Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ANAPHORA IS JUST NOT DONE ENOUGH ANYMORE

I wrote a poem. No, I didn't find it, I actually wrote it. See what the dual influences of festivity (NATIONAL POETRY MOOOOOOOONTH) and Tyler Gobble did to me? What they did to you, even. 

The suffering will commence:


Fuck Yeah, Anaphora!
By Ben Rogers

This is a poem which is a poem,
This is a poem which uses anaphora like no one’s business,
This is a poem which is lacking in narrative,
This is a poem which contains a sly pop culture reference,
This is a poem which will tell you to have a good night and mean it,
This is a poem which is sentimental but don’t worry there is at least one dick joke,
This is a poem which forgot what anaphora is,
This is a poem which says something ironic,
This is a poem which makes me unhappy,
This is a poem which I ripped from someone else’s journal,
This is a poem which deals with my mother’s death,
This is a poem which just wants to fucking sleep in,
This is a poem which deals with how difficult poems are,
This is a poem which will seriously make a dick joke soon you guys I promise,
This is a poem which whines about my personal problems like you really care,
This is a poem which spilled Coke all over the floor.
 
This is a poem which is a poem,
This is a poem which makes an allusion to T. S. Eliot,
This is a poem which flutters baby-eyed in a newborn gulch of wind, growing green 
     and bright and strong until one day it explodes in a vapor of pretty colors,
This is a poem which just used shitty lyricism,
This is a poem which Ryan Rader hated three lines in,
This is a poem which Ryan Rader is justified in hating,
This is a poem which I hated three lines in but kept writing anyway,
This is a poem which has three stanzas fifteen lines each if you were wondering,
This is a poem which is obviously deep,
This is a poem which is obviously not deep,
This is a poem which is pure theory,
This is a poem which does not contain music,
This is a poem which has gone on too long,
This is a poem which is really lacking in creativity,
This is a poem which is smug.
 
This is a poem which is a poem,
This is a poem which is like fire,
This is a poem which is like an avalanche,
This is a poem which oozes clich├ęs and has too many forced dichotomies,
This is a poem which is obviously pretentious,
This is a poem which does not talk about the moon thank you very much,
This is a poem which is bad at intimacy and always has been,
This is a poem which has been done seven hundred times before by better people,
This is a poem which lied to you about the allusion and the dick joke (SORRY),
This is a poem which uses the word fuck three times if you include the title,
This is a poem which wishes it was a sonnet so people would like it more,
This is a poem which I revised a few times but otherwise put little effort into,
This is a poem which wants to hold on to you until we’re dust,
This is a poem which reflects life,
This is a poem which refuses to end on that shitty ending line.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

RAINY DAY WOMAN, I MISSED TUESDAY

Today's important. My grandma, probably one of the sweetest women of all time, was born today. Usually I'm pretty good at keeping loss out of my brain, but days like this, I miss her.

It is rainy. Bob Dylan can probably articulate my opinion of the rest of the day better than me. Oh, National Poetry Month, so pay attention to the lyrics.

Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35
By Bob Dylan

Well, they’ll stone ya when you’re trying to be so good
They’ll stone ya just a-like they said they would
They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to go home
Then they’ll stone ya when you’re there all alone
But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

Well, they’ll stone ya when you’re walkin’ ’long the street
They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to keep your seat
They’ll stone ya when you’re walkin’ on the floor
They’ll stone ya when you’re walkin’ to the door
But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

They’ll stone ya when you’re at the breakfast table
They’ll stone ya when you are young and able
They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to make a buck
They’ll stone ya and then they’ll say, “good luck”
Tell ya what, I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

Well, they’ll stone you and say that it’s the end
Then they’ll stone you and then they’ll come back again
They’ll stone you when you’re riding in your car
They’ll stone you when you’re playing your guitar
Yes, but I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

Well, they’ll stone you when you walk all alone
They’ll stone you when you are walking home
They’ll stone you and then say you are brave
They’ll stone you when you are set down in your grave
But I would not feel so all alone
Everybody must get stoned

Monday, April 18, 2011

UM DEAN YOUNG THAT IS ALL

Hectic weekend (but fun and spent in good company!); hence, no time for anything too articulate.

It is STILL National Poetry Month, so I guess I'll talk about the exciting wonders of poetry again. I finished Dean Young's First Course in Turbulence over the weekend, courtesy Tyler Gobble. Honestly, I'm awful at poetry. When poems happen and I am in the room, I don't notice. When I try to read or write poems and other people are in the room, you'd think a dog shat everywhere. I am not a poetry person, in short. That said, Young's poetry fragments and takes a bunch of weird turns, usually jumping from subject to subject like a word Gatling-gun. His sense of tempo and his irreverent/compassionate take on the banal and the sublime struck a chord with me, more so than most poets I read.

Tyler told me a bunch of people are heavily indebted to Young because he is such a poetical badass. I don't doubt that, now that I've read one of his books. Here's a good example of him being such a poetical badass:

Sky Dive
By Dean Young

In school it had been important to learn
the names of battleships, diseases, museums,
kings, the internal scheme of the squid
which is called taxonomy but outside, in the fields,
it seemed most important to know the names
of sex organs: vulva, Mount Olympus,
anadromous pod and that was called soccer practice.
Beside me in Earth Science sat Debbie
until she was killed by a Volkswagen
so the rest of the year I did the experiments
alone. Say crack my fingers backwards, she whispered
while I tried to organize plastic seashells.
The earth had folded into itself many times.
Ann, Jill, Brenda, Elizabeth. Kinesis,
the golgi apparatus, the ellipsis. Give up,
go to bed, dream. Then to wake up twenty years later
after a party knowing you behaved perfectly
shamefully, the brain is threatened sea life,
astronomers predict discs of dust hold clues
to the birth of the universe and then to make tea
and telephone apologies. What was her name,
the one by the door? Expostulations of orange juice.
Purple clouds. Twice I jumped from an airplane
to forget a beautiful woman who was sleeping
with some guy instead of me who made guitars
from scratch. Handprints on an aquarium,
tissue paper. Irregular envelopes. To begin,
each player selected a game piece. She was
beautiful and drunk but not as drunk
as her dress which kept hailing cabs
even at the party. Beneath the clothing
is the skin and beneath the skin, viscera, bones
but beneath that there is just the skin
of the other side so clearly something
is unaccounted for. Green river,
lobelia, lightbulb shaped like a flame,
a chair shaped like a shoe. The last time
I landed, I forgot all I learned
throwing myself from a practice flight of stairs.
It drove me crazy, the way she smiled
at strangers and I could never be
a stranger. A thousand feet above the earth,
hanging from a handkerchief.

Friday, April 15, 2011

IN WHICH WALT WHITMAN SAYS A THING

For American Lit 1, I had to read a Walt Whitman poem. I generally like Walt Whitman, but he usually doesn't stick with me. This poem did stick with me. Partially because Jeremy Carnes did a great presentation on him and partially because it sounded so close to something Carl Sagan would say. And it is short, which makes Whitman easier to handle. Sometimes he's just way too much for one person to read.

Really, though, this poem isn't singular to astronomy. The divide between learning and then the application of that learning to reality and vica versa. Made me think of literary theory, actually; often decried as pedantic and pretentious (what do THEY know anyway), I've found understanding theory has helped me appreciate and understand the mechanics of our daily interactions more meaningfully. It all goes back to texts and how we deal with them, but in such a text-heavy society, well. Let's just say I'm more attuned to how gender, culture, economics, and all that work in the grand scheme of things.


When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
By Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the
     lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A POEM ENTITLED I MIGHT FALL OFF AND DIE

Look guys, I'm way too, um, intellectually misplaced (lawl) at the moment to have a blog post proper. So, given that, I'm just going to post some highlights from a great old-fashioned poetry reading of which I was a maudlin part.

National Poetry Month, people! Celebrate!

LISTEN TO TYLER GOBBLE. HE IS A SWEET GUY AND HE WRITES SWEET POEMS. BUT THEY HAVE THIS NICE COFFEE BITTER TO THEM IN THE END WHEN YOU LISTEN CLOSE, WHICH IS GREAT:



HERE IS LAYNE RANSOM WOWING THE WORLD WITH THIS REALLY COMPASSIONATE SARCASM ALL CHANNELED INTO THE MACHINERY OF OUR CULTURE AT LARGE; PLUS, JANET JACSON FUCK YES:



OH, HERE IS ELYSIA SMITH AND SHE'S ON FIRE WITH THESE CRAZY FUCKING LYRICAL THINGS I'M NOT EVEN SURE BUT HOLY SHIT THE WORDS ARE PRETTY YOU GUYS AND THERE'S SO MANY IDEAS:



AND THIS IS HER OTHER HALF LINDSEY WHO IS JITTERY IN HER POETICS BUT WAIT THIS IS A STORY BUT YOU SHOULD LISTEN SHE IS GREAT AND CAPTURES THESE WONDERFUL UGLY DIAMONDS OF EXPERIENCE AND I JUST FORGOT WHAT I WAS WRITING:



AND THEN HERE IS TYLER FIELDS HE'S GOT THIS GREAT ALIENATION THING GOING YOU WOULDN'T EVEN NOTICE UNTIL YOU HEARD HIS POEMS A FEW TIMES BUT DON'T WORRY HE IS A SUPER NICE GUY AND HIS POEMS ARE SUPER NICE TOO:



Okay, well that's it. I've exhausted my capitalization limit for the decade. But these people are just so Goddamn good. Listen with intent and purpose to each of them! You will feel better for having done so. Oh, and a bunch of other people read too. But giving everyone props would take up my entire life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

LADIES' NIGHT

On Friday, Chick Litz is going to be throwing a huge poem bonanza. They are releasing their new chapbook, "How to Get a Job as a Mermaid."

On the subject of marine dwelling guys and gals (and since it is still National Poetry Month), I'll talk about my favorite "canonical" poet. Thomas Stearns Eliot!

Eliot's stuff is all about broken emotion and communication. I love broken writing. It reflects everything about us we don't want to recognize. We don't want to see our failures in what we read. We just want success. SUCCESS SUCCESS SUCCESS. Sometimes, failure is good to look at, to understand. To enjoy a little bit, even.

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is one of my favorite poems of all time. It is claustrophobic. All of the information Eliot shoots at you just sinks you deeper. And then some mermaids drown you. MERMAIDS. You guys, it all makes sense.

There's a video of some prissy old man reading it on Youtube. But I won't link that. I hate that guy. Instead, I'll post the end of the poem. That's the part with the mermaids.


Excerpt from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.      

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I GOT PREGNANT LAST WEEK

First post. Can't think of a single thing to say, silly me! Instead, here's a found poem. (It is National Poetry Month, after all. That is important.) Borrowed the words from my high school economics teacher. Think of it like Emily Dickinson meets Glenn Beck. And nuclear holocaust. Yeah, that too.

Does any Man out there
Have any Balls at all?  --
Any?  --
We are going down the tubes
And we applaud -- ourselves, --
Saving 38 billion from a 1.8 trillion!

Please will ANY MAN
Step up as say stop! --
Take care of your own! --
No we let the WOMEN do it!
What a crying shame!
The Lord has blessed me a great wife!

destructive earthquakes
haiti, new zealand, japan
the last 18 months 

The more we become aware --
We do not deserve anything
Other than death --

Don't let the world rob you
Of the -- joy -- Christ provided!
It makes our faith in Christ,
What he did, amazing!
This freedom allows us life  --
More abundant! --
We realize -- it all comes from him!
Think -- time is getting -- Christ's Return!