A fascinating essay by Joel Brouwer, about the work of poet CD Wright, in the current issue of Parnassus. Here's a quote:
" . . . thoughtful readers of Wright's work fall roughly into two camps, with an epistemological line in the sand drawn between them. One side claims that Wright is at root a Southern storyteller who, regrettably, caught a bad case of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry in San Francisco and has never fully recovered. These readers see Wright's more difficult poems as encrypted narratives, and suggest that the reader's task -- the reader's only choice, really -- is to fit the poems' shards back together into coherent stories. In a review for Poetry, David Orr calls Wright's poems "willfully odd," and accuses her of "dropping obliquities," but finds her warm and welcoming on balance: "her head might be full of Ron Silliman, but her soul is pure Dolly Parton." Adam Kirsch, writing in The New Republic, also believes in that Dolly Parton soul, but is deeply irritated by the Silliman superstructure that conceals it, and furthermore isn't much of a Parton fan. He argues that Wright's deliberate derangement of what he perceives to be perfectly good narratives is gratuitous and "discourteous," and, further, suggests that the disjointed surfaces of Wright's poems are designed to obscure a crucial secret: Wright has nothing particularly interesting to say." page 201-202
Check out the whole essay. It's an interesting read. And I have to agree with Brouwer on some level: when I don't think I have "anything interesting to say" is usually when I resort to word play, ellipsis, disjunctive narrative and other fun in a poem. But where I disagree is that there is a willful "concealing" that is going on. What I find to be the case is that the word play and disordering often help me find something new (and interesting) to say, that I didn't know I could say, and only found I could say once I started writing the poem.