Friday, June 20, 2014

holy shit!  i've ordered a stack of books this week and read one of them, cover to cover.  that book is antipoems: how to look better and feel great by nicanor parra, antitranslation by liz werner [new directions, 2004].  i remember thumbing thru this book at tower books about 10 years ago.  oh, tower books!  how i miss thee!

why has it taken me 10 years to get and read this book?!  perfecto.  werner gets to the pulpy, meaty heart of parra's antipoems.  it's been a while that the excitement of reading keeps me wide awake at 1:00 a.m.  this book did just that.  i finished the book, started reading from the first page, then put it down because i had to be at work in the morning even when my heart was pumping and my mind flying with ideas and excitement.

rather than write a review of this book i simply want to relay a bit of my love of this poet and this translator.  i hope liz werner publishes a big thick volume of parra's antipoetics.

below is a piece of  a poem that speaks to my heart.  the desire to get the nobel prize for reading.

           of course these days I don't read much
           I simply don't have the time
           But -- oh man -- what I have read

          that's why I'm asking you to give me
          the Nobel Prize for Reading
          as soon as possible

          [The Nobel Prize]

i don't know if i got my own theory of alt-lyric poetry from parra's antipoetry or not.  but what the hell.  robert duncan and thom gunn both called themselves derivative poets.  i stake the same claim.  nothing new under the sun?  perhaps.  but wait till you hear the song sung at a slant and off-key.


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