16/07/2012

POEMS AND SHIT

I've been a big fan of poetry from the days that I was raised on Dr Seuss' rhymes. I learnt to read when we got a computer and a green eggs and ham interactive CD rom; this was even before I was speaking (granted, I didn't speak until I was three years old). I liked hearing other people speak more than hearing the lazy way my thoughts made it out of my head and that remains today. Poetry is such an inexplicably beautiful form of communication.

I could list my likes and dislikes to the edges of infinity but I don't want to be condensed into my favourite food, my favourite colour. Tavi Genvinson said:"I would much rather be taking pictures and writing and be way in over my head and none of it even be that good than not do anything. Otherwise, I would probably be one of those people who puts all their self-perception in what their tastes say about them since they don’t have anything they themselves make or do because they’re afraid they won’t be good at it because they believe you can’t be creative just for yourself and that someone will say they are bad at it. Which just makes you think about what your tastes say about you all the more, which is that stupid mentality of people who are annoyed by hipsters. I just wanna like what I like! Where in this world is there any passion anymore! Any commitment! Once I didn’t leave the couch for 25 hours except to go to Ihop. That took commitment." Personally, I find that poets are really smart, but instead of just being smart, they take their intellect and pour it into something worthwhile. Is poetry pointless? I think it might be. I think that might be the appeal. The 'something out of nothing' weightlessness of words that can be used or disapproved according to what someone decides. Poetry isn't out of nothing though: it takes all the likes and dislikes and anecdotes and experiences and churns out this distilled stream of a persons lifeline and I adore it.

Maybe some people don't connect with poetry in the way I'm waxing lyrical about. But song lyrics are pretty poetic: and I think that most people universally connect with music so poetry doesn't just belong to the realms of the pretentious or pedantic.

This year I got really into Charles Bukowski. He's a loveable drunken despicable kind of person which makes him into such a respectable poet. The juxtaposition of dissatisfaction and a parallel oneness with the world makes me so interested in his work. I'd recommend some of his stuff. I just ordered his collected works from the library.

I found this poem by Dorianne Laux on the internet (thank you sweet invention of our new age industrial revolution) and I love it. I know nothing of Laux and that doesn't matter, because isn't this poem fantastic?


Antilamentation, by Dorianne Laux
Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.



I'm also a fan of Derrick Brown and I would really love to own some of his stuff. He's got a similar, rambling, conversational style that I just find so easy to read. No distracting, alienating long words, just simple and rough.
Finally, the poet who inspired this post because he was just today recommended to me by my friend Eleanor. I'm completely overwhelmed by his talent and nothing I can think to say will do him justice, so I'll do what I do best and listen to others talk in far better ways than I could ever dream of emulating. Hey, it's been a lifelong obsession.