Jeff Smith 9 a.m., June 28
- Community Blog
- Memorial Life
Feeling that Poetry Vibe
Poetry. Maybe because it’s February and traditionally poems go with romance, whatever the reason, it seems we are feeling that poetry vibe since Nan has just published an outstanding thread that features her poetic musings, and a new member and friend of mine, BradGad, has told our little Reader community that he is a poet! Even the Reader has taken to
publishing poems. I invite my fellow bloggers to envision the typical Reader reader reading a poem found in these pages. Yahdude in South Park? Surfer guy in OB? The clerk doing the night shift at 7/11? One of Pike’s costumed ladies over at the Motel 6 on El Cajon Blvd.? But I digress. Steve Kowit, listed as staff here, is of course well known for his poetry handbook, In The Palm Of Your Hand. He is also Poetry editor at an arts and literature site, Perigee, a site I visit often to read their stories and poems.
I read at least two poems a day, sometimes three, often four, lots of times five, frequently six, more often than not seven or more, because I’m greedy when it comes to poetry. The two poem sites I go to daily, usually first thing in the morning, are Rattle, and Every Day Poets. Rattle always has a good poem up, often better than good, a new one each day. Every Day Poets publishes a poem every day as well, but the quality there is hit and miss. On Tuesdays, I read the Slate weekly poem, which is also hit and miss -- but there are great poems, too. Recently, I went back to Poets.org, and remembered what I loved about the site: Riches of writers and their work! Today, for example, I was reading an article on Sara Teasdale, which lead me to a small trove of her work listed on the right side of the page. The article says that in 1918 Teasdale won what is now known as the Pulitzer Prize. This is a bit from a poem, Summer Night, Riverside:
While your kisses and the flowers,
Tangled in my hair....
Poets (which it seems I can not write as Poets(dot)org without messing up) is featuring “A Love Song,” by William Carlos Williams. Both Slate and Poets have links so you can choose to hear the poems read: Do yourself a favor and do not click the links. Reading the poems will light your brain up like a sparkler, hearing the poems may cause your ears to hurl chunks. I’ve written about Poets before, they have a forum which is resource-rich for anyone who likes to read, or write, poetry. You can workshop your poems there, and there is also a thread which lists places where you can submit your work when you are ready to take the leap.
And then I came across this little blog which I quite liked and thought I would share it with you. Ray Brown is a poet who writes poems about writing poetry on his blog, A Poet’s Dream. I asked his permission, and he kindly agreed, to allow me to reprint one of his poems here:
Harvest Moon Mooning 2009 November 6 by Ray Brown
Joe mooned the audience at the Open Mic reading
the other night at the Millburn, NJ Library.
I knew he had it in him,
I was just hoping that I would never see it.
Joe always complained
about the “Intelligentsia” in the poetry world.
We would go to workshops,
they would give him some mundane topic
and expect that he would write in esoteric terms
that not even a swami could interpret.
“These people would expect lyrical phases
even if the topic was to write about a fart,”
he told me once.
“Some things are just what they are,
and they aren’t lyrical.”
So when he read his poem at the library
about the outhouse
that was on the Western Pennsylvania farm where he grew up
he started to hear some snickers
saw those condescending smiles in the audience
like “here goes Joe again,”
and all of his William Paterson College A.A. bred inhibitions
broke down, he just lost it.
There at the podium he mooned them,
and that just about said it all,
but it didn’t really.
For you see, if certain writers who were acceptable to
the Intelligentsia had done that, it would have been innovative,
avant-garde. They would have put his picture
on the wall at Poets House in New York
written about it in Poets and Writers Magazine.
But Joe had the wrong initials behind his name -
A.A. instead of M.F.A.
So now as we have a beer at Mechlin’s Corner Tavern
Joe asked me about the old poetry haunts
and Mrs. Snooty who black listed him.
Afterwards he jumps into his chauffeured driven limousine,
he now having become quite the cult idol,
much sought after reader,
with his own booking agent, traveling first class
from college to college throughout the United States.
That’s what one minute of fame, on You Tube,
“Mooning the Intelligentsia”, can do for you.
Thanks again, Ray! Is that great stuff, or what?
Gotta love it, gotta have it, don’t know what I’d do without it!