• Poetry Snark
  • Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    Pancakes & Banshee Wails

    I've just my very last pancake had, friends, yes, yes, its blueberries freckling its pale surface like whaleheads topping the crestfoam of the blue sea, except the inverse, where color is concerned. Sea & land, friends. I've dropped a lot of acid, which, at my age, pushes a gentleman into a realm unforseen, indeed, wherein I believe the howling monkeys that dot the lush trees here have found me, amplified, intransigent, hungry for pancake. Hungry, indeed, for the pancake, gentlemen. Horses winny. Whinny. Anyway, there seems a green snake. I have come to certain conclusions. Anymore. I've a friend in Berlin to call, I've just remembered, but listen, the important part is that the sheen is glossed over, friends, yes, yes, the positions are firmly entrenched but there is nothing at the soldiers' backs, no rounds in their pockets, no helmets on their heads, see? Ultimately they go one by one & nothing connects the one to the next, & here I mean our adversaries, friends, not politically, but poetically, artisticaly, otherwise, see? Each one an island, each one quaking like the golden leaf of an aspen in the chilly gales of early winter, as scared, as recklessly attached to nomenal disappointments. Ah dear, friends, there is such fragility in defense! Such vulnerability in attack, no? Oh, woeful, woeful, a pestilence & a petulance upon the page, friends. Where now that siren song, that Lycean ditty of yore? La di da di dee do da, friends, or so Kouros would have us sing in moments of gentler repose than these, when time seems the fraught, frayed string of some endlessly plummeting yo-yo, friends, & goodness, the momentum. Halt! Yes, yes, friends, pause, give freeze to the antics, & let go the peripheral, & try at an earnest core. The monkeys wail. I think a storm comes, but in gray clouds I fear I see frequencies. My teeth are silver.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2005

    Oddly enough

    Yes, yes, friends, you will notice that my attendance herein has lagged of late like child of Bangladesh on strong opiates, his eyelids heavy with some distant revery, for which (my absence) I offer my apologies. I oscillate, dear friends, between two rhetorics, both of which seem oddly futile in the face of the politics of ehe ego these days. It wasn't always such, no, no, friends, for in Hong Kong, yes, in the seventies, that dead horse I flog continuously, my dear friends & I gathered around one passion that was not our own, no, dear reader, we never presumed to possess a poetry, rather, poetry possessed us. Ours was not a dialogue betwixt savage pride & specious critical acumen, no, not a disingenuous beast that flies by the shade of night like an owl fueld by fire, no, it was an earnest conversation, friends, in which our best interests were of little consequence. Perhaps the template of the blog gives itself to such ferocity, for its impunity renders vituperation divorced of consequence. & so it is that I find myself divided, yes, like a hass avocado split squarely through the molish skin, friends, & which half gets the pith, the seed, the core of me? Is it that which takes personal offense at the sophomorically dull-witted or is that which cares for fostering the constructive? Perhaps, friends, there can be peace between the two. Once idiocy is dispelled, friends, the path to truth is clearer. Yes, yes, doubt all you want friends, make a habit of doubt, but one circumnavigable to be sure, for lest you forget old shakespeare, "our doubts are traitors & make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." There is no certainty to the breadth of doubt, friends. Do not be consumed by it, but consume it yourself, as voraciouosly as you might a blue plate of madelaines & a white cup of oolong or darjeeling, perched upon a terracotta windowsill in the slant of light that touches also your vases of geraniums & hyacinth, your periwinkle bedspread, your cracking tiles. Do you see? It is all touched, friends, the world, by the very same thing.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Blood, Blood, Frost & Blood

    Dearest friends, yes, yes, the stellar jays congregate beside the panelglass this morning in their morning choral whilst elsewhere their absence is heartfelt, I'm sure, for the lack of sonority, indeed. Down the road is an Anglican church where they usually find some respite, but yesterday upon hearing a dreadful sort of screeching I peered quickly from my study window, yes, friends, from my leather tome of Swiftburn, to see a preacher exposing himself to our fine aviary of compadres, & a most gruesome & twisted sight it was to behold that your dear blogger very nearly soggied the nethers. Also of some consequence in terms of the cleanliness of my britches as a result of shock & bewilderment, the gems that Snarky & company have come upon with Todd Swift's Web site. Dear me, it is as if Krishna himself delved too deep into onanism, eight hands spinning around one tired center. The construction of certain monuments to self is befuddling friends, yes, yes, but gives rise to laughter such as I have never heard bellow forth from my formidable waistline. How then to take poetry seriously, if taking it seriously means being Todd Swift? Well, I will not pretend to the answers, dear friends, but I will invite my dear friend B. Blood to discuss it at greater length. His words, as I have seen it, have sparked a sudden bravado in their readership, which, in turn, has promoted just such a musical congregation as I find stirring outside my window or deep in the anals of my being. We wait upon glory, friends, upon a genuine spark of good, & when it ignites, the flames spread over us like the tongue of Clifford. Ah, Blood, your teeth long for Swift's comments section. Go forth my friend, yes, & make clear your intentions.

    Ire or Ennui, Friends

    Such a matter halves my thoughts as a split cantaloupe left sweating in the Laes District sun, friends, whilst swarms of horseflies congregate for their miniscule sips. Yes, yes, friends, my head is halved, sloth & venom. No work to be done of it today.

    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    Back in Hong Kong

    Friends, a word of empathy has reulted in my endeavors switching their focus, as it were, as the auspice of cloudless, azurite skies portents a fine day to come. Yes, yes, I feel emerged from a durance vile, friends, wherein bile spilled from me like water shot from a waterbed pierced by any number of small safety pins unhatched from the cargo pants of a disaffected American teenager with a Subhumans tee shirt on, friends. But now, so cleansed, my energies being rid of that oily black odium, yes, yes, friends, again my purer thoughts turn to purer times, as betimes times lend themselves to tide. & specifically here, dear ones, Hong Kong, the seventies, the swirling maelstrom of cultural revolution, the pregnant air of literary invention, the dawning of a new era, friends, as every day proves to be, somewhere apace in the globe. I recall a certain night, sipping a Malaysian darjeeling (very rare, an epicurian's delight friends) with white-tinged leaves, yes, & taking some comfort in the opiates that freckled the Hong Kong streets at the time with my dearest of friends, W.C. Rogers. We sat calmly, none of this brutality spewing from our mouths, friends, but the placid, eery insight of invention (& opium) coarsing through our very veins as a sludge-water in an irrigation ditch running alongside a rural highway in Pa Ning after the monsoons. We sat very still, friends, but something there moved within, be it time or spirit or, dare I say it, the stirring echo of her majesty, dear Beauty? Be it as it may, friends, the night proved electric &... oh dear, I am afraid this must be continued at another time, for it would seem that my oatmeal, rich in fiber & in the affectation of the British, seems to have stirred in me another urgent matter with the very quickness one usually reserves for explaining the ground speed of a cheetah over a plain of wheat. Toodle-oo, friends, until it be morrow.

    All, all, alone

    Ah friends, my oolong settles into its tepid dregs even while cirrus clouds settle over the bay in their spotty profusions. Such tender moments of vulnerability, friends, lead one to wonder, is this the fight of one man alone in his head? Be there sympathetic ears & eyes which may, betimes, peruse my words? Friends, I am savage lonely in my blog. Fire needs fanning, yes, yes, & progress dialogue, therefor I pray tell me, where be my passionately dispossed brethren?

    Tuesday, June 07, 2005


    Above, friends, you will see the name of my new nemesis, for in our brief acquaintence through the www.poets.org forums, my temper, though controlled & executed with all due temerity, has been given rise to flare considerably. The audacity of a man that defines for others what it means to be a poet, yes, dear friends, even as we ourselves wonder what good does it do? I positied, rightly, friends, that such a definition is useless, rendered the more ludicrous when compared with the merit of an actual poem. This notion, far-fetched as it is, I know my friends, was dismissed promptly as "cute," betraying my own lack of "credibility" & my self-contradiction of entering such a debate whilst thinking it profanely idiotic. There is some truth in this last note, to be sure, but when poets gather round to discuss how poetic they are, I find the onanism & self-congratulating revolting to the point of degradation & offense. Such circle jerks, & please forgive the language friends, but red glows my blood, do little for poetry in general other than make a whore of her, make her the doorway to so much nauseating pomp & posture. These egregious little knutes are actually more concerned with defining themselves as poets than they are with writing meaningful work, by this gentleman's own admission. Go & be privvy to his tone, friends, & judge accordingly, for it would seem that his posts represent those few rare instances wherein he pulls his head, however briefly, out of his ass in order to make magniloquent proclamations about everyone else's shortcomings. Oh, friends, I'd so love to read his work. But for now, I will fan the flame. Please, friends, join me, inundate the site with Truth & justice, friends, at all costs.

    Such Errant Endeavoring

    Friends, I have recently registered at the Academy Web site in order to infiltrate the forums in hopes of steering them again towards that fading beacon of Meaning. Yes, yes, I visited the site on a capricious little whim, friends, but left in an utter fury, for before me I saw extensive conversations about many meaningless matters, but one in particular struck your dear host as particularly redolent of hogwash. In one forum, friends, & here I dare warn you, brace yourselves for the blow of this stupidity, in one forum there is a rather lengthy discussion of what it means to be a "poet." Dear me! I didn't realize one must expend one's efforts & energies defining oneself in order to construct an esoteric treehouse gang the likes of which can repell instantly those without the secret password! Such dribble & such a waste of precious energy, such a waste of being! People, write a poem, for Cheeve's sake, rather than wax ineloquent about what makes you a poet. I have witnessed in my many years this phenomenon as it pervades & ultimately ruins so many circles. So many in the literary circles toil endlessly at their postures, performing all the rituals of being a writer save one: writing. Yes, yes, friends, it is true, & you al know "writers" in your midst-- those who would be overheard in already loud bars disclaiming Barthes, yes, those with verbal incontenence leaning just-so over their merlot, those disdainfully acquiesing to look at the work of others, yes, friends, those who quietly & privately lead lives of utter sadness & vacuous self-consciousness, yes, the writers, the disaffected, those actually concerned with how to define themselves as a "poet," what it means. Oh dear, & in this present age, it means nothing! Once, it did, friends, in the halcyon days of yore, when the iamb was bedewed with its own newness, yes, & when a page dehisced with Possibility, but now, the page seems bent bodily over the knee of the Idiot, friends, who, rather than rough her up, sits pondering the definability of his character! Such a farce is the matter! Plain self-aggrandizing is complicated interminably when he who would perform such a function has no authentic identity to aggrandize. I am in a huff, here, friends. Help me, assuage me, yes, by joining me in the crusade to bring sense & integrity back to www.poets.org, one comment at a time!

    Saturday, June 04, 2005

    Feeble Host

    Yes, dear friends, as the above caption reads, I am stricken of late with the influenza & its consequent migraines & am thus rendered unable to perform my promised slayings with any kind of relevant force. Suffice it to say ideas are brewing, slowly, friends, but in my present condition, I fear vitriol will only spur the demon, so to speak, friends. Please don't regard me as recreant or vacillating: you have my word, friends, I will lash anew once my health is restored. Until then, let the downy wings of Samothrace be with you, friends, unless you are of the ilk of passion-impoverished artifice-crafters whose toils produce glittery fecal smears upon the page, in which case, a pox upon you & set your pen straight, you vacuous, indolent, culture bemoaning, onanistic, coat-tail-riding, "experimental," offensively self-aggrandizing douchebag.

    Wednesday, June 01, 2005


    You will pardon, dear friends, the interruption in the streaming progress of my criticisms, which I intend to make more acute in purpose, if not in allusion. I have just swallowed the last crumbled bits of my Madelines, which I took with a strong Irish breakfast tea with but a hint of honey, & suffice it to say, friends, that in spite of my overarching disposition of late, which admittedly has teetered towards the melancholy, I seem at present reborn, with all due vigor & tack. Perhaps you are familiar with the story of the Ugandan sunflower & the maple syrup? Ah, memories, friends. At any rate, I promised that bit by bit, as it were, I would address certain inadequacies of modern verse, & today, friends, I'd like to implore you all to avoid the petty juxtaposition of phenomenological investigation with this insistence on quotidian banalities. Unpeeling a banana, friends, is not tantamount to pursuing the root of Being. Heidegger did not write cookbooks. Husserl did not pen self-improvement manuals, did he, dear friends. I recently had the opportunity to peruse the contents of the Paris Review, which features the acute eye of richard Howard, I believe, as gatekeeper of the sacred, as the tradition goes. It is hard to say from this distance, as journals in Hong Kong don't seem to bear the same weight that they do abroad, but I am to understand, if I am not mistaken, that it is something of an honor to be chosen in this periodical. Hogwash, I say! The poems, every last one, friends, again wryly related the day's events before tacking on ontological qualifiers, often, & depressingly, in the form of banl & over-used line breaks positing being before negating it with a negative turn. Dear me, the work of children! I ask you this, poets of the present, is not Being a thing of wonder? Have we found all the answers, that our poetry so coolly is able to present questions with all of the livelihood of a buried rock? Dear me, friends, life, effusive, passionate life! How can it be reduced so swiftly & so artlessly? If there were something new in saying that one emptied the dishwasher & gazed out the window & wondered is there more before tidying the cupboards, fine, friends, fine, but this wry, removed, too intelligent for a moving line voice is akin to listening to an anaesthetized hyena grunt out laconically a strident bowel movement. If there is little wonder to you then please kindly refrain from exposing your secrets on the page. Resigning oneself to the tepid artifice of uncaring might best be replaced with setting aside an hour or two a day in which to play with your Playmobiles-- a thing best achieved & executed in solitude, outside of the eye of the public, for the public's sake & for the sake of the preservation of all things meaningful & moving. I dare say, foes of beauty, your artlessness reeks of indolence & nothing more. If you would work on a poem, work through it, you might find something worth the writing. In the meantime, submit your dribble & tripe to Mr. Howard & his facile review. Such unpleasantries must be dispensed of one by one, & as such, perhaps I shall wait until it be morrow before divulging another of my passionate antipathies. Toodle-oo, friends, until then.