This is a world increasingly devoid of poetry, a world where men especially continue to evidence their manliness in basic and prehistoric capacities. There is no better crystallization of the promise of Canadian culture as progressive and beautiful than the fact that our greatest rocker is our greatest poet. This exemplary range of soul-bearing hard rock, and emphasis on articulating experience without pretension, speaks to a generation that desires to become emotionally and poetically deeper without letting go of whatever is still virtuous and interesting about being "men" or manly or masculine.
The poetical out-pouring of one's heart in expressing the meaning of experience is art, is beauty, is what it means to be human. But in a ultimately conservative and often oppressive culture, there is a kind of anxiety of being seen as unmanly or "gay" -- something so trivial, carried over from the school yard, that seems to remain imprinted but an imprint we can say is progressively fading.
This is perfectly captured in the "Man Machine Poem" title, that man is a machine, a productive and useful entity, an instrument of labour, is giving way to man as a poem, a living representation of the beauty that surrounds an often otherwise bleak existence. Art is not dismissed with some juvenile prejudice as "gay" -- nor is it confined to expensive galleries and disposable salaries. Art lies in the living and breathing of everyday experience, it is the sound of the town and the sound of sea, it is anywhere, anywhere. These three parts are separated by nothing in the configuration of "man machine poem" -- that a man can be a man and a machine and a poem, a manifestation of nature as of the male sex/gender, as a machinic assemblage of productive work, but also as a poem, as a thing that collects the right words in the right way to reveal what lies hidden within, offering it to the world.