Submerged in Suck

Did you ever feel, as someone interested in Poetry (a dozen readers  just headed for the door, careful on your way out, guys—) you were alone, or at least in a beleaguered minority, upon surveying the landscape of contemporary poetics and wondering why it SUCKS so much? Have you ever thought that poetry is utterly useless— and yet you persist in your love of lyrics and old-school versification? Do you sigh, and stifle suppressed rage upon reading those effete little poem-scrawlings in the margins of well-known Old-Media magazines and reviews? Do you struggle to comprehend how on earth Billy Collins and Rupi Kaur have become so well-known?

Are you haunted by ghosts of English teachers and textbooks that have hammered into your skull trite ideas like:

  • say it in a new and startling way
  • use descriptive language
  • paint a picture with words of something that is special to you
  • break rules of punctuation and scrawl freely
  • let stream-of-consciousness free-association be your only guide

Ideas such as these are great for elementary school; but extended onward and upward to adulthood, filtered through the silliness of advanced degree programs and abstruse chapbooks (read by 17 people who are all department heads), the result is massive SUCK.

By Suck, I mean, more specifically:

  • incoherent modernist free verse
  • intentionally cryptic obscurantism
  • Marxist drivel
  • lame attempts at Dadaism
  • wry and irrelevant observations
  • self-centered confessionals
  • strident (and/or boring) appeals to identity-politics

If you ever languished in such dismal swamps as these,

YOU ARE NOT ALONE !

What a relief, dragging oneself through the stinking sludge, to stumble upon a mud-crusted crate, kick it open—and be blinded by the blazing rays of Dan Schneider’s brilliance. Over the next few days, I shall be posting some pearls I found in the Cosmoetica treasure chest.

     

Loopy Rupi

 

This vapid young woman scrawled verse
to the joy of her publisher’s purse —
and the good of her own.
In her enterprise zone :
shallow waters. She fails to immerse.

 

This is not the only censure Kaur’s work has been subject to. Satirical tweets, which have racked up hundreds of likes, imply that Kaur’s work is formulaic, shallow, and lacks true poetic talent. Her readers, however, do not mount a defense based on the quality of Kaur’s language; rather, they cite her openness about personal trauma in response to critiques of her work, suggesting that such honesty, particularly from a woman of color, exempts her from accusations of superficiality.

CHIARA GIOVANNI at Buzzfeed

 

A poetess/princess, Miss Kaur
Was promoted through publishing’s power.
Scrawling lines for a hobby,
This perky Punjabi
Turned rupees to dollars per hour.

Postcard from Island Gulag #669A

https://i2.wp.com/diamond-jim.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/generic-postmark-2.jpghttps://mantasticpursuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/The-Malaria-Stamp.png

Hi all !

Having a great time here in post-modern poetry.
We’ve been on the island since Sylvia Plath croaked in ’63.
It’s been a bit smoggy and verbose   incoherent   gratuitously cryptic, but the prison-guards are super-nice and they let us write Haiku once in a while. There’s this MFA creative-writing place just up the road from the gulag, it’s really charming. They publish a chapbook that 4 people on the island read. They also host workshops, like How to Find Your Authentic Voice and Pushing Language Beyond the Boundaries. Last night we saw some non-identity-politics-driven verse in the nearby wilderness reserve. It had beautiful plumage and made totally weird sounds. (Hey Dylan, you’re remembering to feed my muse, right? Don’t let her out after 5 since she might stay out all night. She does NOT like the free-verse abstract work. Feed her the structured message-oriented stuff to the right of the literary-elite class. Thanks ☺ ) Anyway, we’re trapped on this island so if you find someway to get us off, do your best.
PLEEZ tell the editorial prison-guards that we are working on our English Lit degrees. And send the Maya Angelou and Adrienne Rich books soon !!!!!

Love,
Rita Dove’s Bookshelf

PROMPT:   draft a prose poem
in the form/style of a postcard

 

 

Aprilizing Insta-Poets

WHY IS THE POETRY WORLD pretending that poetry is not an art form? I refer to the rise of a cohort of young female poets who are currently being lauded by the poetic establishment for their ‘honesty’ and ‘accessibility’—buzzwords for the open denigration of intellectual engagement and rejection of craft that characterises their work. The short answer is that artless poetry sells.

Rebecca Watts: The Cult of the Noble Amateur

 

 

Insta-Limerick

The Sun and her flowers By Rupi Kaur pdf ebook free download

A poetess/princess, Miss Kaur

Was promoted through publishing’s power.

Scrawling lines for a hobby,

This perky Punjabi

Turned rupees to dollars per hour.