I appreciate what Jennifer Bosveld, editor of Pudding House Publications, says about poetry, “Make words dance together that have not danced together before.”
I read a lot of poetry when I’m researching potential markets. Unfortunately, I don’t like the confusing dance style exhibited in some contemporary poems. The first line is a Salsa, the second a Tango, third a Quick Step, fourth Hip hop, fifth Lyrical, sixth Jazz, etc… The end creation is a disjointed dance that lacks cohesion, artistic integrity, and the ability to give me goose bumps.
I don’t have a MFA in Creative Writing so I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about but I often stop reading after two or three lines. I say what and what the hell a lot lately. I was frustrated last week when researching contemporary poets one editor preferred. I couldn’t stand fifty percent of the poems because the authors didn’t have the sense to make the nonsensically stringed words do anything one could perceive as tangible.
Maybe I’m missing the point because that is the point. Maybe the poets are thesaurus addicts who substitute a different word for every fifth word in the poem or maybe they’re dictionary addicts with this writing technique, “For line one I’m going to open the dictionary to page one-hundred and use the second, fifth, and thirtieth words on that page. Next I’ll go to….oh, say page eleven and use every twentieth word in my poem. I’ll throw in a verb every now and then.”
The style of poems I’m describing exhibits the poet’s knowledge of words, but not of life's thematic foundations for poetry. I was ecstatic when I found a review of one of these poets by Dan Schneider at Cosmoetica. He referred to the poetry as Rorschach Poetry at one point. I’m not going to mention names; I’ll leave that to Dan. Instead, I’ll leave you with a poem I wrote after reading an award winning poet’s work when he was featured on the cover of a prestigious magazine promoting his new book.
I think your prize winning poetry is nonsensical saliva dripping from
your Zanaxed brain onto your keyboard? If the big Cracker Jack Prize
was given to a noun deficient addict heisting words and mad libbing
ancient ploys for their lazily constructed counterfeit works of art?
Narcissus rise to command Fleur de lis
Dancing Ladies bow to Creiddylad
in Summer’s ancient finale.
I’m not smart enough to construe Dancing Ladies are dying
perennials (you capped them) not girls prancing on Moulin Rouge
in gay Paris. (Can Cracker Jacker Pulitzers get away with rhyming?)
Your prose is half dead, it doesn’t ring true and I don’t want to
perform Google autopsies on every other sentence you strew?
you could even speak English without mumbling about your PhD in
linguistics from Cambridge or link words like the licks and lyrics
of Morrison and Hendrix, phenomenally talented men despite their
drug-addicted, self-induced, self-absorbed shit.
you could ever find the r and b in soul, be in the pocket
or overdose and put me out of my literary misery.
Causes Jules Jacob Supports
CASA of Southwest Missouri, Master Gardeners of the Ozarks, University of Missouri Master Gardeners, Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates Association...