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!
(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.
“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,