I shall have to make a new one….

Sorry for this, but I’ve happened upon a bit of draught, an elixir if you will.  I’m going to warn you now that this is me in a somewhat vitriolic state, so I will get a mite hateful, and it should come as a surprise because I’m not generally this way.  As the “good” doctor, however – I, too, have a layer of razor beneath my flesh.

I just got the spring issue of the Missouri Review, which includes the poetry of the woman whose poetry was deemed better than mine…and I’m going to be purely selfish about it, in this place.  The “Poet Laureate of Albany, California?”  Is that a laudable title?  That is as if I were to refer to myself as the “Poet Laureate of California, Missouri,” right?  It’s insulting, to me, that titles are the medium of credibility where words are concerned.  If I were ever a poet of any fame to be truly outdone by one with no such names, I would honestly be proud of the state of poetry.

The titles bear proper witness, though, for I cannot fathom how real worth can be found within these words: each poem being simply a set of descriptions with no message, no drive, no edge, and the incessant use of “&” in place of “and” in every poem.  EVERY POEM!  What sort of gimmick is this that I might suffer such a useless gesture?  If you’re going to do something out of the ordinary, for God’s sake, don’t make it a damn calling card.  Use it as you would a weapon – carefully and sparingly.  An excess of Salt kills the body; needless repetition, the mind.

And what is this petulant ignorance of form or rhyme?  I heard so many times in college that if I wanted to use rhyme in poetry, I should go write for Hallmark cards…what is the basis for this indemnification against such a staple bastion of poetry?  It can add so many dimensions that the abuse of its simplicity is negligible.  After all, what makes calling simple exposition poetry any better than the sense of childishness that stems from the overuse of rhyme?  This move seems like the apex of ignorance under the facade of academia…as if I proposed that every poet no longer has a mouth in order to be an acceptable poet, and any poet who speaks is a bastard heretic.

I suppose I seethe the strongest because I feel nothing from these words.  They’re meant to be words to a lover, or between lovers, or whatever ardent rote you may, but they are spoken from the pedestal of a person who is above the love of words, beyond form, and full of other instead of self.  I never used to have confidence about my writing, but I know that it IS powerful and self-contained – it contains my self, blatantly obvious to most I’ve shown it to, and I’m proud of it as I would be my children.

Apparently, however, this world contains no pride but flat.  One day, I’ll make a note to bubble past it, and if this world can’t contain me…

I shall have to make a new one.

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