Thursday, December 15, 2011

"They fuck you up, your mum and dad..."

No.  Not Philip Larkin ... of course not.  First off, he's dead.  And when he was alive, he was British.  It's the US Poet Laureate, Philip Levine I saw an article about this morning.

But wouldn't it have been fun to have Philip Larkin as US Poet Laureate.

I didn't even know Philip Levine was Poet Laureate.  I haven't much kept up with modern poetry.  Except with the poet folks I hang around with.  I'm not sure why -- no that's a lie -- I know precisely why I haven't kept up:

A:  The Professor hates most poems written today (no more he says they aren't Poetry and does try to encourage by being critical) and of course I have followed him like a faithful student does.  Picking apart modern poetry like a turkey vulture on roadkill.

Jealousy is a very horrible trait.  For many years I worked to eradicate the "j" word from my life.  I did pretty good -- it remains, however, lurking inside me with regard to two specific areas:

1. Brilliant poems written by young women.

2.  The drug addict with the perfect ass the Professor had in his life (for 5 years) who didn't love him worth a damn but drove him to ridiculous lengths to keep her in his bed.  AND for whom he wrote smoldering poetry about.

I think it is coming a long way to be able to point out specifics like that.  Don't you agree?

Where was I?  Oh.  Philip Levine.  I couldn't finish reading his poem "Drum" this morning.  I found my mind wandering ... I wasn't compelled to keep reading.  I wasn't drawn in.  Once, I wrote a poem in which the first line is  "your mind is a sun-fucked sea..."  I wasn't attempting to be a shockjock poet, I was thinking of when a sun ray shoots down into the ocean.  How an idea can pierce the mind --

I stole sun-fucked from a dear dear old poet -- well I didn't steal it -- she said I could have it.  She used it to describe a story of her and a lover being on the beach.  Sun-fucked.  I love it.   Anyway,  I'm not sure poets should be normal people.  Maybe that is the problem with some of the poet laureates we've had in the USA lately -- they are so "normal."  Why wasn't Mr. Ferlinghetti ever named Poet Laureate?  Or Allen Ginsberg?

They seem very normal to me.  Don't you love Mr. Ferlinghetti's "her hair was rainy, her breasts were breathless..."

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