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Showing posts from November, 2010

Essay on Paul Blackburn by Clayton Eshleman

I found this on Facebook where Don Share linked to it. The author is Clayton Eshleman, the blogger is A.M.Bramhall.

The essay goes to some trouble countering the established view that Blackburn is sexist in a way that immediately draws attention to itself, and overcomplicates reading the poems. I assumed Blackburn had been assigned minor figure status in the strange way that the canon adjusts itself to new or different criticism. I see from this essay that Blackburn seems to always have been minor status, and that's too bad. The defense (Eshleman) doesn't work hard enough to change that, but I stand here saying it needs changing.

Eshleman brings out Freud in Blackburn's defense, with over-significant broken masts and purse-seine vaginas and what have you, and discusses what he calls the three modes of sexuality in the poems, a dirty joke variety which has become the standard text of discussion and includes the few poems anthologized, along with a 'turgid sexual despair…

Mather Schneider's Drought Resistant Strain

I don't recall reading Mather Schneider's work before this year, but that's apparently because I don't read widely enough, as he's published something like five hundred poems. I took him first for yet another Bukowski imitator (I suppose I could ask him straight out if he thinks he's influenced by the dirty old man but I don't really care all that much, and I suspect, neither does he)but found when I read a bit more discovered he had more going for him than the Buk, namely, some humility and compassion that leavens the (often tired) attitudes toward licker and wimmen and durgs, as well as a way with phrasing that renders his work a pleasure to read. More than mere narrative, these poems at their best evince a practiced and polished lyric and an attitude toward life that looks forward to better times instead of wallowing in the past. You can find plenty of evidence of his gifts on the 'nets, but my examples come from his most recent book, Drought Resista…

Appeal to Poetry Editors

from Poetic Asides and Robert Lee Brewer:

Dear Poetry Editors,*For years, poets have grown accustomed to rejection in several forms (as in rejection forms) and the occasional nice note. However, there are some editorial practices that need to be done away with for the good mental health of poets, who already have their mental health called into question for working tirelessly at their craft for little or no money (myself included).No NoteFirst, there's the case of editors who don't include any sort of note--even a form letter--with rejected poems. I totally understand if you can't afford to print up form rejection letters, but surely you at least have a pen that can write something on the poems. The word NO would probably convey your meaning.No note gives poets a false sense of hope. For instance, they may think, "Hey, there was no rejection included, so maybe...maybe they liked what I sent?"Don't laugh. Poets are a hopeful people.Empty Envelope**This is even …

Another November Draft

*poof*

New Poem Draft

It'll disappear in a few days, but it's the first one in a while, so I thought I'd post it. I'll slowly be working on poems every day this month.



*poof*