Oh, honey… Who can deprive a word of its meaning? Do you claim the words when you arrange them? Do you borrow them? Lease them? Leash them? How do you own them, particularly?
Have you ever heard of Piero Manzoni?
You are a vector. That’s all. I am a vector, too. The second you say something is beautiful, or a poem, or art, it becomes that. It’s that simple. Anything else is violent colonialism. Stricture.
This is what post-modernism is about. And by post-modernism, I just mean a movement projected forever forward into space. Like a light never dying. Sure, you’ll stop perceiving it at some point, but your explication of your perception is just limiting the reality of that object. Those words ever only meant anything to you. What happens to them as they super-ball around the room is exactly as irrelevant and as cosmically important as the words (objectively) and you (also objectively.)
I poop on a plate and present it proudly as art, it’s art. I put your words in a grinder and call it a poem, it’s a poem. Nowadays, it’s all just a matter of will, marketing and polish. Meaning is expressed by how words relate to each other in the reader’s mind, not in the poet’s mind.
We’ve (I’ve) been doing this for years (times infinity) does the practice (product) gain meaning because it’s remembered? Remembered to what extent? To what ends? Because one can quote it? Because it has generational weight? Because it effects policy change? Because it puts one smile on one face for one fleeting moment? Because it locks one professor into her peach tenure track?
Ever wonder why Wittgenstein ended up designing doorknobs?
(I love you, btw, as a person who is interested in poetry. I’m not grumbling here, just twisting my own nipples to get a bit of magma flowing.)