Don’t we hate them? Those introductions praising a poet before they go on? Why do they have them? They are stupid, and they seem more stupid the more clever they are. They are not necessary. Shut up. I don’t care how many prizes this poet has won. Let the poet get up on the podium and read their goddamn poems. Enough with this tradition already. The oily professors and graduate students with their prefaced remarks for the visiting poet: look how clever I am! Bet you didn’t know how many layers of meaning gleam in the title of our poet’s latest book! Maybe I’ll get laid! The poet doesn’t need an introduction. Imagine how annoying it would be if you went to the theater, and before the play: “Before we begin, I’d like to make a few remarks about our playwright tonight. William Shakespeare, as you all know…” Save it.
And then blurbs. Has there ever been a blurb which does not negate everything we mean when we utter the sacred word, poetry? The blurb is like the Introduction, but a frozen version of it, a cold stain. Shall we do away with blurbs forever? Yes. Just give me a plain book that says “Poems” on it, and, in smaller letters, the author’s name. The blurb is a sugary humiliation, a confectionery wreck, a cotton candy tomb, a blah blah blah that chokes and humiliates. Have we no shame?
Therefore, without introduction, we present the 2012 Scarriet March Madness EAST BRACKET!
1. John Ashbery
2. Seamus Heaney
3. Geoffrey Hill
4. Billy Collins
5. Jorie Graham
6. Robert Pinsky
7. Mary Oliver
8. James Tate
9. Paul Muldoon
10. Charles Simic
11. Charles Bernstein
12. Marie Howe
13. Carol Ann Duffy
14. Franz Wright
15. Carolyn Forche
16. Ben Mazer
Blurbless, sans introduction, these names stand before you.
These poets want to do one thing: Win.
They want to win, because the winner will spend an entire night with Marla Muse.
Marla Muse: I beg your pardon?
Marla! You’re supposed to say, “And they will never forget it.”
Marla Muse: I never agreed to do that! And I don’t think it’s funny!
I was just kidding…in the name of poetry…these poets…don’t you think the winner…? I wasn’t implying…
Marla Muse: It’s not funny.
Sorry. Well, they still want to win…
Marla Muse: Of course they do.
And soon we’ll announce what poems the poets will be going with in the first round!
Marla Muse: Stay tuned!
It’s so cute the way you say “Stay tuned…”
Marla Muse: Thank you.