JOWL

maryworth.jpg

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
foetry,
suave, networking naked,

dragging themselves through the airports at
dawn, looking for
an MFA

MarieClaireheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of Mark Van Doren
who got me a job

And I kissed ass
illuminating all the crackpot world of workshop
Professors leaning on walls, backyard green tree barbecue dawns,
wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of

teahead joyride neon Harvard traffic light, sun and moon
and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn College,
and I sucked up to academia,
ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to mentors for the endless ride from Iowa
to holy Denver on benzedrine until the noise of blurbs and

provosts brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked
and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance
who lit cigarettes in workshops, workshops, workshops, racketing through snow

toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,
who studied Plotinus Poe St John of the Cross David Lehman Pulitzer Prize Nobel Prize because the New Yorker instinctively vibrated at their
feet in Kansas State,

who loned it through the streets of Idaho State seeking visionary Janet Holmes who was visionary Brenda Hillman,
who thought they were only mad when Johns Hopkins gleamed in
supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma State on the
impulse of winter National Book Award streetlight smalltown rain,
who lounged with their cliques through University of Houston seeking literary prizes

or sex, or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to
converse about America and Contests, a hopeless task, and so
took plane to Iowa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind
nothing but the shadow of fellowships and Ph.D.s and ash
of poetry scattered in University of Chicago,

who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the AWP in
beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark
skin passing out incomprehensible poetics,
looking for a Pulitzer, Griffen, Bollingen, Tufts, LA Times,
National Book Award, PEN, Lilly, Bynner, Yale,
who burned cigarette holes in their poems protesting the narcotic
tobacco haze of New Criticism,

who distributed LANGUAGE Poetry pamphlets in Union Square
weeping and undressing while the sirens of the Paris Review
wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Most Important
Review also wailed,  “Leslie Scalapino, give me your vino!”

who broke down crying in white student lounges naked and
trembling before the machinery of Poets & Writers,
who bit their poet dates in the neck and shrieked with delight in
policecars for committing no crime but their own wild
cooking pederasty and intoxication, and puffery,

who howled on their knees in the workshop and were dragged off the
roof waving genitals and manuscripts,
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly professors of Black Mountain, all from Harvard,
who screamed with joy at a book contract,

who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the students,
caresses of Atlantic and Stanford love,
who networked in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens with C.D. Wright and the
grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen
freely to whomever would publish them,

who hiccupped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a book
contract behind a partition at W.W Norton when the blonde &
naked angel came to pierce them with Richard Howard,

who lost their contracts to the Columbia University of fate the one eyed
shrew of the Juliana Spahr dollar the one eyed shrew that
winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does
nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden

threads of the registrar’s loom,
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of Robert Pinksy a
sweetheart a package of syallabi a candle and fell off the
bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and
ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate Zoo Press
and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,

who sweetened the snatches six MFA girls trembling in the
sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the Iowa River,
who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver — joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of Lowell and Merrill in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with

gaunt workshoppers in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings especially secret Iowa Writers Worskhop solipisisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden at Columbia University, and picked themselves up out of

workshops hungover with heartless Vendler and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in Life Magazine to open to a room full of Walter Cronkite and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of Harvard Square under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in Iowa,
who ate the lamb stew of Jorie Graham and W.S. Merwin, digested crab at the
muddy bottom of the rivers of Faber and Faber,
who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of Mark Strand and bad music, this actually happened, husbands and wives pronounced prizes to one another in secret while the poor languished in punk blog digs at noon. Will no one sing this blurb which insidiously loves?

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24 Comments

  1. notevensuperficial said,

    August 3, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Tom, this is pretty funny Juvenalia. Or is it a Crepe of the Schlock?

    I saw Ginsberg on Letterman one night and was surprised – really surprised – to be entertained and even impressed by his performance of a weird poem he (Allen, not Dave – this was many years ago, when Dave was a dick) had written (or was improvising?) — a poem about how tobacco companies are evil. (Ok, so Ginsberg can hit the water when he’s standing on a beach – what I thought was quite good was his performance, not the poem itself.)

  2. horatiox said,

    August 3, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Really Tom, few things are uglier , even when parodied. Of course the little PC leftist decorators (like Soopita here) go into little fits if you dare say anything about their beat-bum heroes, and assume anyone who detests a g-burg belongs to the GOP, or John Birch society, nazis, but that isn’t the case. He’s an embarrassment to the traditional democrats–I wager Fidel Castro would have had him arrested. OK, so the beat kitties might have protested US involvement in Nam. So did Bertrand Russell, a far greater mind (tho, yes flawed)

  3. thomasbrady said,

    August 4, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Bertie protested WW I and Vietnam…and, at the very end of his life, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians…what a career…he outlived his student, Aldous Huxley…you can see these guys interviewed on Youtube…Mike Wallace says to Huxley, after Huxley warns of the instability of overpopulation and how the communists will take advantage, ‘so isn’t it ironic, that the Catholics, although enemies of the communists, are aiding the communist cause by being against birth control?’ Of course Huxley agrees…

    There is a kind of demented, science-fiction, lunacy about so much typical political discussion that poetry would probably do best to keep as far away from it as possible…

    • notevensuperficial said,

      August 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      I see the usually-suspect reading problem amoeba’d its way on to this thread (“the little PC leftist decorators […] go into little fits” – I trust this substantiation isn’t, ah, “stalking” . . .).

      Tom, you’re familiar with Juvenal and Pope, right? I’d thought your japery was up that alley.

      – I do wonder if Ginsberg (I mean: “Ginsberg”) is worth the trouble. Of course everybody’s heard of his poetry; learning about Howl-the-episode is virtually a teenaged poetry discoverer’s rite of passage.

      But is the slab of his Collected actually much read (closely)? Is he imitated, then sloughed off – in the manner of apprentices/journeymen approaching the levels of their masters? I’m not in the poetry ‘industry’ – does Ginsberg’s poetry (still) exert a pernicious influence – or much of any influence – that’d occasion worthwhile resistance?

      • thomasbrady said,

        August 5, 2010 at 2:02 am

        Supe,

        There was a little fanfare recently when we hit some anniversary of Howl, 50 years?…a book, a few articles…Ginsberg’s star will probably decline rapidly, since ‘Howl’ is just an embarrassing, self-indulgent piece of crap, as is most of Ginsberg…’Supermarket in California’ is OK, but Ginsberg’s like a rock musician with no rock, and no significant music…how far is that really going to travel? He was absolutely a trend-follower, not a trend-setter. He was fortunate to hang with a group, but along came the 60s and we had groups (rock groups) that were much more cohesive, mysterious, interesting…in many ways the art of the 60s just murdered the art of the 50s and Ginsberg is 50s, not 60s. Ginsberg is sex & drugs without the rock n’ roll, therefore finally of no real interest. Even a guy like Syd Barrett will ultimately be seen as more interesting than Ginsberg. Ginsberg is finally guilty of the obvious. He was so ‘out there’ and earnestly articulate in his ‘out there’ that he has no mythic power. He has no art. The poet, Keats said, is the least poetical creature of all; but Ginsberg, the media-poet, went Keats one better: he is not only not poetical as a person; he is not interesting.

        Tom

      • notevensuperficial said,

        August 5, 2010 at 2:32 am

        That’s pretty well said, Tom.

        I was wondering if Ginsberg’s “star” hadn’t already declined – if he hasn’t been a modestly talented (as I say, I think he learned how to perform well), not-too-interesting period figure for a couple of decades now (since before he died).

        Again, I don’t know first-hand from workshops, English dept.s (recently), MFA programs, and so on: are there more than a few people who’d bother to attend Ginsberg with the same energy and time they’d invest in, say, Oppen or Bishop or Creeley or Bronk? (more cohesive, mysterious, interesting is where I’d begin to compare these to Ginsberg, if I thought such a comparison were worth the trouble.)

        “He has no art.” is too strong, but I think you’ve got it right: the spate of inner experience poured into words just isn’t interestingly controlled or intrinsically directed. He’s just a long splurge of sensation, and the facts of his intelligence and interest in interesting perspectives don’t make of Howl, say, something compelling (to me, anyway).

      • August 5, 2010 at 2:50 am

        This is interesting. It appears that arch-enemies Horatiox and notevensuperficial actually agree here about both Allen Ginsberg AND Jackson Pollock.

        Maybe this is some bizarre new kind of internet courting ritual, or…

        Maybe you’re ALL actually…

        Tom Brady who, with so many pseudonyms has finally gone Sybil on us and completely forgotten which false person he actually is.

      • notevensuperficial said,

        August 5, 2010 at 5:12 am

        No, Gary, I actually don’t care for most non-figural painting, as I’ve explained and for the reasons I’ve tried to suggest at Scarriet. It’s a distaste that Tom and I share.

        Surely you can see nuance in the different reactions to Ginsberg between the three of us that are . . . unlikely to have been faked.

  4. Mabool said,

    August 4, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    My blog in re Horatiox until about Saturday August 7.

    http://maboolhoard.blogspot.com/

  5. thomasbrady said,

    August 5, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Gary,

    I was Monday Love and only Monday Love on Foetry.com; then I was Tom West on Poets.org and I was Sawmygirl on…another blog…I forget where that was…maybe Poets & Writers? Then I was Thomas Brady on Harriet… And then I stayed with Thomas Brady on Scarriet. I’m not using any other identity, it’s always been one name per site…

    If anyone is hinting that I’m these other people, it’s just because they’re jealous that Scarriet is a lively, successful place. No, I don’t need to be extra people; why? that’s extra work. I’ve done some stage acting in my life, I suppose I could pull off a stunt like that, and I might even enjoy it…but, again, it would take work, and I don’t have that much free time as it is…

    It’s already enough work to write all those posts…

    supe is more independent than you give him credit for…why shouldn’t he and horatiox agree sometimes…they’re both people…are you imagining they’re monsters, if not puppets?

    Tom

  6. August 5, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Over the years I have personally communicated (and argued) with:

    TomWest (first exposure)

    Monday Love

    Sawmygirl and

    Tom Brady.

    These entities all share several things in common:

    a) They write fairly well

    b) They are well-educated

    c) They love poetry, and

    d) THEY HAVE NO FOOKIN’ SENSE OF HUMOR WHATSOEVER!

    Jeez, Louise! Your sense of humor is even worse than Michael Robbins or Franz Wright’s.

    Chill, dude. You need to learn the difference between teasing and tormenting,
    at least where I’m concerned. As I told Robbins once on Harriet, always picture me typing with either a smile on my face or a mischievous grin. It’s your job to figure out which.

    I never write to be mean-spirited. I get a little raucous, now and then, maybe, like when I tie a good one on, but never hateful or evil.

    Lighten up, mi amigo.

    GBF

    • notevensuperficial said,

      August 5, 2010 at 5:19 am

      How much of your dissatisfaction with Scarriet the past few months has been just kidding, Gary?

      Oh, ok – “I” am neuromanced.

      • August 5, 2010 at 5:47 am

        Huh?

        Just shut up, boy, and buy the books.

        (as Joyce might have said.)

      • notevensuperficial said,

        August 5, 2010 at 6:04 am

        boy

        Aw, that’s sweet.

        I’m on the lieberry card, but: fine. Which books?

    • thomasbrady said,

      August 5, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Gary,

      Do you want me to tell you a ‘knock knock’ joke?

      I don’t think saying, ‘I was only kidding!’ afterwards is a sense of humor. That’s dorky, that’s not humorous.

      I always thought you had no sense of humor, mr. ZEN NATURE POET BUY MY BOOKS, but waddyagonnado?

      You don’t think I’m funny, so we’re even…

      Is that funny, or what?

      Nyuk nyuk.

      Larry: Hey, Moe! There’s something big and hairy in my pants!

      Moe: Quit braggin.

      • August 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm

        Tom:

        I’m a Taoist, not a Buddhist. Zen is Buddhist. You must have me mixed up with Gary Snyder.

        I’m sorry that you don’t appreciate my sense of humor. I apologize.

        I offered you a humble olive branch with a smile and you throw rocks at me (again). Do you understand what Woodman was talking about…yet? There’s a difference between sarcasm and rude insult.

        Not crazy about the stooges, but I do like Groucho, who said:
        “I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member.”

        Turns out, it’s good advice.

        GBF

  7. Franz Bonkerz said,

    August 5, 2010 at 10:56 am

    A blatantly third-hand idea, clearly ripped off from the blatantly second-hand rip off that works finer than this sterling effort at capturing the repetitive insight via the acrretion of a raw, solid bone-voice of America’s most mystical bard circa the summer of love, before and beyond, the launch-pad of one poet’s life became the door through which, the Beats were outta heard, hearing still the song of innocence and experience Al had his one and only mystical experience reading, and afterwards gobbled LSD to try and recapture, tho never did, as he wrote, as the bographer Barry Miles records in his excellent attempt and summarising the pop-life of America’s first famous beat poet of the modern age, beating into print, but not poetic repuatation, Kerouac, the daddy of ’em all, whose live reading on the Steve Allen show, proved to his Hollywood audiencel; the sensitive poet reading, cock-sure, still, silent, all in the eyes and voice of an angel-child at play in some mystic cricle, write of true expression, balanced Anwn as per Amergin, Homer and Taliesin, a brython, a goidel and greek, walking into a bar – the brython asks for bog-myrtle, the greek, wine, and the goidel raids for glory seizing a barrel of sherry to take home, under their t-shirt.

    That was a seagull, above scrying its wings on a blue, cloud speacked sky outside beyond the curtain in Kilmainham, drawn against the view of reality on this island that is a rhyme land, a Eurospar oasis of cool, expensive rip-off everything Mace, a more reasonable Superquinn, bearable Tesco and forever Lidl, competitively priced hyper-marche, all in euro and North European sense, the cold intelligence of an island race to be first and foremost, either best or worst, A or Z, twenty four steps from first to last, twenty four quarters, six yrs blogging, making a scene, speaking to pple seeking sense from what is around one being silly, Silliman – Ron the free-speech thief who owes every tin-pot crank a jerk-off for being biggest mug waster of the faix tree foetry luv UK, Ampo’s us, stood in the huddle, boring for a love of poetry alone, a warm essence because, love for poetry cannot flourish in some theoretical abatoir of the made-up name, Horace and Homer’s on the loose again, two brave bores, mister men, dunking the faux haters of the one anti-them-and-their-beliefs-about-poetry, something so innocuous, it makes Gary Fitzgerald appear as himself, stripped of the fifty year complaint, hard won pride in setting one;s own esteem to compass straight, or fail so spectacularly, it can mean only three things

    1 – We are idiots

    2 – We are not idiots but thicker than that

    3 – I am not here, in the sense of reality.

    These three things are all I can think of, tho there are possible, probably perhaps, more strings to tie up the Conspiracy about Emerson, Eliot, the Transcendentalist conspiracy of karmic vibes, appearing as if the planets declare it so, poetry dán, don dán’s great, it really make thinhs kinked and bent, straight when viewed thro what prism anti-skews and re-flips straight, something all make-believe anyway, everyone, whoever you are …have a guess.

    Tell the reader what is poetry and what is prose, and split the two so definitely, the Eliots lose and Poe wins, again because the foetry movmnt was soo clever and talented and undercover, anonymous stars exposing the real foetry poets and doggerelists, like, oh, I dunno, me and Thom O’Donovan, verse chorus, play it again, the Brady the Bard of Amagh, or Graves the North European wasp, with a not tonite Horatio complex about Mister X, sh! ye new hoo bcuz its nae ye soo important and intelligent swearing on the bible in the library where Letters where composed and anonymous alerts posted, sniffing out being done, God’s work carry-on, flannel, act, mask, mummers miming, only the chorus, Thespis yet to speak, is always done in the name of Foetry and poetry can eff right off, hey haters, Hartio X, Tom, c’mon, only you and he were the sole cause for America’s two most important poetry blogs, closing their comment fields to comment field bullies more CBF than CFB, don’t you agree, thinkers of the one true poetry mode in motion, emoticomic dragster in harsh lite, selling yo ass for peanuts manquey bro, fellow on the road to epiphany, you too bestrode the high altars, dark nights unveiled the wroth of Toth in what Letters make per se straight u-turns, you amazing bloggerlists doing it for the USA, happy fauns and satyrs, disgruntled ex-failures now full time rejects, two hetronyms, one sole cause, brothers in nom de guerre, psuedonym, tomfoolery, lying thro yer back self and front-mask secret sweary Graves-Brady GBT, Tom, attacking from yr helluva rhyme old chumbers, secret numbers under funded whup-ass anal-gazers at our own whole. Intellectuals Tom Brady, faux grave pretenders double paranoing, at fib, taking the mick, ridiculing the foetry faux graves of dead poet societies the globe over, their cohorts of embittered Haratioxes, too, too comedic for the onlooker detached, to respond to in any other way than what cycle intuited, completes in a soft clicked-shut box, one key away from clciked-shit box, as I discovered before the editorial, horse sense intuited some cessation of a groove, spiral thro the moves of one to thee, oh pretanuatural smoothness that is all, you, you, you, poster ping-pong luvvies dingalinging on the dong wrong because odds on its, you, you, you, wrong with the ping and the wring wrung rite of being the right thinh, by thinking correctly, as a competitive secretary to the Editor’s assisant team of per perfect sayers of do ray lah moi, where’s the moola malooba, mon ames in Dixie, mabool tre non, por language l’art dán; údarás Seán ÓTuathail, out Muldoon in the journey, Immram Máel Dúin

    Write Through Schubert Dis

    After springlight garlands the saucers of memory
    battened wide, the river tongue sometimes notes
    a song-shuttered oak – slip from your notebook, run
    a line; beautiful rose – beat one breath the sunset

    for an instant tethered to a bright soul-stillness
    among rivers, in that soiled world-bed between
    moment’s the minute whorl alone; the river starting
    String Quintet in C, D956, one might listen to.

    Fill with silver our stomach, as infinitesimally
    missed, we ourself already there in fields, are next

    like this; wanderer’s bespectacled kiss, acanthus
    bear-thorn, lokum-spike tune, evasive strain, deep
    stalls of cherry and honey-girl, peaches; the scent
    of a man leaning on a notebook at the corner
    of a street, singing afternoon open: usher percussion

    beat, catch how outta tune he is, as if between our
    lips, language shines anew; time-sluice throws joy

    a morning meadow, in the country and a city, see it
    run, you’d like to go there – a quiet place. The tree.

    Bring shields of summer’s flood-tide river too,
    each stone bare glass snagged and you poor girls
    quite without façade, of a life that’s stucco here,
    free from poetry, never visit the turned adrift
    on this tide: detritus we seem now the river’s back

    drops to you the eye I borrow from daylight, for Dis
    patiently waiting fatelist, stateliest of three minds
    more modes in a Greek key, so soon and you in

    rising, grow; feel the tongue we speak. Creak,
    train ice to yawn on cue.

  8. thomasbrady said,

    August 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

    “Tell the reader what is poetry and what is prose, and split the two so definitely, the Eliots lose and Poe wins…”

    Des,

    You are a beat, aren’t you? You love that shit, don’t you? Well, you’re not quite correct, because Eliot knows the difference between prose and poetry, too, and let me tell you a secret: all good writers do. You are a perfect example of what happens otherwise.

    Tom

  9. thomasbrady said,

    August 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Gary,

    Let’s look at the sequence. You said maybe Tom Brady has a bunch of sock puppets on Scarriet.

    I replied, very calmly and factually, that no, I was only Tom Brady here, but I’d had other names on other sites. No big deal.

    Then you come back and say that I have no sense of humor whatsoever and I “need to learn the difference between teasing and tormenting” and that I should “chill.” ???

    This response was a “smile,” according to you.

    Then my response to you, which basically expressed the idea that…wow…where did this ‘YOU HAVE NO FOOKIN SENSE OF HUMOR WHATSOEVER’ and I need to “chill” and “learn the differene between teasing and tormentng,” come from?

    So I said I didn’t think you had a sense of humor, either, and that we were “even” and that it was “dorky” to say you were being funny in retrospect and then I called you a name which is based on the persona you project all the time…I was simply borrowing from YOUR schtick. You never miss an opportunity to tell someone to buy your books, and you are always telling me that you are a Zen (excuse me, Taoist) Nature poet. I thought it was kind of funny.

    Now… you are all huffy and saying I’m “throwing rocks” in response to your “smile” ?????

    Gee, I hope my “rocks” didn’t hurt you. LOL

    Tom

  10. notevensuperficial said,

    August 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Five ways to tell a joke

    1. Knock, knock.

    No way!

    2. Knock, knock.

    Who’s there?

    No way!

    3. Knock, knock.

    Who’s there?

    The Buddha.

    No way!

    4. Knock, knock.

    Who’s there?

    The Buddha.

    “The Buddha” who?

    No way!

    5. Knock, knock.

    Who’s there.

    The Buddha.

    “The Buddha” who?

    The Buddha, ‘awakened’, achiever of ‘having been blown out’.

    Oh, come on in – don’t forget: it’s bring your own bail.

  11. rick said,

    August 6, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Wonderful stuff!


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