Monday, January 10, 2011

it's only rock&roll but i like it

without realizing my attraction to it i find myself amazed by what the 1st and 2nd generation nyc school can do with a poem. today i was a wreck. my little rant a couple posts back bothered me. what i wanted to convey was a sense of isolation and a numbing case of inconsequence because the world and its ills are too large for me to make an adequate response. i said, 'no agit-prop, please' or some thing like that but i think perhaps these wild days and nights require the sort of engaged writing with the culture at large, yes, but the public sphere too. politics and poetry of the kind that ginsberg practiced, catullus knew too, cavafy also and a horde of post-war eastern european writers.

i found myself wondering where are the protest songs of this generation coming of age. where is the anger and frustration of the kind i knew it back when i was growing up in reagan's america and i had hardcore punk to express anger at injustice and evil. i was going to delete that post that detailed a bit of my own muteness in the growing horrors we call our era. but then i didn't since it was a rambling mess my language i hope was an honest expression of my confusion.

and then, again, i discovered this morning life staring right in my face. i got only about 2 or 3 hrs sleep last night and to invert the title of that old jacques tourneur flick i walked with a zombie [1943] to my own condition, i walked as a zombie. i usually read a few poems or a few pages every morning before work. sometimes whole chapbooks or chapters often just a clutch of texts. i pulled off the shelf the selected poems of steve carey ed. by edmund berrigan [subpress 2009] and read this poem:

Got Live If You Want It

Mick wore a white shirt,
rust-coloured (brownish) suede jacket,
and really stylish modish pants;
tweedish striped in the same rust, black,
and white (background). He wore
flat heeled brown shoes and was
fantastic looking. Brian wore a white shirt
under a red top (stunning red against his
golden hair) and beige or white slacks.
Looking at his boots, I'd never noticed
before how small his feet are!
"Keef" wore a regular suit (white shirt)
and boots, and Charlie also
had on a suit with a blue shirt.
Bill wore black slacks, and a leather jacket.

this list of what the members of the rolling stones wore is life pulsing and dynamic. i was floored and was, again, given a proof to the powers of poetry. at least for this old dude. how carey achieves the remarkable in a few strokes of his pen is beyond my powers of description. this is the sort of poetry that i want. this is the kind of writing that makes me glad to be alive, here and now, today and for tomorrow. in the end it is, as we know, only rock&roll, but i like it.


Post a Comment

<< Home