Of Poetry & Prose, and Then What Ever It Is I Do Pt. 4
May 24, 2012
Well Double Yee-Haw everybody it rootin-tootin …pull out yer beret’s and bongos…I’m interrupting my long ass somewhat weepy tale about my poetry story(but featuring very little actual poetry)with some god blessed actual poetry…plus this will be shorter, which means faster to post…’cause truth be told Cat’s & Kittens I am one tired ol unit…I usually get up about five thirty, six am (no matter what, ever since I been a boy)and well…lol-ing here we are past midnight…but I really wanted to have a little fun with some of the crap I been digging out of my “box o’ writing” (a large plastic lidded bin stuffed full of stuff [some material now over thirty years old]including early art(eob?), poetry etc)…
Anyway before we start that goofiness…how about one of my top ten favorite poems from a great poet(no, not mine, not me, haven’t you been paying attention)
This is a lot of poets “favorite” poem. I don’t know if it’s my “favorite”. I do someday plan to put the first strophe on my body somewhere in tattoo form, maybe forearm with fancy script…anyway
Eating Poetry by Mark Strand
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.
The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.
Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.
She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.
Oh…mmm was that delicious or what…grrruff…now compare that to the poem below…I mean keep in mind that this was…1991, I was thirty-one-ish homeless, or just nearly close to out of being homeless by this point, and one opinionated bastard, I mean I was really quite full of myself back then…I mean…yes of course I’ll let you stop laughing before I go on..(wait till ya read a couple of my “Psycho Boy” columns in Pt. 5)
Oh I mean it is to laugh…there were, are some bad poems in that box…but that’s the point isn’t it…writing is really about the process. It’s about writing, and re-writing and perfecting yer craft…speaking of that I’ll leave ya with a funny example of the ‘process’.
Here’s a little poem. I considered it an old poem when I posted it in Golden State Years (the name of a chapbook I have ready to be published hint hint anyone out there interested…anyone…anyone…[insert sound of crickets chirping here])…oh it is to laugh…jes gotta have fun with it…
Anyway I’ll leave you with this…I believe a great example of the editing and growth(I knew this poem had been part of a larger piece but had forgotten just how…differently the same[lol] they were…
First the version as it stands today
My Little Dog
Sitting alone not lonely
Does your brain become a little dog
Chasing it’s tail
Round and round
Sometimes I talk out loud
I used to fly
In some odd past life
Maybe we all did
Okay and here’s the earlier untitled version, from the chapbook “I Chameleon”
so you’re driving down the road of dreams, you’ve got the brights on, but still ya can’t see everything. what’s that at the side of the road? you turn your head but it’s gone, might have been nothing.
tell me your dreams
and i’ll tell you your name
not the one you’ve given to flesh
but the one you use to keep yourself sane
only one pillar holds up your head. it takes more than that to hold up the sky. little man who wears sheets and eats bloody burgers wants to knock em all down, his tongue is his hammer, his God is white.
tell me your fears
and I’ll tell you your faith
not the one you profess you believe
but the one you use to justify hate
and watching GTV, the silver haired, silver tongued, fatherly figure said you’d better believe or God will shut the door on you. smiling he said you’ll be left out in the cold. i went to get my jacket on.
tell me your loves
and I’ll tell you your doubts
not the ones you try to build on
but the ones you use to keep others out
when sitting lone not lonely, does your brain become a little dog? mine does going round and round chasing its tail. sometimes i talk out loud. i used to fly in a distant past life, so i think did we all.
tell me your thoughts
and I’ll tell you your dreams
not the ones you use to dance
but the ones you use to make believe
i used to fly in a distant past life, so i think did we all.