Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Adbusters vs. Hipsters

Whether it's ethical or not, Nikolas R. Schiller transcribed this article from Adbusters: Douglas Haddow's "Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization". It is short, but sweet; dense like a block of basalt, focused as a laser-beam. In all my years, starting about '91, I've been waiting to see something this concise on my generation.

I had to consider how deeply, too, "hipsterism" has invaded poetry. A few looks at a few online journals will reveal the answer fairly quickly.

Walking to the Post Office today, I drew out a 5-step plan to a better life.

One, determine values. Whether it's family, home, community, the garden, or all of the above, without values everything just seems value-less. And don't let the Republicans appropriate the term "Family Values" anymore. It's a swindle. This is what Albert Schweitzer means when he holds "reverence for life."

Two, once you determine values then you begin to create meaning. I'm feeling I can move beyond Existentialism. Yes, we recognize the Void. Yes, humans are nasty. But if you derive joy from your values (i.e., my wife makes me happy; growing cucumbers makes me happy), I see much in the fact that joy is the meaning of life. Yes, there is also sorrow, but I've come to believe they are, to forgive the cliche, two sides of the coin.

Three, meaning must be maintained, so we have to build--however individual, a coherent philosophy. So we read Aristotle, Montaigne, Confucius, whoever gives us the scaffolding, the language that holds these meanings in place.

Four, what holds the philosophy in place is creativity. Write poems. Paint its landscape. Sing. Knit, farm, have children. And since creativity is not only a gift to the creator, but a gift to others,

Five, we give. And after my service with the AmeriCorps and as a high school teacher, there is an action that derives from our convictions, and it is simply to question ourselves, What do I have to contribute? It doesn't matter if you're a Senator, a gas-pumper, or a kindergarten teacher, you give what you have. Which creates more meaning. Which creates a community of Values.

I keep this is mind when I generalize "Hipster Culture." And it is a generalization, I know. I seek that despair in myself and counteract with, if not "hope," then acceptance. Because the great philosophy I struggle with is Anti-Romantic, anti-Idealist: In accept that people are the way they are, that the world is the way it is. Not to insinuate giving up by any means, or surrendering to fate, but just to wake up every day and say, "Today I will deal with jerks."

Don't we all? Most of all, I have to deal with the biggest asshole I know: myself.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hosting an Upcoming Poetry Reading

I have been invited to host the Vancouver Barnes & Noble monthly Poetry Reading on August 13, 2008. The readers will be Zachary Schomburg and Emily Kendal Frey, both relatively new to Portland, Oregon.

The reading begins at 7 P.M., followed by an open mike for those in attendance.

You can view Zachary's blog at with links to published poems, including some collaborative poems with Emily.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Travel Oregon

I've just begun writing for the Travel Oregon blog, a state-funded site that encourages people--not to mention locals--to vacation in our block of the Pacific Northwest.

My first entry on a day trip to Eugene is now posted at

New poems later this summer

I have had two poems accepted for the 1st anniversary issue of diode in august, '08: "father of no country. I can lie" and "Pilgrim for rain".

Look for them at

And thus I spent at least an hour emailing all these publications, saying "Sorry, but..."

Life of a "poet", I suppose...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Link to Soul Shelter

My friend Steve Kemper sent me to this, his friend Tim Clark's site.

Thinking of quitting your stupid job and working for yourself? Are you a writer like me, who want to take writing seriously?

Read some of these excellent postings: on quitting your teaching job, Cormac McCarthy says "do it because you love it," and more.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You're Getting Warmer: Hot Springs Online

I didn't realize it was there, but my first Oregonian travel story about Oregon hot springs is archived at OregonLive!:

You can also see a few of the fantastic photos of Jamie Francis, staff photographer at the O.

And though I hate to give it away, there are directions...

Poems at Exquisite Corpse and elimae

In a burst, Andrei Codrescu has published ten of my absolute best poems (well, at least I think they are...) online at Exquisite Corpse.

Also, you can see my poem "Theosophy" in the newest elimae.

Later on this summer, poems will appear in In Posse Review...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Poems in the online Alba, and a book review of William Stafford

Two of my poems, "Glass" and "I was preparing for it as if it were something tremendous" are now viewable at Harold Bowes' Alba.

My review of William Stafford's Another World Instead, a collection of poetry from his time as a WWII conscientous objector in the Civilian Public Service is on The Oregonian's blog at


My name is Sean Patrick Hill, and I am a poet, freelance writer, educator, and naturalist living in Portland, Oregon.

Thanks to the wonders of the Blog, I will use this site as a portfolio space and essay collection, with links to sites where my publications appear.

This summer, I have poems appearing in a variety of online journals and travel stories in Portland's Sunday Oregonian.

I am completing a book tentatively titled Taking the Waters, at once a travel narrative, historical document, and cultural study of the Oregon's hot springs.

My Facebook page is at

Welcome to The Imagined Field...and what is this field? More on that as we go...