The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will host BAP March Madness

BAP March Madness regulations allow poets to perform their poems in any manner they choose.

Jorie Graham, fearing elimination in the first round, has pulled off a coup.

The Harvard professor and Pultizer prize winning poet will have Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play Adam and Eve in her poem, “On Difficulty” (1988, Ashbery, Lehman, eds.)

The tournament’s 64 seeds will not be officially announced until Monday.

But this reporter was able to confirm that Graham’s “On Difficulty” has made the tourney as a 16th seed, and will have to face Galway Kinnell’s masterpiece, “When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone,” the no. 1 seed in the East, in the first round.

In Graham’s poem, the reader peers down voyeuristically as Adam and Eve touch one another.

The annoucement has put not only the poetry world, but the entire entertainment world, on red alert.

Is this for real?

Apparently it is.

Poets quickly took sides, some expressing outrage that Hollywood’s most famous couple could sway the outcome of an important poetry contest.

Tony Hoagland, reached by phone, spoke for many: “Kinnell’s poem is probably the best published in this country in the last 25 years.  It would be a travesty of justice if Brangelina tips the scales against ‘When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone.’  I won’t believe it until I see it, though.”

Robert Pinsky, however, said in a statement this morning:  “Jorie Graham has courageously fought during her entire career for difficult poetry, believing the difficult can be accessible.  She refuses to dumb down.  A poet of her intelligence and skill can and should be heard. I salute her.”

At this point, Scarriet will say just a quick word on “difficulty.”   Someone without any musical ability, jotting down various notes at random, would produce a composition more difficult to play and hear than any dreamed of by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Mozart, or Cage.   Popular and accessible pieces of music are often more difficult to play than anything else in the repetoire.  Difficulty as a quality or virtue in itself has no merit.  T.S. Eliot created much mischief using that word.  It should be retired, once and for all.

Hiring Brad and Angelina: now that’s difficult, or, more properly, a difficulty happily overcome.

Rumor has it that James Earl Jones was being asked by one of Kinnell’s friends to read “When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone.”  Mr. Kinnell and Ms. Graham have so far refused to comment.


  1. Desmond Swords said,

    March 3, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Whacky times, what.

    If the speaking of poetry were a competitive sport, there are many from the guild who would get in to the billion poets in the the planet earth Poetry Slam final, in the tenth dimension of a Unified Theory of Entaglement and Everything, superpostion and quantum-cosmos, bubbles and big bangs, scale so unknown it’s poetry the living force and time the MC school squares equalling an SoQ proof, surely outface and escape, change to hindsight, sigh relief soon to kick in, after a shabby hubris and existential electronic mediatization in wag-to call, megatoxation, methedological overloading of reality shown to be gone plastic after a decade and more of ever more jaded thrills in our perception of England’s public mirror matching only the American mask handed back by CNN to a set up of political animals we go to when finding the new ones we watch, listen to, read hold breathe and believe through, be it John or Paul, Jorie or Rita, Amiri or Ron, all bob who see their position tri-balanced with individual inchoate energies of mental flux between protaganists, subconscious wind-still and shout-blowing what bet of engineered happiness we know what it is not: is off not the double-baked triplicate return from a dwindling few outraged craftspeople all denying what poetry is – but the mutual flock and celebration of pro-lovers’ Muse within, we assimilate something for her roots to sprout the true many routes to what immediate truth’s the greater poetic perspective, through a vehicle of letters and Language in accordance with the rules of it, English.


    American English, i know is the better when it comes to seriously discussiing such insignificant matters as are under discussion here, guys: Poetry and Entanglement theory. The Theory of Everything. A way into, through and out-of everything. Art and an Acme Guild of Poets pulling the trigger

    nappy-killer, man
    warriors respect
    toddlers, kill one
    another with guns
    lovely pink tartan
    forest alive, step
    on, invisible flux
    mugshot toe-graph
    plot potted tries
    plucks pick knocked
    to believe in reality
    broken yet bouyant
    in a smiley grin
    of contentment
    with one’s lot.


  2. thomasbrady said,

    March 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm


    Let me talk to Travis, he might be able to get you a ticket for one of the nights…he knows Amber Tamblyn…


  3. Desmond Swords said,

    March 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    You know, you’ll always be Brady to me.

    You hit the heights in that name Tom. We went places in your mind that were wonderfully inspiring for this reader to experience, and if the truth be told I was in awe of you when you were truly anonymous.

    In a healthy competitive way that dispelled from this amatuer mind tinkering away on one’s duller intellectual climb, any notion one’s name (other to our ‘public’ persona Tom ‘Brady’) makes a whit of difference to how it all goes – and not because Graves in the bigger picture, is America’s all-time quarter-back jock-ditty-maestro who created a thoroughly original ‘Tom Brady’ mask who spoke at the full of some poetic attainment, in the poetry arena that became your ‘home’ arena, and from which you were ahem, ‘removed’ (shall we say) in a thoroughly shabby manner, by one very quiet now – not but because your stint there was boring, but because yr sheer full of an advesatorial talent to brilliant to ignore. You shone Tom ‘Brady’, at the height of some great and deep power you roared there, for every sleuth to hear and many who were unable to compete with the wit you when speaking anonymously as Tom Brady, revealed to all there who could only bask back and ask ourself: is this guy just beyond my own mind to match, with his brilliance for knowing everything I needed to hear at that specific point in the phase going on then in one’s own career as a deeply debateable type.


    proved to me personally, as a single individual dreamer, like you, that it doesn’t matter what a person’s name is when they write like ‘you’ when the nomme de guerre is ‘Brady’.

    You should just go back on there. Join under a different name and post as the ‘new’ Tom Brady. Jan Nu who’s just read the first book of poetry from Travis, ‘Tom Brady’. It’s very challenging and a lot in there to mull over and scrutinze for a centrally focussed and singularly individual consciousness such as yr own, Tom – Brady controlled by the brave Graves, because you’re worth it when a name like that old chap, is what, very SoQ, over where we used to chew on spam Tom, the flarfing around in a gabby flapping waffle, there Graves, superior contendor for a crown of mate-to webs of inter-connected insignificant things such as a fuax tri-literate foundational energy in flux sealing game-play of the (if it’s possible) own way I know now that you gave when performing imaginary fictional uplift that worked existentially on intellectual capacity and one’s creative self that was, at that time, a very capable mental flow: appearing to know Everything when countering positions of the participating bores at Foetry Poundation: SoQ made you brave, let the amatuer turn into a pro- pomo griot manque, faux bending a trail from yr mouth, is it, what, what?

    in counter-argument

  4. Desmond Swords said,

    March 3, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Argh! Apologies for the above draft. Still rehearsing in private the public mask, as you can read, getting somewhere least-at where one can speak free and truly as ourselves Tom.

    I’ll pass on the offer of Amber and Travis. I am reviewing a new book for a small, no-budget website and press where only the people who matter in the world of poetry, become the subject of review by one as august and international a body of globally executive power, as the performers and trascendental protaganists in an Acme amatuer Guild of Poets pretending to know what it is and what it is not, because it’s getting published on this no-budget webspace and nothing less than the event at a village foundation like this, has happened before, all hinges on Travis being worth it. He never hurt me, he’s a luvvie and a great dude who knows a place of poetry in the world today called, his own.

    You should go back to Harriet under another psuedonym and start writing there again. You will enjoy yourself because you cognize once you’re in there, how boring it all really is. The endless prattle of a rotating and endless suplly of people who make the few hundred bucks and go, rarely to return. The only regular cohort there are the amatuer, unpaid attenders doing it for the love of giving away our knowledge of how Everything is, for free, don’t rail against Trav and Cath or Don: everyone just wants everyone else to get on with being the best American poetry knower this side of Tir na Og old pal river – token barge-pretender poetry-assasins who kill full combat shoot-em-ups 24/7 in existential flow across our virtual screen-weaving, in and out with reality the breeze on which all poetry known and anonymous is wound into an ouevre of …i dunno, not much.

    Earl Codden perhaps, is me and part for a fictional wizzard gig, to fill with hot air magic true anonimity brings one perhaps Brady?

    I know in truth it is really not that important. As important as the idea on which …i dunno, but so what if we repeat ourselves. We all do that. We are all guilty of the hubristic crime of over self-regard and up-oneselfness any and all can and do fall into when we’re acting out, putting on a show in the po-biz of America today Tom.

    A truly great and immense place you guys ‘n gals, but inner the pacific who isn’t truly vast when a light shines on within and without, some gem of knowing still comes from the total quota. 10% of it has to be the ‘better’ stuff. As i think I may have said, in the above draft that led to this more fluid attempt at setting down in print, what poetry is and what it isn’t: who cares?

    Does Earl Codden?

    Because Codden represents a doppleganger for the hidden daemons within the last third eighth of a second quarter in paradise, kicker: does EC Square of Quietude really equal the name hiding behind a name of profit and pleasure?

    Pleasure in the sense there is some return to a place of first learning, itself the profit at birth in poetry of the naturalness and innate Brady you had before G called and two letters, an aicme apart and three-quarter rhyme in the final syllable after br and gr, so near and yet so impossibly apart for all but the most beautiful sounds, what?

  5. thomasbrady said,

    March 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm


    Are you saying Harriet needs me?

    After eating a hurried sandwich in his office, Thomas Brady puts a lifesaver mint in his mouth and takes the time to greet all the secretaries. Or is that Graves?

    I fell into a trance, went deep into the SoQ, and then made a milkshake.

    OK, I’ll meet you outside.


  6. Desmond Swords said,

    March 3, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    It needs you and would benefit from your brilliance, whose true genius shone brightest there.

    I think you’ve done sterling work with this gaffe, but its very existence dictates, in effect, what gets aired is wholly counter-to what happens in another space, where lots of very nerdy and boring people try to summon some interest about ourselves to the usual few reading with whom we’re competing in silence with.

    There as numeorus American poets I am in direct competition with at present, virtuall all of whom are unaware of it, I assume because we are all in the same boat, alone and trying to pass of our skills as those of the better sort we all pretend we are for the purpose of …being happy?

    You can’t be happy when Tom Brady is at ’em all day at work beating with the counter-flow, torrent of chat disproving everything the rest are trying to say. That’s why people said nothing about the removal of the few who need not naming, at Harriet after the ‘experiment’ ended and proof came not in the non-stop tide of no no no and what what what, but in silence. The stopping-in-our-tracks confrontation with words that fit poetry’s description, you only ever got that there Tom.

    Go back and have a giggle. I found when I went back, my relationship with the space had changed after three months not posting there. I had already accepted and surrendered to the reality of not being able to post there, when I stumbled on by accident almost after trying to post on another computer over Xmas and discovering that getting back on was easy and with the ‘going-away’ acceptance it had only ever been a three months waltz last summer, cognized the parameters of being there had changed, by sheer poetic whim and discovering a second go at things, as the new ‘me’ fully aware for the first time, because of learning from you that being anonymous means better than and clever because only the words count, the name, is irrelevant

    Earl Codden.

  7. thomasbrady said,

    March 4, 2010 at 12:09 am


    You up early, or still trying to get to sleep?

    I like my freedom on Scarriet.

    Harriet makes me misanthropic. Better if I stay away from it; I can make my case better here.


  8. thomasbrady said,

    March 4, 2010 at 11:58 am

    from “On Difficulty”

    If you asked them, where they first find the edges of each other’s
    bodies, where
    happiness resides
    they’d look up through the gap
    in the greenery you’re looking down through.
    What they want to know—the icons silent in the shut church (to the left),
    the distance silent in the view (to the right)—
    is how to give themselves away,
    which is why they look up now,
    which is why they’ll touch each other (for your

    Opinion is now running 2 to 1 against Graham using Brad & Angelina.

    Angelina Jolie said in a statement this morning:

    “Brad and I are thrilled to participate in this event. We both love poetry. Yes, we’ll be naked. We feel it is an honor to use art to raise awareness. Adam and Eve were the first homeless people, you know.”

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