Monday, September 18, 2006

Me and Richard Corey

I got some good help from Jarod Anderson and Norm Ball yesterday with my newborn sonnet and have since incorporated some changes which change the poem for the better.

One advantage of blogging poems instead of workshopping them is that the people who comment are not out to humiliate you or raise their own reputations by sullying yours. They're usually well-meaning friends trying to help you. Anyone with experience at any of the major poetry boards know what I mean.

Now a funny thing happened to me on the way through my mail. A nice lady, Diana Collins, asked me to link to her Famous Poets and Poems and in the bargain wanted to include me in her list, where I likely don't belong, but who am I to resist free publicity? I've been called "famous" before in a now extinct literary journal, but fear I am the personification of devaluing the adjective, though Warhol may have ruined it for all time.

You'll find the link to the site on the sidebar, but here's a link directly to me and my work, bio, etc.: CE.

I have been mowing down minor obstacles of late, from an IRS dispute to recouping some funds from a small family trust. I've also been thinking about a poem that would emphasize the mundane requirements of reality as true existence, while the exercises of the mind and imagination are rendered less important--a poem against poetry, in other words. Most poets aren't terribly good at reality; I think I'm lucky not to be living in a shack and subsisting on oatmeal and rice. I was a dreamy and solitary kid until exposed to elementary school. I think most poets started out as daydreamers and found the words for their daydreams later.

I've mentioned before how in my manic-depressive groups people were shocked to hear me refer to practicing medicine as "babysitting people until they die." That is a bit harsh, but true in itself, except for the fact that it was also my job to improve quality of life. That's reality for you. Who wants it? But we all need it!

Kathleen's good friend from New York scolded her for using a credit card that didn't earn frequent flyer miles. Like we knew such things existed! But there are people who do.

I have yet to compose the poem I propose, so for the present I'll post one that makes the opposite point, the usual poetic position.

Richard Corey’s Clan

They have a secret handshake
for dry palms only,
wristwatches synchronized.

If you pass them on the street
they have the trick of acknowledging you
without making eye contact.

They actually follow
their car’s maintenance schedule
and use the recommended oil.

In spring they carry umbrellas,
in summer, sun block,
in winter they wear hats.

In their glove compartments are gloves.
Their checkbooks balance.
Their children get braces.

If they inadvertently smack their wives
or dabble with heroin, it doesn’t matter—
they can handle it.

I want to be part of their family.
Good breeding tells.
Pow! Pow!

(Published I forget where)

Holding at Rodent Neutral,



  1. The well adjusted club is grossly overrated.

  2. But the wealthy can afford better diseases.

  3. That varies with the drug companies!


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