Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Vomiting Poetry; A Note on De-publication

Here's the thirteenth poem in the second section of Sine Wave. Remember that last night our bed became a stalker (the sort of relationship Norman Bates had with Mother).

As the poem demonstrates, there can be too much of a good thing. There can be too much green, Senor Lorca.

Here the speaker, in his mad desire to master poetry, finds that poetry has mastered him, which makes him ill. Only a solid object prevents him from continuing in his psychosis. Thank God for janitors!


Vomiting Poetry

(after Mark Strand’s “Eating Poetry”)

Half-digested chunks of metaphor
fly against the wall and stick.
Bile-soaked adjectives follow,
modifying the putrid Rorschach.
There is no surfeit like mine.
I am vomiting poetry.

The workshop leader is amazed:
“Look—an Auden fragment,
a piece of Ginsberg, a particle of Bly—
Do you have a weak stomach?”

I am too sick to respond.
I run from the classroom to the bathroom
and retch some more.
All is predigested now, cliché.
Acid conceits spew into the toilet,
ironies sink like turds.

“Are you all right?” the janitor says.
“Fine,” I say, flushing the evidence.
“Do you ever read poetry?” I ask. .
“No,” he says.
“Why not?”
“I can’t get past the words.”
As I lean upon his solid mop handle
I feel my stomach settle.


(published in The Cortland Review and Brownflower) In checking the web I notice that this poem has been de-published by both entities, one out of spite, the other because the site disappeared.

At Melic I was never so happy as when we published someone for the first time in their life. I think nonprofits should respect the slush pile and look out for the little guy.

Cortland is known by its competition for "names." One such name demanded that my essay on Logopoetry, along with my poems, be de-published at Cortland before he would consent to have an old chapbook re-published. If you think this was cheesy, write Guy Shahar at Cortland Review.

The name in question was the late Robert Creeley.

One measure of a man is the quality of his enemies. I wish Creeley were a better poet. ;-) And it's OK to speak ill of the dead. They won't hurt you.

The great news is that Ralph, my dear friend for half my life, my fishing guru, also known as Ralph THE PIG is arriving on a visit up here with his beautiful wife today. I'm stoked!

We make quite a pair seeing as how Ralph is only 5' and about 110 lbs at best. But like most little men, he can be bossy. He went to the Napoleon school of egotism and was so full of himself he demanded a diploma without taking his finals. Of course he got his way.


1 Kilobunny and holding,

CE

6 comments:

  1. That's unbelievably cheesy!

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  2. "One such name demanded that my essay on Logopoetry, along with my poems, be de-published at Cortland before he would consent to have an old chapbook re-published."

    I believe it. It amazes me how much BS a poet sometimes has to go through to get (or keep) a poem published. Nice to know you were one of those looking out for the "little guy."

    (An old, dear friend of mine recognized your name in my blog comments, BTW, and he spoke highly of you in this regard.)

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  3. That's an astonishing story. I'm not sure what to make of it.

    I enjoyed the poem though, especially:

    The workshop leader is amazed:
    “Look—an Auden fragment,
    a piece of Ginsberg, a particle of Bly—
    Do you have a weak stomach?”

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to see that you are holding at 1kilo bunny. :-) or 1 kilo raven... I cant' remember which...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, Cortland went all out for soliciting names after we'd entered into a written agreement whereby I would supply them with one essay per issue for four issues. They also published three poems. I kept pestering them about why they weren't publishing the second essay until Guy Shahar or his partner told me the above.

    You can't make these things up.

    If you ever want to investigate the intrigues of the poetry world, go to foetry.com

    Rob, thanks, those poets are not on my favorites list so it's no surprise I include them in purging. Strand is my favorite Existentialist (Post-Modern) poet.

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  6. Good to hear that Ralph is with you -- I bet he packed a couple of kilobunnies to give you while he's up here. Catch some fish...

    By the way, Mom would hate anything that mentions vomit. But she would have told you that she liked it...

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