Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Poets Don't Play No Games

Maybe this is blatant insecurity on my part, or perhaps, in some way related to the fact that I work with a bunch of automotive guys (whatever that means to you), but somehow the word has circulated that I "write poems and stuff," and I'm beginning to sense a hint of playful haterism on the home front.

I'm aware of the pedantic/frilly-boy stereotypes that go along with the muse-- which is probably why I spent four years writing secretive stanzas in the margins of my law notes, so I figured I'd set the record straight, once and for all: POETS KICK ASS. And not just your typical bar-room-brawl-ass-kicking. I've known poets who've sliced another man's throat from opposite ends of the country with an ink pen. Now if that's not some "bad motha... shut yo' mouth" shit, I don't know what is.

Keeping with the whole bad ass writer theme, I thought I'd post a few poets and poems that kick major ass. And yes, I'm aware that there are probably some sort of legal-smegal copyright issues here, but I'm hoping the authorities will overlook this post and use that time to write some sort of worth while legislation instead (yes, I take this blog that seriously).

The Next Hundred-Odd Half-Dreamed Miles
By Patrick Rosal

This part’s real: the kid sways
near a curb (the club’s fuck-hard
flash of neon lights keeps time
inside) his top lip split
mouth popped into hellglow blossom
eyes swelled shut like peaches
Small half-as-dark and twice
as yapping drunk as you
he swings forward and lands
a clean right cross you confuse
with a good reason to try
and toss him like a sack of trash
into the midnight traffic
His Pinay girlfriend (so light-skinned
and round-eyed she would have passed
for Magellan’s daughter) shouts
You goddamned monkey in perfect English
which makes you hold
his head in your hands
—without thinking of his mother
cursing in Tagalog—when you thrust one more time
the tender cartilage of his nose
against your knee except
this story isn’t about you It’s about me
and every time someone’s bar-buzz
crescendos to mezzo-forte tough-guy
maybe I should consider that kid
holding both arms out as if he’d catch
whatever he could summon from the sky
but rage doesn’t work like that
It’s like this: I race down the Parkway
and skip every exit I know too well
slumped in the driver’s seat
for the next hundred-odd half-dreamed miles
taking turns sucking my bloody knuckle
with the only girl I think I’ll ever kiss
—my tongue too dumb to tell
which taste belongs to whom
and which mouth happens when

Great stuff, right? If you dug on that piece, check out:
Readings, by Jason Bredle


Man Tries to Commit Suicide With a Crossbow, by Ross Gay


Renee said...

from poet to poet :) i think your poetry is good!! but it is hard to compare to my haikus!!!!

Marcus said...

lol you're a goofball, ma'am