Saturday, October 22, 2011

Preface to a Poetry Reading

I would just like to start out by saying that this poem is amazing
It is the vision of the next world, the new world, and the old
It is the marriage of Thomas and Donne
It is the Modonna and it births a slick and bloody infant
Who walks when it is born and pronounces himself king
It is the agony of war as it rises to its haunches and beats on its chest
gifted with thumbs, it can think of no greater pleasure than masturbation
It inspires riots, revolutions, the burning of flags, schools of philosophies, new generations, divorces, abortions, years of therapy on an overstuffed couch to remember just why my parents fucked up the world and most of all myself
It presumes that there exists truth, justice, peace, love, harmony, a savior even for the damned, angels to lead home soldiers, sovereign nations still accepting refugees, open and receiving minds, the ability to procreate without forever staining our souls from the act of fucking, but most of all that the thought of conception hasn't entirely been abandoned as only a failed contraceptive
I can see this poem moving the cloulds to reveal mountains, to dethrone the pope, the silence Buddhists, herald the end of politicians, make corporations beg for mercy while looking at the edge of a guillotine
I want the words to act as gasoline and burn the whole fucking town down
I want to see how many times I can say fuck before someone stops me
I, I, I, I, I, I,
the poetic I, the historic I, the non-existent I, the I that realizes I...
And I don't know
The funny thing is that I am not even a poet--I do not even write well
I can't spell eclusiastical and I don't know the meaning of transfiguration
But I got this whole idea when I heard a poet read one of her poems
I got the idea she was reading it from the sky
Her words were so precise and intimate that I knew she knew everyone by name
She led the audience around on a leash
The audience she turned into poets for only a brief period of time
before they left and felt the concrete under their feet again
And when they returned home they found their balls had not become anything more holy than they were before and that acid still burns the skin and that they still kiss with saliva and they are still never really sure what to say or how to act and when they realize that the angel is missing from their heads they rip out a peice of lined notebook paper and they try to sketch an image of what she looked like, and not being a particularly talented artist they try to describe her in the fabrication of their words, but they know that these would never be words that she would use to describe herself, and she would be unlikely to spend so much time on her breasts and her hair, she wouldn't say such ubsurd things as, "Be still my beating heart", or pretend that references to the "Coney island of the mind" were of biblical magnitude, and would leave out all references to the fragile nature of skin, and she would probably prefer to talk about the smell of alcohol on her breath or create an ode to the natural divinity of murder--
And it becomes clear that I am not writing a poem at all but am only ranting on with my imperfect words and unclear speech
And I'm a mangled beast, and I've spilled coffee on my shirt, and I havn't shaved in a week, and my nails are getting long, and I'm a little bit too old to start poetry now anyway, and these readings are always suffocating and my stomache reels, and I'm not very clear about anything, and I rely too heavily on the word And, and my vocabulary has been stunted since I was ten
I could never be her--I could never be a poet, I should stick to stories, short clever stories about the very serious and real world of work and suffering, and leave the world of poetry to the angels
I should make an apology speech and promise to write no more poems.
-Patrick Conners Jr

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