Saturday, March 20, 2004

It looks like Chris Lott and I will have to agree to disagree after all, at least for the time being. One reason we keep "missing" each other might have to do with fundamentally different attitudes toward poetry. Chris seems ultimately concerned with what makes a poem good; I like good poems too (though not "Good Poems") but I ask them to do a certain kind of work (political work, but also or simultaneously what I have to call "soul work"). I'm interested even in unsuccessful poems that try to do this kind of work.

I thought on the eve of departing for Chicago, where I hope to hoist a glass or two with him, that I'd write one of Dan Nester's poems for him:

Regrets of an Impresario

They faulted my taste for bubblegum in the time of the sty;
they faulted my pig when its sweet pink deflated.
O aerial view of the swamp, Zippo jets of methane saluting me!
I stood behind my work and its uncircumcisions;
I laughed when required by the pasty-faced prompter.
Inflatable women curtsied to me, became girls—
pierced with pins I tickled pills fancily.
A hummer and a hummer and a hummer and a hummer.
Don't cry for me, my flesh will not be wasted.
My bones are bequeathed flutes for Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
My veins tie a swing for the comeback of Mr. Mister.
My cash floats the lost isle of glam sexuality.
Kyrie eleison on the ground that's now my bed,
burnt by guitars that foretold the porker's end.

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