Rothenberg’s ethnopoetics was too Tradition-based for Language Poetry Network-based-mentality, which spread quicker.

In English, Language Poetry was the first poetry to have Network-based-poises at its center.

The Network vs. Tradition dialectics is not linear. Ecopoetics, for instance, re-centered traditional elements in its aesthetic formula.

But it seems our epoch does prefer forms with stronger network-elements. Probably that’s why Conceptualism predominated over Flarf.

Now both Bay Area NeoMarxists and Mongrel Poetics involve Network-based-poetics with strong re-emerging traditional components.

Post-Conceptualists developed in Network-dominant-poiesis. But the implosion of Conceptual writing reinforces their traditional molecules.

Bolaño involves both the Savage-Poets who romantically look for Lost Tradition, and the Detective-agents who know how the System works.

Our interest in old media and materiality shows a desire to re-contact Tradition. But we revisit the Book looking for its Networks.

English maintains North American poets inside National Tradition. Their Networks slows down where other languages run other Networks.

Language Poets’ network power has now deteriorated. They are being forced out (and into one Tradition).

Translation is now fighting its own internal struggle: to translate for network-making or to translate for tradition-making?



The presence of Tradition in poetry is stronger than in art because voice and song reanimate the dance between the dead and the living.

Internet makes networks possible; performance keeps traditions embodied.

Aura’s vision occurs along with a sigh. The end of aura opens the field for networks. This secret sigh makes traditions survive.

In networks, collective memory is turned into archives. Networks’ privileged relation to the past is a curatorial one.

In “Make It New”, “It” meant “Tradition” for its aspirants, and “work of art” for networks’ participants.

Philosophy is now almost exclusively a tradition; theory’s advantage is to function through networks.

Communication with ancestors keeps traditions alive. Those who lack connection with the ancestral can only resort to networks.

Dead networks could virtually become potential traditions.

But if a dead network had no wise or visionary members, it’s spiritually doomed.

One risk is to maintain the ideological colonial order: Souths as Traditional; Networks as Northern.

A purely traditional poet or a purely networker poet would be a one-dimensional poet. More than one crisis today is about this.

Change in aesthetic form will not come from the struggle of Tradition and Network alone. They already know how to reach stasis.

Traditions are (mostly) diachronic and networks, synchronic. If they get to control their counterpart’s axis poetry is impoverished.

Horizontal forces flow through Networks. Vertical powers prefer Tradition’s channels.

Foucault overemphasized the power of networks because he wrote in an epoch of eclipsing traditions.

Late Foucault saw himself in Phenomenology of Spirit‘s tradition.

Networks and Traditions love to destroy each other. And we are their still recent schizo-lovers.

Tradition’s vertical violence is a substantial counter-power against network’s permanent mechanism for re-form.

Dominant Traditions and Networks are leukotropic. Revolution needs non-leukotropic traditions and networks to detonate, explode and riot.

Bernini’s “Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” points at how Traditions intervene in historical poiesis. It might also show how Revolution will finally happen.



In networks you write for the present, with others you know. In traditions, you write for the past without knowing the future.

Today you have to write in networks, you want to belong to our time. If you want to belong to other times, you have to find your tradition.

Networks’ image-machines vs. Traditions’ hallucinatory-experiences.

Drugs connected Modern writers to residual traditions.

Traditions get you high. Networks get you in.

The Internet will eventually die. Those who achieve connecting to it after its death, will experience the Internet-Tradition.



Christ took over most Traditions. Capitalism took over most Networks.

Networks are better equipped than Traditions for times of war. Changes in contemporary poetics are all about civilian resilience.

Poetry networks accelarate and interrupt flows of dynamical disensual language. Networks are both the migrants and the gatekeepers.

Most networkers seek neoliberal exchange. Whatever is circulated in networks turns into capital and info. Nothing more.

In neoliberal literary networks members credit ideas to those who have enough credit to exchange with them.

Appropriation is not just a technique to produce a work, but a rule to keep the neoliberal aesthetic networks running.

No avant-gard forms anymore. Forms are now shaped by the act or the desire to compete. Neoliberal networks constitute the Market-Garde.

One network competes with another. And all networkers are competitors against each other. Competition made our networks.



In traditions, writers & readers searched a cure for their ordinary lives. In networks, writers & readers are ordinary curators.

Literatures are now mostly run by networks. But traditions weren’t very good either.

Networks safeguard common sense. Traditions safeguard prejudice.

In Networks you have to be popular. In Traditions you have to be non-secular.

What used to be called “Tradition” was in fact mostly networks. Only now can we fully experience their difference.

Bolaño had no place in Mexican networks. And Mexican national literature believed its networks were Tradition. Bolaño became invisible for decades.

Precisely because Paz made thousands believe his personal network was the same as Modern Tradition, Mexican literature got ruined.

Bolaño, as the Modern traditional writer he was, was finally rescued by postmodern networks.

Women and people of color writers have the strongest traditions today. These traditions are now feeding energy into the networks.

But the energy from people of color and women’s traditions could be finally destined to strenghten institutional positions in networks.

Networks suck.



Pound’s logopeia, phanopeia and melopeia are still helpful to understand traditional poetry.

But to understand networkers’ poetics we need to ask about the work’s timing, circulation, commentability, remediation, etc.

The most common mistake in poetry today is to think networking poetics with the equipment we inherited from traditional poetics.

The second most common mistake is to simply ignore this distinction.



When leukotropism is how networks open their access, traditions take the form of the Ku Kux Klan.

Mac Low and Cage had some Buddhist ideals. Conceptual writing had Warhol.

But Warhol’s white hair appeal signals toward new ways of bonding with Tradition, which we now provisionally call “Retro”.

Retro is how the networks deal with familiar pasts. Retro appropriates the non-otherness of other times.

Otherness as somehow available. You can reach it, get it. That’s telephysics. And telephysical beliefs run the networks.

For metaphysics otherness resides in a separate realm. But you can get a glimpse. And Tradition helps with this. That’s its trick.

Job and God? The “other” for us is “job”. Having the perfect job, a decent job or a job at all. That’s the misery of our networked times.

When transcendence is found nowhere, everything is a joke. Comedy runs the networks.

In this crisis, jobs are the utterly other. And whoever has one doesn’t want to do it. Networks are about escaping work.

We like Santa. But we hope he didn’t make the gifts. We like Tradition. But we want our poems to be the outcome of networks.

Networks have to come to think innovation belongs to them.

Regarding the canon, networkers speculate. Traditional poets feel inside networks like Bartleby would in Wall Street.

Networks put machines at the service of anthropocentric ends. Networks are not post-human at all.

The unconscious catalyzes the poetics of traditions, while chance operations catalyze the poetics of networks.


It’s probably a good thing networks practically replaced traditions.

But as I write about the differences between Network-poetics and Tradition-poetics, I desire something beyond both.

When you are a tradition-based poet and transfer into a network-centered poetics, you first go into an anti-poetic crisis.

Communist poetics is now an underground Tradition. Neruda is its great specter and master.

It’s not a paradox that the revival of the Communist poetical tradition requires the reanimation of Spirit through street & electronic unrest.

It’s no accident Nicanor Parra’s language reads retrospectively as Internet humor. Antipoetry is written in states of weak connection to tradition.

Most (relevant) networks are post-traditional now, and most poets post-poetic: intermittently possessed by the lyrical.

For Tradition the artistic object is a container of non-human agencies successfully mediated by the human technician called artist.

Symbols are the nuclei of traditional poetic works. Network-based works, on the other hand, are made up of signs.

Traditional works are symbolical, thus, require hermeneutics. Net-works can mostly be figure out through semiotics.

The artistic object was soon decentered by networks. Subjects (networkers themselves) are the axes of aesthetic form now.

The aesthetic object is secondary in networks of human subjects whose main production is their virtual image.


When you feel you are writing for nobody you might be writing for Tradition. Or you might just be writing for your keyboard.

Traditional poems frequently end in ephiphanies. Networker’s poems frequently end after other networker skims it.

Neither Traditions nor Networks tell us exactly when to stop writing. But I do know

It’s time

to break


The tradition

Of breaking



It’s time

To break


The tradition

Of breaking