Wednesday, July 1, 2009

WELL, the orders have LITERALLY been pouring in. I know I promised you a lot of things like a copy of the ticket, drawings, and excerpts, but because I was born in 1835, and do not know how to use a fucking scanner, I am, for now, only delivering on one of those things: EXCERPTS! But hey excerpts are the most important part anyway because you get to read what you're going to buy and then read again hopefully(?). So here they are...a few little chunklets from this juicy showstopper:

What are we? We are Utah’s call and answer song. The most adorable singing child on earth has found religion.


The plaque says roughly “this plaque commemorates stuff that kids are interested in.” I apply things, broadly, to my life. After performing in Disneyland, I got a phone call that Merthyr is now a soldier of love. What are sacred emotions?


I’ll be making appearances as the shape of Montana sometime in the next month.


It scared me so bad that I wouldn’t go back into the house. I thought of three stories I wanted to tell you, and I worried about them as I drove away from the house and took off my shirt. Then I thought about what it would be like to get hit by a car.


The opening scene of my autobiographical film is a dog running through tall grass, and the camera follows behind him.

That's it! That's all you get! Delicious, right? thought so. peace.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

the shield of medication/help a sister out

Everybody hurts, and that includes me. Brothers and Sisters, I'm hurting because I did a bad thing, a real bad thing, and now I have to pay for that bad thing. I got a real bad speeding ticket of about $250. I won't reveal just how fast I was going, but if I had, theoretically, been going 4 mph faster, it would have been a felony. Now, anyone who knows me can tell you I am unbelievably cheap, and that I HATE paying for things. And on top of it all, I am poor as fuck. What does this all mean? Well, I recently made a chap book that is inspired by the life and teachings of one Marie Osmond, and I'm pretty proud of it, so proud that I'm going to sell you.

I'm offering you the one thing I have to offer you in exchange for money/and or goods: poetry...and house cleaning if you're interested. So, if you've been feeling guilty about something lately, and need to absolve yourself, buy my book. If you've been thinking about volunteering
or donating to charity, do those things, but also buy my book. Don't feel obligated to buy the book, just know that if I can't pay for this ticket there will be a warrant out for my arrest (and I will get arrested).

I'm confident I can scrape the money together one way or another, but wouldn't it be great for me if you could help me? and great for you? So, I'm asking for $5 for the book, and $1.50 for shipping, so that's just $6.50 total! In the next day or so I'll be posting excerpts, some drawings, and a photo of the
ticket in question.

If you are interested in owning your own copy of THE SHIELD OF MEDICATION please e-mail me at Also here is the cover, as kindly prettied up by Kasey:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Let's talk about Stein Ba-by / Let's talk about You and Me

mmm k. So, this is super late. sorry.

I think Stein was a genius. I mean, the work she put out in the the early 20th century is so much more interesting than the majority of "main stream" poetry that is widely available today. She had such a gift for sound and rythym, and though I hate to use this word, her poetry feels inspired. I don't think Stein necessarily always had a clear idea or intention when writing her poetry, but it feels like it's about something, but that something
isn't fixed or rigid in any way.

Ok, now I'll talk specifically about Stein's work. I've actually read Tender Buttons a few times, and enjoy it a great deal. I'm always surprised by how much I enjoy the process of reading her work; especially when reading something like The Making of Americans. It's a pretty repetitive piece, but I can't help liking it. I think it has something to do with the idea of American identity, which, to me, is a fascinating topic. As an ex-patriot living in France, I think Stein is able to offer an intriguing look at what makes a person American. now, I realize a majority of that text is really difficult to read, and is probably not specifically "about" anything, but when I read the text with the previously mentioned idea in mind, I can't help but base your interpretations on it.

One of Stein's most well known poems, "Susie Asado," contains a favorite line of mine, "Trees tremble, the old vats are in bobbles, bobbles which shade and shove and render clean, render clean must." The image of trees trembling is really stunning, and I love that Stein never discusses the dance going on around her, but instead invokes all these strange images. I also enjoy the "render clean, render clean
must," but I'm not sure why. There is something secretive and shameful conveyed in those words. I think it's best not to search too deeply for one meaning or idea in Stein's work. It can be really discouraging if you're told a work has to mean one, and only one, thing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Whitman and Dickinson


People are really hating on Walt Whitman, so I think it's necessary to provide him with a little bit of a defense. First I'd like to speak to Whitman's egotism, or perceived egotism. We all know that Whitman is often lumped in with the transcendentalists, or rather the most famous transcendentalists, Emerson and Thoreau, but I'm not sure he fits into that category. This sounds completely ridiculous, but I think Whitman transcends transcendentalism. I'll give you an example: Thoreau and Emerson didn't really give a fuck about women's issues. I mean, Emerson's ideas about self-reliance probably support the notion of women's liberation, but he certainly never singles out the issue in his writing. Thoreau never discusses women's issues either. I can't break bad on them too much because they did write several works on the terrible injustices of slavery, the Mexican-American War, and treatment of Native Americans, but the point is, Walt Whitman was the only male transcendentalist to discuss women's equality in his poetry. He speaks about women as his sisters, and says that men and women are of equal importance. There is a passage (not included in our text's excerpt) that proves my point:

I will not have a single person slighted or left away,
The kept-woman, sponger, thief, are hereby invited,
The heavy-lipp'd slave is invited, the venerealee is invited;
There shall be no difference between them and the rest.

With everything I mentioned above in mind, I don't really see Whitman as a super egotistical person. I mean, I know he wrote those favorable reviews about his own work and submitted them to newspapers, but that's just really funny, not really egotistical. Whitman just writes about everything. I think there are a lot of similarities between Whitman and Kenneth Koch, as far as their poetry is concerned. Neither of them have a filter for the material they consider worthy of being in a poem. They seem to find inspiration in everything, and their poems are an attempt to capture their own amazement and curiosity about the world around them.

One of my favorite passages from Song of Myself is "And I say to mankind, Be not curious about God, / For I who am curious about each am not curious about God, / (No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God and / about Death.) / I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the / least..." Whitman is stepping away from traditional notions about God and religion, in that he finds more interest and beauty among human beings. God is not of interest, but the many individuals Whitman encounters are infinitely fascinating.

I know this is total blasphemy, but I like Walt Whitman more than Emily Dickinson. That's not to say I dislike Dickinson's poetry because I do enjoy her work, but I've never found it as interesting as Whitman's poetry. I realize Dickinson's poetry can be dissected, and that one may find a lot of meaning within her poems, but I'm drawn to Whitman's longer cataloging style. I find Emily Dickinson to be a fascinating person, and that she, Whitman, Fanny Fern, and Margaret Fuller are integral to the Transcendentalist movement, and add some much needed perspective.

I know it takes some time to get used to Whitman's style, but you just have to push through it. Admittedly, I didn't like Whitman the first time I read him, but now I like his work more every time I read it. It's too bad our text doesn't include the full version of Song of Myself, though it's easy enough to find it online, nor does it include my favorite Whitman poem I Sing the Body Electric, but I think that poem might be a little, intense...for the anthology.

Friday, April 3, 2009

WR 441

hello all.

This isn't really an's just a semi-new poem. Cool.

"the difference between human and animal language"

When he hears the leopard's call
When he hears the eagle's cry
I use 500 words, naturally, to
tell a very poignant story about
my own bedroom and cold snacks
When I saw the visitor, I said
please. help. out. The basic machinery
requires only that you know the rules.

I developed an association between
magnets and language. Sara wash apple.
I couldn't tell you the subject, I have
no grammatical competence, but I
can manipulate. The little plastic
words taught me how to enter other
peoples' heads. We have developed a
spoken language.

We have found evidence in fossils
of what we sounded like. The
evolution of speech is the key to
the best pizza and drugs.
I am more human because
I am a modern human
and have a round tongue.
My teeth are crowded and I
could die. My larynx makes
me more likely to choke
and die.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I hate the word "breath."
I mean, it fucking sucks.
It may be the worst word in
the world. If I can see anything
I can't see anything. I hate the
word "line." What kind of words
do you hate?
I'll have a headache tomorrow
from all these breathy lines.
If I wanted to talk about
words, well, I wouldn't
talk about them...I wouldn't
talk about it. I would talk
about all the food that sings to me!
I would talk about hating.
I spend most of my time
hating, or just angry.

Are you ever happy? No.
Nothing is worse than breathing.
I think about helicopters today
and how they fuck you up.
If I have to ride the bus
one more fucking time I'm
gonna freak the fuck out.
You are just funny, and you never
say anything important, but you
feel important. Where did all
these fucking trees come from?

Movies are made to be fucked.
Yes, I know what you're thinking,
doggy-style or enchilada-style.
My answer: Both. That's right.
Tempeh, harder! Cat toes, cat
toes, cat toes, cat toes! My cat had
no toe, and he would tell me on
his way out the door "I think you
have a mental illness, but I am
your angel, so don't stress."
1883 was a long fucking time ago, dude.
Shit has changed.
Your world is a kind of
uninteresting darkness, but
I wish for you to be here right now!

Do you look shit up, or
do you just think of it?
Neither, our lord god plants
things in my cokes and I drink
it and there you go, you have an
idea. Let's lie down for awhile.
Music makes you feel things, and
poop. A feeling, still!

I was stressing. BIG TIME.
But I'm like a sandcastle, so
don't fuck it up by peeing on me
or some shit like that. YOU'RE SO
FUNNY! I don't need anything
cuz I'm just spinning tunes and
it's easy now. Things should be
funny and sad all the time, everything.
Peace, fucker.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I like all the bears, but what do
I deserve? I want to make you so
fucking mad that you hate me.
Really hate me. Did your mom
die? Basically, I just ask a series
of questions...that's how it goes.

I had dreams where you
were fun. You had a lot of
hair on your back, and I
got grossed out. I'm STILL
grossed out. Do you like my
tank top? Stop that!
Cats have claws!

Funny doesn't matter
interesting doesn't matter
caring doesn't matter
doing things doesn't matter
asking does not matter.
I thought "I will escape
to a coal mine to forget you."
It all sort of feels the same,
though. It doesn't matter
where you go.

I'm still not like that, now.
I look at a picture to tell
me. Then I feel based on
whatever it tells me. I will
describe an image, and then
you can tell me how it feels.
Men wearing hardhats in the
rain are walking through a
crowd in Asia. Now, tell me
you don't feel that!

Everywhere I go there is
a huge black cross on a neon
pink board. It's like the orbs
from the sun. That sounds so stupid!
Why don't they just say what
it is? I don't believe in serial killers,
and I don't believe in drugs, and I
don't believe in whistling. That
is not parallel.

I skip out all the time to
prostitute myself. It's chill,
babies. That girl was wearing
a weird fish. She isn't interesting.
She isn't very funny. Her face is, like,
all lopsided.

The good news--I know you were
worried--is that there is so much
to write about! And the banks of
Switzerland have set up a fund
to take care of you.

There was, however, a small fire
in space. We got it. The basket maker
made a yellow line in my memory,
and made me a video tape of our
first love making. Oh, protect me
like you do! I guess...uhhh. a soft

Let's never come back!
Let's forget all the terrible
things they did, as long as it's slow
and demeaning and so
drawn out, I can handle anything.
Remember the dog we saw?
Well, I put him in a movie.
He's the goddamn star.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


This post is just to say "sorry." I have neglected this blog for over half of February, and friends, that just isn't right. So, I'm gonna post some stuff really soon. I promise. And I'm almost positive it will be "relevant" to our class.

Monday, January 26, 2009


An old picture of Koch:

Kenneth Koch

A page from Koch's book Art of the Possible

"It seems everything is so full of possibilities one can hardly take it all in."

Kenneth Koch is one of my favorite poets. It's hard to write about the life and writings of a poet without creating a book report kind of sound, but it must be done!

So, let us get some basic information out of the way. Koch was born in 1925 and died in 2002. He served in WWII, graduated from both Harvard and Columbia, and taught at Columbia for over 40 years (This is all from Wikipedia). Koch was a member of the New York school of poetry along with Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, James Schuyler and many more. The New York School included artists and musicians, so, not surprisingly, they were inspired by one another. Larry Rivers and Jackson Pollock are two examples of said painters, and pieces of their work are included in this post. "We poets and painters hung around a lot together, showed each other our works, and were made by this camaraderie very (or more than otherwise) ambitious, envious, emulous, and, I think, lucky," Koch stated.

"No. 5, 1948" by Jackson Pollock

As I understand it, and the introductory quote displays, Koch was an excitable kind of guy, but in the best way possible. Pretty much everything inspired him to write poetry, and it seems he appreciated many art forms. Koch's book The Art of the Possible is a series of comics, poorly drawn and barely recognizable, but comics nonetheless.
This book may be the greatest example of Kenneth Koch's unrelenting excitement. The man clearly cannot draw, I mean he is a very bad artist, but he still filled a book with his strange pictures and poems, and then he sold it to people for money. From the way I've described it, you probably aren't very interested in picking up a copy, but that would be a huge mistake! The book is amazing, and it raises all these questions about art and poetry. Because it is confusing and kind of weird, the reader is forced to ask all these questions and analyze the poetry in a completely different way than if, say, it were in a simpler, easier to read format.

One final note about Kenneth Koch. Sometimes critics and readers dismiss him as a "comic poet." I think this comes from the fact that Koch writes about "lighter" topics. Actually, he just writes about everything. Koch has discussed this with interviewers, "I don't think the nature of my poetry is satirical or even ironic, I think it's essentially lyrical but again I don't know if it's my position to say what my poetry is like." A lot of people agree that the New York school poets helped to move poetry away from an emphasis on "serious" content, and I agree. There are probably many people who think that is a bad thing, but, quite simply, they are wrong.

"Self Portrait" by Larry Rivers

Here are my sources:

Interview with Koch:

Article about Koch...though I'm not sure why it's in The Nation:

Koch Bio:

Wikipedia on Koch:

P.S. Sorry for the awful formatting of this post.

God Bless Your Family, or Whatever Happens to Us.

Look at the hole in
the ceiling I think
it will spread and
burst and all the
water will leak.

He has the disease of
long fingers, and long
bones, and they call him
Dr. Fun. I've already
seen him. away.
I asked him to
compare and come

Don't do that. it looks like you're picking your nose.
are you a comic poet? what it means is that you
didn't understand, so you decided it was
funny. uncomfortable is what.

Each time it's better and better and better and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better
i'm not done
and better
and better
and better
and better
and better.

Is she good because
of her tests?
is it weird how you
can't write down music.
I hate you.

"What did you set out to do,
young friend?"

"I set out to do something, anything.
it was so easy to destroy."

"And where do you take all of
your inspiration from?"

"I have all these dreams, but I'm
actually awake. In these dreams
I go on working, but I am haunted
by days."

"And how many times have you
been to this city?"

"I have
always lived here. I find myself
You cannot escape a dream."

"What are your plans for the

"Drink as much Mr. Pibb, or Dr.
Skipper in the Mid West, as possible.
Never read.
Never stop.
Never sleep.
Never say hello.
Never eat an animal.
I will continue to do this."

"What has your diet been like?"

"Haunting. Absolutely haunting.
taking a vacation in the fall, and
I hope to have made some decisions.
Boys are haunting, and scary,
but they are ALWAYS in my dreams.
How kind they are. to me. Dreams
are truly haunting."

"I'd like you to think back
to 1937."

"I remember...I see...what do you remember?"

"What do you remember?


"What had you been doing?"

"I...was...riding in a train. And...I saw
in the distance. But, what kind of train was it...
You the distance...or maybe in the water.
I know now..."

"Know what?"

"That I've seen you."

"Seen who?"

"Seen nothing, really.
Some things you read while listening to
music, and then when you read it
without the music it isn't as good.
Shit is in my art."

"Where have you been?"

"You seem tired. This
escape may never come.
We should listen to some

"Where did you go?"

"Oh, windows. I went there.
Winter, too. 'Lots of winter.
I tried to punch a window.
I hear cat coughing...all the
fucking time."

"Did you go?"

"Did you go? I'm trying
to remember when I was
16. I can't remember the
size of my thighs. I get so
alone. Quickly. This song is
so beautiful!"

"Do you have feelings about this?"

"Is she better than us? Why is she?
Why do they like her? So many of us
are so much better. We don't have to pretend
about anything.
We don't have to expose the inner
workings of our lives.
We don't have to talk
about our sex times
or our interesting
You are the worst kind!
I don't understand anything!
I understand less and less

"Everything is different."

"Fuck that.
People like me
best friends.
We are different, but we are...
better. I have a sudden
and powerful headache.
In this light, anything
can be."

"Now, it is time for me to leave."

"I'll just leave you
here like this. You look
asleep. You are.
Rhythm or not.
God bless you; you
are scared.
God bless you;
you have sugar all
over your small face.
God bless you;
I am so sorry.
God bless you;
you are floating
on the lake.
God Bless
your family, or whatever
happens to us."

Monday, January 19, 2009

The facts of life


Black Powder sounds like
the name of my favorite scooter.
"Tack Snowder"

Fool. I'd yell at you
more, but it's easier to
just light you on
fire. People say
things and they don't
even know how
angry I get

I say things that
make me sound
unbelievably stupid.
And then you get a
feeling like you ate
too much.
I say that what I'm
writing is sort
of useless. That
no one ever
felt better for
having seen it.

How do you feel?
really. All the goddamn
keys are sticking.

I think, who actually
wants to read
this? I think, you
have never really
done anything, but
you're good at lying to

Read "the guide to
getting it on" and
you'll see how out of
date it is.
Wear makeup and
you'll see how
out of date it is.

I read the entire
text in one
sitting, and was
shocked to discover
that fingers are
for Zen fucking!


I parked my car
near the

When I heard the
word "Airbus"
I thought of how
maybe in midair
one plane transfers
all of its passengers
to another plane.
that is the airbus.
and then the
original plane
heads back to base.

I walked home from
the helicopter crash
and thought of all my
French friends, but
couldn't remember their
names. Cuba, Cuba!

The lamp ray is my god
that's ugly. They call it vampire
and they kill it with sex.
I stick plants in the
microwave just to
make sure they
are dead.
the country dead are
harder to kill.

The country dead are
hiding under my home,
but if I keep the microwave
on at all times
I am safe.


Look here!
An ice sculpture
of ET, he looks
so well rested and

What does this say about

26 floors
burn to the
the blaze was
started by two
misbehaving rascal
puppies who are pictured
below in tank tops!

There is no guidance
for the believers and
they go crazy when the
devil doesn't show up.

There is this new way you
are writing.
I don't like it.
Goddamn, where did you
learn to type?
Talk to me on the
phone in a year
and we'll see how
you feel.

7 Things

1. Pizza makes me horny.

2. I wear long johns under all my clothes...and in the shower.

3. I have many collections. Examples include spoons, thimbles, stamps, hair, cat teeth, juice, and novelty baseball hats.

4. I can't read.

5. I am the author of 12 self-help books, and one biography on Tom Cruise.

6. My real name is Charles.

7. Numbers 1-7 of this list make me horny.


We were talking about Puritanism in class the other day, so of course I need an obligatory pilgrim picture. Say whatever you want about the Salem Witch Trials, belt buckle hats, frumpy-ass capes, general shitiness toward Native Americans, and full body underpants. No one can deny they were some sexy motherfuckers. Mmmm, yeah. That's it. Nothing is hotter than a man with mouth length hair and a flashy belt set about his waist. Is that a large old-timey gun powder powered musket you have there? Hawt. Careful, though, ladies. If you try getting with brother Cornelius Blackerby before you're married, he will light you on fire.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Zoo Times

I see you
you are three hours
I won't see you
fun times
we call you chef
Red head
He hates you

Do you remember
how long her
hair was?
So long
she used it
to rope elephants

She is probably
and a prostitute.
I miss her.
we both
came into
some money
at the
same time
and our fathers
have the
same health

Tell me about
horses in
Chula Vista.
Tell me about
the hilltop district
where do we live

it doesn't really matter.
I wrote a poem
and it fell asleep
in the middle
then I went to a
store and bought
an assortment

Then I went home
and put away the
and I fell asleep

I tried to write
the poem again.
I comb my hair
no fun. bummer

I try to make a hair
based soup
for the big day
they call me "Dr."

The soup fell asleep
as well.
I fed it to people
and they peed

Child one says
"a rocket!"
child two lights a
cigarette and begins
to smoke.
They both run so fast
past a bridge

Child one says
"you are an angel!"
child two begins to
smoke again,
and says
"is this the first song
you have ever heard?"

Child one says
"I have been away
so long, but am glad to be here"

I write a poem and it kills
everyone who reads it.

I write another poem
and it talks about how
it doesn't really like
poetry that much
But I do love animals.

The next poem says
"isn't it sad when
children die, write a
poem that pretends to mean
anything at all"

I take a break
from the poem for
about eight years.
I write only
monster poems.
wildly successful.

but i remember this poem.
I try to say, "Maggie, my god, are
you still alive? Write this poem
for me"

Tattoo only the
animal friends
on my body.
I don't want to
read poetry.
so i read recipes
and give people

10 years go by.
I have not read

I keep a healthy
distance from
all things, except
for the animals.

I stop all
liquids and
burn juniper trees.

I misspell all things
and capitalize and don't.
I stop cleaning things.

I have not read
anything in years now.

Now wherever I look
a small lightening bolt
is striking things.

I hit my head 56
times that year.

I try to say
things to people,
but it's useless.
I talk to the animals
and the beeping sound
never ends.

I think, "he would be
an awful boyfriend"
I am always right.

I laugh, but not really.
After 30 years I say
"I guess I never really
have laughed"
how funny.

At age 1,256
I take up a poem
again and pick
a topic like
frog weddings
Either way

The poem is a smelly pool
The poem is a hot hot hot
The poem does not read
The poem is not a cat pillow
The poem is not a physical lover
The poem is not in bed
The poem falls asleep
The poem is not a zoo
But it reminds me of those zoo times.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Planet Earth: Deep Oceans

God is a camel waiting in

The ocean. Light is moving

Between the little water

Angel. It is a


Three lights on the head, with

Lights on your own.

Your face is curved on the ocean floor,

And you turn slowly to open your mouth.

The smaller fin.

All I see is the indent, but the red

Crabs have worked hard to

Erase you and clean up the

Evidence. Bones exist and I remember

Fondly, the clouds under water.

Are what? Underwater geysers?

A thousand of you shall be

Enough to destroy me, silver fish.

It’s like an underwater car, and it is so hot that

You die and turn white, and melt onto cars, which

You make larger. Give me away,

Will you? Is that a mouth or a penis?

I’ll start to get turned on.

How green and sticky was my underwater

Valley? Green. Double R. Make Double RJ.

The shape of Courtney. Head beneath a wave, Red! Red!

It looks like I just came upon you while you were

Frozen there in time, bottom up, in the cookie jar.

The nautilus. Beak looks like it moves gently and backward.

A star fish when it moves looks like a man crawling.

It was an octopus, actually. He changes color, and

Sweetly, he moves about. Until he is so

Far away that he doesn’t come back.

Dolphins! Run gurls, the smoke sucks you

Forward and back.

Little one digs out from the sand, write

Letters, run back to the ocean, hundreds, harder!

Is it fun? Hurry, careful, is it so fun?

Oh, quickly, I’ll miss you.

That stretch of ocean is a

Penguin. Quietly, now, back to

The llano.

Imagist Poem

Are we supposed to write an Imagist poem? I certainly can't remember, so I'll be cautious and just do it.

Looks like a devil.
is one.
mud-colored robe with
matted fur.
has fur.
He is a devil
and the robe is
just mud.
no robe. at all.
The devils eyes open
just enough to see,
but are covered with
Everything about
the devil is
light brown.
And he sits
next to
a lady with
white fur.
and those strange, wrapping
and the
eyes never touch.


Modernism is great. I really love it. Don’t believe me? Well, it’s true. I love Modernism because some of my favorite poets are Modernists. But, it isn’t enough to just say that I love Modernism. I have to show you why I love it. The best way to talk about Modernism is to begin with some history about the time period. So, it’s the early 20th century, and the Western world is experiencing all this new technology, and is really starting to feel the effects of industrialization. On the one hand, this is great. People have cars, better medicine. More and more people are moving from rural areas to cities, (at least in the U.S.) and all this great art is coming out of places like New York, Paris, and London. But, at the same time, World War I has just ended, and people are feeling disillusioned and afraid because weapons are now more sophisticated and effective. Though technology is useful and beneficial, it is developing so quickly and is so unfamiliar that people are overwhelmed. This is where, in my opinion, the Modernist artist comes into play. Traditional art forms like Realism and Romanticism are inadequate for this new era of technology, modernized weaponry, and disillusionment. The disjointed and chaotic nature of life requires an artistic form that can reflect these qualities. There was a need for a less rigid method of producing poetry. There are many characteristics of Modernism, but some of the most common are free verse, juxtaposition, many narrators (or, parallax), and fragmented text.

Ezra Pound wanted to do away with abstractions metaphors in his poetry, and preferred to speak simply, and more directly than earlier poets. As we read in “A Few Don’ts by an Imagiste,” Pound states that the poet should “use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.” He also mentions poetic rhythm, and states that poetry should strive to be rhythmically similar to music. The most important piece, at least to me, is “Complete freedom of subject matter.” Earlier forms of poetry insisted on the importance of nature, truth, and beauty. This is all well and good, but is quite restrictive and, well, boring. The Imagist “manifesto” allows for greater creative freedom, and more importantly, better and more interesting poetry. Crazy Motherfucker or not, Ezra Pound wrote some great poetry, and helped start a movement that one-hundred years later is still cutting-edge.

I also want to talk a little bit about Gertrude Stein, Language poetry, and Cubism. I think sometimes people try too hard to understand the meaning of Stein’s poems instead of listening to the sounds in her poems. If I just listen to the sound of her poems, I find that I get a lot more enjoyment from them. Instead of trying to find meaning in the structure and placement of words in the poem, I try to concentrate on what the sounds remind me of, or how I feel when I hear the poem. I don’t know if this was Stein’s intention or not, but it seems to work for me. I think Stein’s use of Cubism in writing many of her poems is incredibly innovative, and created some of my favorite Modernist works. The idea of looking at something from every angle, and exploring all of these different meanings and memories attached to an object is fascinating, and her resulting poems, such as those in Tender Buttons, are some of the most genuine and fantastic pieces of the last century.

So, to wrap this up, Modernism is an art form, a reflection of changing values, and an entirely different way of creating and reading poetry.