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Showing posts from January, 2011

Beneath the Chickenshit Mormon Sun by Bruce Embree

I've posted this before, on a depressing day probably just like this one. This poem makes me feel better. That's all I have to say on that.

It turned out worse than I thought
The champion defended his title
then Eldridge Cleaver came on
to talk about his reasons for becoming a member
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Grandma and I damn near fell out of our chairs
Went to town and got crazy drunk
Came back home, called you long-distance
after cruising and drooling Mainstreet again

This is my last wish and love poem
It is as follows
Want to hold the wake at noon with plenty of acid and rum
No friends and relatives
Ghost music by Hendrix and the Byrds
drowning all sound
as you fuck me to dust
beneath the chickenshit Mormon sun.


Links: http://www.limberlostpress.com/authors/161embree1.html

Paul Blackburn and Sexism

How does one respond to sexism in poets whose work seems to be filled with it, like Blackburn?

The quick answer most people would give is: ignore it. Yet here I am, reading more and more, and yes, enjoying, the supposedly sexist work of Paul Blackburn and wondering why there isn't much if any criticism of his important work in the late 50s and 60s, when he served as gatekeeper and recorder of many readings which have helped establish the avant-garde presence and reading scene in New York as well as given us great historical insight into the poets associated at that time with the New York scene.  And of course I'm thinking about his poems, which kept him in the middle of things as a talent in his own right. It's not difficult, unfortunately to see why he's not read, and that makes me sad. His poetry is worth more than a few cursory footnotes to the era.

I've come to the conclusion now, after dipping into the collected poems at length, but randomly, and reading four o…

Any Reviews?

Anyone noticed any reviews of Redneck Poems out there, or have one planned? I sent out maybe 5-10 copies to various places and people,and would like to remind potential reviewers and other people that they can get the (FREE!) nicely formatted e-chapbook by visiting either of these two URLS:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/38606297/Redneck-Poems-by-Rusty-Barnes#fullscreen:on
http://issuu.com/didimenendez/docs/barnes_rusty_chapbook?viewMode=magazine&mode=embed
or get a cheap print copy ($5.50) by visiting Magcloud.
If you like rural-based poems of sex, violence or shelling peas, or the visceral feel of mud in your toes, you might like this little chapbook. Here's part of what one reviewer liked--
from Rene Schwiesow at the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene blog: Edge. Rusty Barnes work will walk you out to the edge, ask you to look over, and consider whether you feel your stomach drop or your eyes water as you read. This is the real thing. Barnes grew up in rural Appalachia and his w…

Book-Counting Games

I don't read nearly as many books as this guy, who is the single most widely read person on the continent, probably, but I read more than my fair share, usually in bed from midnight to three am. I can get most or all of one book into my brain during that time, if it's fiction or non-fiction, but then I don't really enjoy it (reading fiction) the way I used to, pre-academia. I don't get what Steve (see aforementioned link) calls the 'element of submersion.' I'm always reading with one eye to craft. But the point of this post is to say that I'm going to list what I'm reading every week or so to keep track (and so I can add to Goodreads, which is still good fun for me). I may comment further, I may not. You can still count on periodic longer posts detailing or discussing what I'm reading on the 'nets in regards poetry.

So, in 2011 so far, and via the blessings that are used bookstores online, I have read these books:

Against the Silences, Paul B…

The Field Goal Dialectic by Daniel Pritchard

This is a sweet little nugget I ran into on Twitter.


“Can’t you even tell a good tree from a poor tree?”— Lucy Van Pelt, A Charlie Brown Christmas
Lucy puts the football down and then pulls it away at the last moment, leaving Charlie Brown sprawled across the lawn. Time after time, Charlie commits to the kick whole-heartedly, despite all evidence that the game is rigged. He’s going for the touchback. He throws himself into the task. Lucy cheats him. He tries again. Lucy pulls the ball away again. It’s downright sociopathic.Anyone who was a good, productive worker at the beginning of 2008, but finds themselves on unemployment today — that “pre-paid vacation for freeloaders,” as Ronald Reagan so quaintly put it — probably feels a great deal of sympathy for poor Charlie. Those who side with Reagan probably find it funny. This football scene is a sort of paradigm for capitalism: a system of fairness, merit, and opportunity that easily, often, and by its own rules, implodes. When poor Charli…