Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Art Scene Art For 2015

Thanks to Jenny I will have at least one piece on Art Scene this year. I think there may also be a short animation of one of my poems playing at one of the locations. I'm not sure you can read the poem even if you blow this up. If you want to see what it looks like framed you can go to Outsider Poetry

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Time To Get Medieval Cub Fans

Now that the five year plan by Theo Epstein has paid off, and a year earlier than expected, and now that the Cubs have won 87 games so far this season, and are beating the hell out of the Cardinals and Pirates in head to head competition, here it comes, the inevitable backlash against Cub fans actually enjoying themselves and having pride in their team for once we knew was coming from the very same people every Cub fan has been taking shit from their entire lives. Oh, they have been far from gracious about their own success. St. Louis Cardinal fans, even White Sox fans when they won the World Series in 2005. The shit flew unmercifully. And we took it. We had no choice. Our team stunk, and when it didn't stink we knew the inevitable other show was about to drop, even in 2003 and 2008 when the team was every bit good enough to win the World Series. 

But the strange thing turns out to be the people who have been best at dishing it out don't seem to be very good at taking it at all. I think it's safe to say when/if this team wins one of more World Series in the next decade, and I don't think a lot of smart money would be against that happening, that only two fictional depictions of instant karma/revenge are sufficient to illustrate exactly how it will feel to be a Cub fan when the tables turn. 

What now Cardinal fans?

Oh, the Cubs might lose in the playoffs this year in a way that is endlessly entertaining to Cardinal and White Eox fans, but the magnificent core of the team Theo and his wunderkind executives have put together is going nowhere soon. So, you got this beat down coming, and you deserve it, and everyone knows it. 
Time to get Medieval Cub fans.
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Friday, September 18, 2015

The Padukah Poets, or Lay Off My Ruby Padukas

Some days get really dumb, so you got to get down there with them and switch your brain off. I did that a long time ago and never remembered to switch it back on. I wonder if the people of Paducah, Kentucky, know their city is named after a pair of Indian footwear. As I was studying Padukah and the five Holy Cities of comedy: Padukah, Sheboygan, Chemung, Kokomo, and Cucamonga, I learned there is a Padukah Society of Outsider Poets that meets every September in one of the five Holy Cities to discuss the state of Outsider Poetry. It was late Sunday night, then again Thursday night when Knile Davis scored a touchdown despite not being any part of the game plan that I knew I was totally and irrevocably fucked no matter what I do or say in this life, so I set out to find some sort of higher power that would explain why such things happen. I chanced upon the Paduka Poets by accident on the road I was traveling to avoid the Padukah Poets. 

You can do anything, but lay off my ruby padukas

I went to Wrigley Field this Tuesday to see AC/DC, and they were old, and I was old, and the beer was fifteen dollars, and my ears were ringing, and I hadn't been there in 35 years. The last time I was there I saw Jerry Martin hit two home runs over the left field wall while listening to Ronnie Woo a few rows behind us yell "woo, woo, woo woo woo" the entire game. 

Back to these so-called Padukah Poets. I'm sort of on board with their message of first do no poetry, but it makes for dull meetings. Unless you got some of these golden ruby-encrusted padukas. 

I've been to Paducah. By now I've been to all of the Holy Cities of American Comedy except Sheboygan. You see, there's no reason anyone in America would even be playing Knile Davis on their fantasy team, unless they sucked at fantasy football, but the irony is since he was on this person's team and the game was almost over I knew as soon as he took the field what the Universe had in store for me. It was then I had a vision The Padukah Poets were in my future. And iced cream. Because even if you don't care about fantasy football, if I were to explain to you there may not have been another fantasy team in America where someone was so bad that they had played Knile Davis, then he scored a touchdown, you might come to understand paduka. 

Don't try, don't try, don't try.

And you should have

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why I Couldn't Care Any Less About The Best American Poetry 2015 "Controversy"

I haven't gotten my copy on The Best American Poetry 2015, so I don't much to say about the current controversy where a white man pretended to be an Asian man in order to be published in an American poetry journal. What I do remember is that the editorial process and contributor make-up of the Best American Poetry anthology series has changed quite a bit over the past decade or so. When the series began in 1988 all the editors were older white men and women noted for being part of the academic orthodoxy and selecting poetry for the anthology by similar poets. In fact, they went so far as to continue publishing their dead friends years, or even decades after they were gone instead of really delving into the America poetry scene and finding younger and more diverse voices.

Best American Poetry 1988-2014
None of this makes any real difference to me because being a career small press poet I have about as much chance of ever appearing in an anthology like this as I do of playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. These are the games people we make fun of play. assholes who have their snout far into the public trough their asses have no idea their crack is showing. The poetry isn't all that great, but the politics ensure whoever edits the series will just publish a certain standard of poetry. In this case Sherman Alexie was the yearly editor and he admits he was just enamored by the title and Chinese sounding name of this entry. 

With this poet exists or not seems irrelevant. I haven't even read the poem yet, and probably won't until I order my copy on Ebay as I do every year now. I actually don't even really have an opinion about this, I'm just trying to get to 500 words and get on with my day of preparing for fantasy football season. I don't like poets. I don't think anyone does, really. And they're right. Because this is the type of petty garbage Plato predicted poets would argue over if they were ever in charge of anything

Unfortunately for readers, there are still a few things a few poets are in charge of. Namely public grants, funding, a few literary journals of note, and some academic writing programs. That's not a lot, and we should all be grateful they don't have any more power than that, but it's just enough power to ruin the perception of poetry the typical non-reader of poetry has about all poetry being written in America at any one time.

Sherman Alexie is a poet who has come closest to being a small press editor in the history of the series. I don't like him, but only because I saw once on his website he told his fans to leave him alone because he was too busy to respond to their questions. Kind of a jerkoff thing to do, but maybe he was just having a bad day. I was running a restaurant at that time, working seventy hours a week, and I never would have dreamed of treating a customer or a fan (if I had one) that way. To each his own. But that's a good example of why most people have a negative opinion of poets, and why they're mostly right in my opinion and experience.

I wanted to say something about race, gender, politics, age, and how all of these things enter into the politics of publishing an anthology like The Best American Poetry, but I don't really give much of a shit. Fight it out over the slop they pour in the trough all you want, I'm happy knowing I'll never be part of that grotesque spectacle of relying on the leavings of others.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Outsider Poetry On the Pecatonica River

When you're eating a brown banana that has been in your duffle bag god knows how long and trying to contact an actual human being from Comcast to help you install all the cheap plastic devices they just sent you then you really start to know what's important.

When you're floating down the Pecatonica River and your five year old is using your crotch as a resting spot for his restless feet you really become aware of what's important.

Fishing upside down like Scott Walker on the Pecatonica River

I'm going to put a poem here. 

Now that it's September summer has finally arrived here in Illinois. I'm sweating it out without air conditioning in my apartment, knowing full well next week it could be full on winter for nine months. Managed to get a ahold of some employee at Comcast and schedule an appointment, and although the voice was muffled, sometime this year. God forbid I could just call the local service center and speak to someone in this hemisphere. 

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Ugly People Sitting On a Park Bench

I'm full of stuff like poetry today. I got this poem right here. It's deceptively simple in it's simplitude. I say that to try to sucker you into believing there's something there. We both know the truth, don't we? 

I'm not saying these people on a bench are ugly, I'm just saying they came up first on Google image search. I'm only titling this picture "Ugly People On a Bench" because that's the first thing that comes to mind considering that's the title of the poem.

Ugly People On a Park Bench

Look out, they're going to breed.

Oh, shit, false alarm,

They're just feeding 
The ducks.

But I bet those
Ugly fuckers are
Going to breed.

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Playing the Short Stack

For almost a decade I've been joking that I was a better poet twenty years ago than I am now, and I'm not getting any better. Well, it doesn't seem much like a joke anymore, so I had a brainstorm: I have twenty-five years of journals of poems I started, finished and rejected, or just wrote titles I found were amusing sitting around doing nothing. Here's one I found that I'd like to work on here and now. It's titled "Playing the Short Stack," and I wrote it while I was living at the Clayton House Motel, an infamous flop house here in Rockford known for prostitution, drug dealers, and all sorts of villainous scum. Unfortunately, I was only interested in unlimited air conditioning and cable television in my three months there and didn't see any of that. I did eat my first Krispy Kream donut, watch two nights of Monster Fest, and spend my very last dollar before getting another job and leaving that place. This was during the first phase of Texas Hold Em Poker exploding into the American consciousness, and for a while I enjoyed watching it on the television.

This picture shouldn't be here.

Playing The Short Stack

"Your 'All In'
Ain't much of nothin,'
Because you ain't got nothin'
Except a loser's hint
Of a bluff,"
She said,
And I would have
Snapped off something equally
Devastating back but
I couldn't even see her
Behind all those chips. Pin It
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