Welsh Revival


Dylan Thomas, drunk-ass poet,
uncorked nouns, imbibed the verb;
downed six pints and thought about it
sitting unsteadily on the curb.

Winds of word unleashed in drink
filled up to the full the poet’s sails . . .
although it tottered on the brink,
his drunken boat defied the gales.

Floating on wreckage to distant shores,
our boozy bard beheld the deep;
where whales spout forth their lyric stores
while the inebriate muses weep.

This postwar lush and lyrical fad,
was the biggest pint in the bar called Wales.
While not the worst, his verse was bad…
(but better after seven ales).

NOTE:  I wrote this after perusing A Child’s Christmas in Wales, which was a big yawn
and, to me, embarrassingly bad poetry.
But some of Thomas’ early verse is beautiful (in the eye of this beholder).
So I ALMOST  feel mean for scrawling this little ditty.
Interesting words about him HERE


write a poem that responds, in some way, to another.
This could be as simple as using a line or image from another poem as a jumping-off point, or it could be a more formal poetic response to the argument or ideas raised in another poem.

Lines Composed upon the Finished Perusal of a Large Volume of Poetry


The worst will be found toward the end of the book
When you’re scanning the lines of a weighty anthology.
Centuries have shaken what works can be shook,
and what’s old is refined, and I make no apology.

Angst-ridden ramblings, so fashionably bleak
Start appearing somewhere past the middle, I fear
With those modernist psyches, whose raggedly weak
and depressing confessions sling mud in the ear.

Like the scribblers of Suicide, brimming with bile
or the autodestructive self-pitying boozer,
whose quaint observations enshrining the vile
are a crime against life—and an art for the loser.

You ideologues, with your axes to grind,
propagandizing causes in militant styles
ought to  stay in the hills, where the struggle is defined,
and spare us the old dialectical wiles.

The Feminist scribe, with her sex for a mouth,
Ever pressing her case, for Fallopian reasons
Grows saggingly sterile. Her muses fly south
with the passing of harvests and goddessless seasons.

Absurdists, surrealists, and nihilist mystics
whose hymns to destruction make glory of chaos
should leave the black humor to God and ballistics.
Your poems, like Judas, are bound to betray us.

The Freudian flirt (whose neuroses abound),
And the Jungian shamans (their animas, too),
ought to rest on their couches. Why should they be found
By the wellsprings of Spirit, whose guidance is true.

The art-lover’s lines gild a frame around Knowledge.hippie-chick2
Their poems are like an art history course.
As they flit past the idols they studied in college
their name-dropping odes are a grand tour-de-force.

Sixties drug-revelers, love beads a-jingle
And brothers dashiki-clad, howling at Nixon
no longer strike chords in my soul. Not a single
sitar lick—nor visions of hippie-chick vixen.

You rhymers and rappers of rhythms in sample
Whose words like a kick-drum shoot shock to old Whitey
Now cease from your chanting. The genre is ample.
Your gangstering paeans are too fly-by-nighty.

Revived Roman legions, who relish things Latin;
Your martial convictions inspire the hero.
But while you are looking for cities to flatten,
remember: old Julius was nobler than Nero.

The theme of World Peace—this crops up near the ending:
a desperate hope for New-Agers and liberals,
who cherish a dream of reality-bending
Through networking, magic, and energized crystals…

But what can be shaken shall perish, forgotten.
Anthologies show us that truth is enduring.
All praises and laurels shall prove misbegotten.
The Word become flesh is the most reassuring.

So I leave the anthology, closing its cover.
Three-quarters at least seemed like nonsense to me.
Yet still, I admit, I’m a poetry lover.
Let time do its work and in future, we’ll see…


write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.
( . . . I did mention love-beads and dashiki-shirts)

Beatnik Disembarks from Bardo Plane

Ginsberg Burning

Once I hoped to write like Ginsberg—
but Allen Ginsberg went to hell.
His bolder Buddhist poetry glitters,
then opens like an empty shell.

In vain one searches for the pearl
within the lyric art he showed us.
Open wide his rotten oyster –
seek the center of the lotus.

Perverted lost Semitic soul,
lyrical ranter,  mind unhinged…
He celebrated sin and shame
while crew-cut culture cringed.

His beatnik aircraft took off fast,
flew into bardos of the damned
promising enlightenment—
but the cockpit was unmanned.

Something Off-Beat


Enough of angry fixes, negro streets
incoherent poems and arrhythmic beats,
drug-addled mystics and feminized fools
who compose no further than breaking rules.
Junior Dadaists, after the fact;
dull poetry’s second, third, and fourth act.
Actual poetry exists for the page
and ought to be able to last an age.
Real poems are NOT composed on the tongue,
as are the ravings of the angry young.
Diarrhetic voidings, awash in words
that rain down upon the poetic herds
are not the same as life-giving waters
fit to refresh our sons and daughters.

Suck it up with your existential vacuum
from off the floor of that San Fran backroom.



PROMPT 28: try your hand at a meta-poem of your own
Meta-poem = a poem about poetry



Bitter Poetaste in Mouth

Lightweight free-verse exploration,
withered ghosts and wisps of phrase,
breezy unamusing musings
barely raise

a titter, tear or lyric warning –
fail to reach a middling height;
then subside to shallow murmurs
(not quite).

Teenage existentialism
cryptic, dull confessional mush;
suitable for a poker-faced
unroyal flush.

Must you set this stuff in motion
fizzling through our universe:
half-bright comets leaving trails
of boring verse?

Incoherent thoughts meander
through your words like fish through nets
unable to ensnare your reader.
One forgets

whatever it was you started saying
(weirdly spaced, unpunctuated).
Could it be such thoughts are better
left unstated?