Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The next best thing to writing poetry is...

...somebody else writing poetry about you. I'll start with the good stuff. Sunday a few of us engaged in a scintillating discussion on Facebook that started with my posting an unusual spoken word poem by AFI, along with the following quote, which I stole from 'Zann's status update: "You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick.... You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps... so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in. ~Dylan Thomas, Poetic Manifesto, 1961."

Following Patrick's comment that I'm supposed to be a "folky-hippie" and shouldn't listen to AFI (but you should click on that hot link and listen to their poem anyway), Dave shared Archibald MacLeish's "Ars Poetica" and drew not only a standing ovation, but an invitation to date Patrick.

I was so inspired, I wrote on my status update that I'm going to paper the walls in my next house with poetry . Doesn't that sound like the logical next evolutionary stage after cave painting and Medieval wall tapestries? Dave said I had to put up all Charles Bukowski, which would "limit my dinner guests to only certain people." (Probably to the ones who would have accepted my invitation anyway.)

'Zann, who really is doing NaPoWriMo every single day, not just aspiring to like some posers whose names I don't need to mention, said she was going to write a poem that starts with "Carol papered her walls with poems..." (I suggested Charles Bukowski should be there and drink so much he fell asleep on the couch and didn't wake up until afternoon even though the dog licked him on the ear five times and barked at the mailman, but 'Zann said that wasn't going in her poem, by which she politely meant "write your own damn poem.")

The reason I told this entirely too long story is because you need to know why Charles Bukowski matters. And I'm taking my time getting to the point because I'm so embarrassed that I said I would do NaPoWriMo and then didn't unless you count a lame haiku and a limerick in the comments under my unfulfilled promise.

But, 'Zann has done it every day this month, and her 14th poem is the one that starts "Carol papered her walls with poems..." It's amazing. My friends are all jealous, which is quite a feat given I didn't even write the poem. Go read it and leave her soft, snuggly huzzah comments because she's really doing it and every poet needs to know someone is out there reading...laughing...crying...nodding....and reading again just to savor those perfect words.

As for me, I'm a poetry loser this year. The best I can hope for this month and next is to write a decent ethnography and an independent paper (what this university calls a master's thesis) that passes and earns me the ticket to walk in a cap and gown this June, in addition to teaching all those spring-fevered freshmen how to write a multivoice/multigenre research project. Somewhere I'll need to fit in laying out and editing the school's literary magazine. I've got so many excuses.

After that though, I will paper my walls with poems, starting with 'Zann's...and some of them will even be my own. And then I'll have a dinner party and set a place for Charles Bukowski, may he rest in beer-soaked peace.


  1. Hey, I'm graduating this spring too, AND I laid out the literary magazine when I was at WSU. Congratulations to you on both -- and the poem too. Yeah, you didn't write it, but that just means you're the Neil Cassidy to her Allen Ginsberg.

    take care


  2. I wasn't even going to write poetry; I was just going to have a post mentioning those who were, and I didn't even get around to that.

  3. So was it _Fogdog_ you edited, Patrick? I'm excited about doing it, and flattered to have been asked. Unfortunately I don't have the software to do it, and they'll only pay part of the cost. It's all good though. I needed to buy InDesign anyway.

    When's the graduation party? :-)