Wednesday, April 01, 2009

. . . is [not] the cruelest month

i've no idea what the fuck eliot had against april. perhaps the same 'tude he sported against eating a peach fuelled his antipathy for the beginning of spring. oh, there's life out there, the poet observes and shudders at the thought as he turns the wick up on his gaslight and dips his quill back into the inkwell to record for us the horrors of our human civilization.

nevertheless, april is now poetry month and for many of us that might mean more readings, or deals for published books and chaps and zines, or the writing of a daily poem to post on your blog. all these are noble and good. rather i am for something a bit different. i love reading poetry as much as writing it. indeed, without readers half of the equation that makes for poetry would simply disappear and the sounds we make thru our words, and for vispoets images, would just be more chatter to compete with that passing escalade blaring thump-thump music.

i even develop crushes on poets and poetry. thank god for google and online zines and blogs. i can satisfy my crushes every time i fire up the laptop. and i get pissed if a writer doesn't have a blog or refuses to negotiate with digital publishing. that sort of thinking belongs with the minds that developed the 8-track tape player and refused to deal with cassette tapes. but i get off track. for this cruelest month what i propose to do is write little reviews on my daily reading. these include individual poems, chaps, blogs, zines and books. i'm not going for full-on, hardcore exegeses. just a few lines about my current obsessions in poetry. these little reviews will be wholly biased, completely emotional and totally committed to the art of poetry as a way of living.

i probably won't post everyday, but each time i do post it will be about my daily reading. it won't be much but it will make this cruelest month a bit more kind. i'll begin with this poem by the wonderful duncan mcnaughton that i think takes eliot to task.

dealing with fruit

I ate a peach
          not the peach Prufrock considered

the peach I ate
                was very like the pussy of a girl

a long life pussy peach

mcnaughton is naughty like an old blues lyric yet erudite like a don. the poet can make talking shit sound like shakespeare and what might seem like a sexist piece is turned by its tenderness for life into a hymn of sensuality. this is a poem about the love of life and, as i read it, turns eliot's despair on its ear. it would seem like hyperbole to confess that i love this little ditty, and yet i do. mcnaughton is not a household name among poets, i think, but he should be. this is life in poetry at the first intensity.


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