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Episode 6 of Poetry Fix. Miroslav Holub's "Ode to Joy."

Here was a guy with the same ability, in American vernacular prose, to make a drab world come alive--the same ability to make magic from the ordinary that Japanese poets showed in haiku. Harvey gave the urban rust belt, and its daily triumphs and frustrations, a reality, a comic, deadpan glamor. No fiction writers or poets of that time approached. Long before Seinfeld, Harvey Pekar was doing his own small version of Flaubert's book about nothing.

When McLuhan described linearity (I think he actually used the term lineality...not sure if there's a difference? Spell check doesn't recognize the latter, if that means anything!), I couldn't help but think about the poetic line and the way it is changing. As print culture (and hence the divorce made by the phonetic alphabet) ends, we move from the line, back to the field, back to non-linear, acoustic space.

Episode 5 of Poetry Fix! Louise Gluck's "Mock Orange."

Episode 4 now available on YouTube. Wallace Stevens's poem "A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts."

Mary Karr and I have started a YouTube video series called Poetry Fix. Episode 3 is now available. Twice a week on Mondays and Fridays we'll upload a 2-4 minute video where we read a poem and briefly discuss it.

Lyrical poetry can be very dense. It can even be “high gibberish” (a form of ecstatic speech that does not yield readily to a standard meaning, but may create a mood, an orver all emotional or intellectual atmosphere). It does not usually explain. It is not prone to giving information in an overt and easy way. Why does it beat around the bush? Get to it! Say what you mean! Many a person has turned away from lyric poetry because it refuses to do the one thing people seem to insist on: get to the point! This is exactly where modern poetry wanted poesis to go—to the thing, the object, the point.

These are my loose translations of a form in Ireland known as "three things there be." Long before Saint Patrick came, the Irish thought in threes. They were a triune people, with a Celtic triune God, and they, like most Celts, cast spells, and framed their tales by the magic of threes. I have translated some Triads previously translated by the wonderful Irish poet, Thomas Kinsella.

[Episode 2 of "Poetry Fix"]

Wendell Berry recently decided to pull his personal papers from the University of Kentucky, and it got me thinking. While I know this news story isn't directly related to the topic of poetry (and this is--loosely--a poetry blog), I can't help but feel it connects on some other level as we (poets) think about the relationship of our poetry to the world around us. Most of my exposure to the world of modern poetry has taken place through the university system. And while I know there are many poets writing and thriving outside the university system, it seems to me that the relationship of modern poetry is hopelessly enmeshed with our modern universities. Let's admit it, the modern university (as well as the various foundations, titles, etc.) gives us poets [...]

[Episode 1 of "Poetry Fix"]

I've been reading a lot of Marshall McLuhan in the last several months. I know he's not the most fashionable critic anymore, but I admire his attitude toward culture. I've heard some call him a "futurist" but this seems to run directly counter to McLuhan as I read him. If anything, McLuhan is a medievalist who has adapted himself to our futurist culture in order to bring a rather old timey message. McLuhan created what he called a "tetrad." The general idea is that for every new medium, four things always happen. 1. The new medium enhances some aspect of us or our life. 2. The new medium obsolesces some aspect of us or our life. 3. The new medium, when pushed to its maximum, ultimately reverses some aspect of [...]

(it’s scaffolding) (it’s supposed to be temporary)

I wanna know which friend will die young, so I can spend more time with them now by Rachel Glaser you hurt my feelings so I lie and say, I do wanna fuck my roommate I say, We’ve pushed our beds so they share a wall dirty dishes are inevitable when you were young and bumped your head on the table your father would make a show of hitting the table when you bumped your knee in the doorway your father would kick the doorway I wanna know which friend will die so I can surprise my other friends we climb into the car, lick the cd pick the mountain with the most views L e t ’s t r y p r i m a l s c r [...]

[audio:http://www.scatteredrhymes.com/poets/solmaz.mp3|bgcolor=0x000000]
View full post to see the full text of each poem Solmaz reads!

Hamlet self-consciously reveals his inner thoughts to an audience he does/n't know is there. Perhaps this soliloquy is a proto-modern lyric?