Monday, November 24, 2014

All Poetry Is Written in Social Mercurochrome

Jesusfuck, I can't even make the list of least influential people. Was driving to work, with a mouth full of coffee I hit a foot-wide six-inch deep trench across the width of Wisconsin Avenue the construction crew of the new building at Wisconsin and Battery in Bethesda dug sometime between last Friday morning and this morning. I choked on my coffee, spit it out all over myself and couldn't breath for two minutes. My car's alignment is fucked. (UPDATE: Earthgirl hit it too, she didn't see the text I sent her saying avoid Wisconsin Avenue - her alignment's fucked too.) It's 185 degrees in the Library and I'm wearing motherfucking long pants. I hate motherfucking long pants but the unofficial and unspoken agreement I have with my boss is I can wear short pants from April to October but from November through March I have to wear long pants so people don't keep asking my boss what's with Jeff and short pants. There, I told you the uninteresting reasons I'm in a vile mood, the interesting reasons I can't tell you (other than me and mine are fine, it's nothing there). I do have the two tradition vile mood songs at the ready, but rather than post them again, here's one (starring Fleabus on both drums and guitar), here's the second. Time for new vile mood songs. Reminder: while songs are for your ears, the sentiments expressed are aimed at me.


Drew Gardner

She came from the mountains, killing zombies at will. Some people cried “but that was cool!” and I could only whisper “we should NOT be killing zombies!” What have you gotten yourself to do? Did it ever occur to you that you may in fact hate yourself? I know I do . . . I’m not nearly high enough yet—and you’re not helping. My group got invited to join the Flarfist Collective, set up some hibachis and do what we do best, if you know what I mean. I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with this writing if it were a library and I checked out the entire world as if it were a single book. Strike “helpful” off your list. The 4th quarter gets pretty intense and the announcers are usually trying to figure out who is going to become overwhelmed by their own arrogant nightmares. It would upset the stomach of the balance of nature. I always go red over the stupidest things and I have no clue why. Whether it’s speaking in front of the class or someone asking me why I think I have the right to say anything. Why do I need an enemy to feel okay about what I’m doing? Observe yourself as you browse with sophistication through the topic of Authorship & Credibility. Why do I hate the surface of the world so much that I want to poison it? Why do I hate this so much? Well . . . you Hate Your Fucking Dad! Why is the screen so damn small? And why does the car turn so sharply? And why is the only sound I hear the sound of a raft of marmosets? BECAUSE I’m fucking ANXIOUS AS HELL about EVERYTHING. AAAAAAAAARGH. It’s even worse: “I’ll tell you later.” The medium is literally made of thousands of beautiful, living, breathing wolves. Why do I hate the moon so much? Unpublish your ideas in reverse. People hate any new way of writing. My girlfriend really hates it. There is not so much daytime left. Life is like spring snow tossing off mercurial Creeley-like escapes from life-threatening health problems. In summer we love winter in winter we love summer—all poetry is written in social mercurochrome. Since I hate the abridgement of life, a function of needing to please unpleaseable parents is more what this is about. Hate and love—if those are the options I just want to love and hate lobsters. The oddity is not so much that Blake held these eccentric views for most of his life, but that in modern civilization they not only extend the hand, so that it could not complain about complaining about something it hadn’t even bothered to read, and instead formed a halfway decent indie rock band. I’m actually starting to get much more interested in white people than I used to be. Why do I hate Flarf so much? Because it is against everything good this country once espoused. Why do I hate Flarf so much? Because of the awful conflict it places the law-abiding or police-fearing poets under.


OK, one more reason for vile mood: the next door neighbor in the wife-beater standing with a sputtering leaf-blower on the roof of his house throwing a stick and yelling at Napoleon to get the fuck out of his yard. That'll do it.


Kenneth Patchen




                        Wait. Wait.



                                  W a i t.









Mr Alarum suggests (and your requests/suggestions are welcome):


  1. Funny, Wisdomie in Hawaii no longer owns a pair of long pants. No one there has to wear them. Ever. His are all hanging in a closet here so he can put them on at the airport when he comes to visit. This week, btw, it's 78º and sunny there. Every damn day.

    1. I hate motherfucking long pants. Get home from work Friday, short-pants all weekend regardless the weather (unless there's motherfucking snow, one of only a few things I hate more than motherfucking long pants).

  2. i came across this phrase over the weekend, and now have a chance to apply it to drew gardner's piece, posted above -

    that must have been a lot easier to write than it is to read

    1. Yeah, that's the effect the post was going for. Breaks a vile mood though.

  3. lady poets of the labyrinth

    0) your combination of the two poems, by gardner and patchen, is wonderful - the flarf-hating flarf of the first, and then patchen's hard-hitting minimalism

    1) yesterday in the comments column i posted a labyrinth poem by the world-famous writer michelle mairesse, beloved spouse of perennialist teacher doctor professor doctor norman d livergood

    i am glad to report that, since she and i have exchanged emails, we are now cybercorrespondents

    she wrote to me, in part,

    I find other aspects of the perennial tradition in W.B. Yeats, a lifetime student of esotericism, and, of course, Aldous Huxley. John Anthony West's Serpent in the Sky has yet another dimension. A counterweight is available in Wallace Stevens, the insurance executive who wrote poetry to keep in touch with reality.

    2) another lady poet of the labyrinth is mary louise cox, poet laureate of mamaroneck, new york

    i have known mary louise for decades, and the following poem by her, a favorite of my younger brother, was read by him at my father's memorial service

    The Labyrinth Effect

    In our own way we accomplished the deed—
    walking, circulating around.
    dragging, moving along on foot,
    meditating, dashing
    or making slow progress,
    pursuing in miniature
    our life's course.
    We were from time to time
    in unison with another,
    then alone, dancing, running,
    crawling, frolicking, stumbling
    along the Labyrinth of our life.

    Now who of us remain pilgrims
    following our spiritual compass?
    Who among us aspire after the sacred?
    Who among us remember why we paused at the Center?

    Who would take up the staff, the bowl,
    the broad-brimmed hat?
    Who among us in that deep time
    recovered a vision of Paradise
    as we traveled the pattern
    and honored the Rose?

    –Mary Louise Cox