Make Art, Not War

Thursday, May 10, 2012

When I write a poem

OK, have we gotten that out of our system?

I wanted to share the recently rejected poem that I sent to Poetry magazine (mostly to see what a rejection letter from them looked like). I didn't expect them to print it, but now that they wont I can. It is a little something. That's all.

When I write a poem

When I write a poem I picture myself stringing
words together like they are yarn.
I am knitting hats and scarves and on
ambitious nights of self I make sweaters with patterns.
They're cute.
They're getting better.

But when I read one of your poems
I imagine that you've carved them out of clay,
sculpted them carefully with no crevasse or
point of interest unplanned,
no punctuation mark a mistake,
no syllable unaccounted for.
Your creation stands as it was meant to stand.

Is it possible that there's an art inside an art?
That your voice or style might be characterized
by another genre altogether?

Fired in an oven,
shrunken in the wash
and walla!
The finished product.
Signed and dated.

And once you've created enough of them
to call it a life's work they'll say that you made it
when I was just sitting at home having fun with patterns.

(dedicated to Sharon Olds, one of my favorite poets)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Ok, to explain the last post so that we can move on:
Recently, I noticed a large amount of traffic to my blog coming from a certain site and when I clicked on the link I found some nasty republican blogger was bashing me on his dumb blog. Apparently, the whole purpose of this blog is to go off on things he finds and doesn’t like on the website Democratic Underground, and he had seen a video of one of my poems and hated it so much that he decided to go off about it pretty viciously, including alternate, crappy lyrics and accusations that I must be all that is wrong with this country. This prick went so far as to pull my bio (corner, right) and take a few pot shots at me, personally- calling me a wing bat and a pothead, because I voted for Cynthia McKinney (and other such liberal flights of fancy).

 I was, of course, shocked and upset to discover this. My heart was beating in my ears like war drums as I read the comment thread (which is never a good idea, but especially here, considering this person’s obviously fowl readership). Besides the easy cracks about my having no talent, or being a spoiled brat with a trust fund (HA!) the cuts went so low as to complain that I had frizzy hair in the video and rectangular glasses (oh yeah, I did that just to piss you off). I left a few sharp replies of my own and posted that last entry on my blog for any persons reading his post and following the link. (Note: I am not going to mention his stupid blog’s, stupid name here. I wouldn’t want to do him any favors). I mean, really, fuck off.

 My friend suggested that the bright side of this was that at least my message was getting out there. That even people who vehemently dislike what I have to say are talking about it. And I guess she’s right. But it’s about as backhanded as a compliment can get. In reality, it’s a petty, hateful thing to do. How about if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. You don’t have to go out of your way to ridicule and slander me just so you and your asshole friends can reaffirm your own closed minded and warped worldviews. It’s got the seedy feel of having someone hack into your email address and send out weird spamy links in your name for Free Trails of Viagra!, and money orders from some prince in Africa and the like. You know there are some dangers to “putting your self out there” on the internet and sometimes-this is what you get.

 So, accepting that people will think and say what they like, and that some people will never agree with you, or even try to see things eye to eye, what I am left with is this: my own blog. My own opinion, for what it is worth, and for those who care to read it. So, I’ll just leave my response to it all here and be done with it. K?

1. For the record: yes, I do think your poetry sucks balls. I also think the rest of your prose sucks, so at least you are being consistent. I take solace in the fact that assholes like you rarely make it off the couch, which leaves the real world (which I operate in) a much nicer place to be.

2. To the asshole in the comments who goes by Anonymous –who fucking cares what you think? You say you are a professional writer but you wont own up to your own words in a comment thread? What a loser you must be! Why should anyone care what you have to say? At least I stand for something, and I back up what I say. I mean every word I use (even the ones you can’t understand cause I’m going too fast). And what I think is we don’t need anymore asshole commentators on the sidelines, thank you. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe you should just shut the fuck up?

3. Oh yeah, and to everyone that doesn’t like it when I swear: why don’t you eat a dick. I know that makes you uncomfortable (that’s why I said it). I am sick of people saying whatever nasty, hurtful things they want and then balking at my response because I use “adult language”. I am an adult. And I don’t see any difference. If you can’t handle a little four letter word, don’t throw stones motherfucker!

In truth, I was going for a strong reaction. If someone were to disagree with me in the first place, that reaction would be a fairly negative one. And for so much nastiness to be hurled my way from one nobody’s blog is, I guess, to say I got what I wanted. It is easy to remind myself that lots of people with worldviews closer to my own also saw this video, and also had a reaction. Hopefully, a positive one. Hopefully, it balances out. I would like to think we are tipping the scale. That is the real work of spreading ideas. It’s not simply convincing others to agree with you, it’s about encouraging an open mind, so people can decide for themselves.

But, seriously. Nobody likes a hater.