Thursday, April 17, 2008

New poem

A week or so ago, I mentioned that I was working on one of the poem prompts that Robert Lee Brewer had set up on Poetic Asides, and that I might post it when I was done with it. Well, I can't say I think it's one of my best, but I'm as done with it as I'm going to get for the moment. Any suggestions?

I was born two days after Nixon won
the first time. Inauspicious beginnings
in a year of strife. Bobby Kennedy.
Martin Luther King, Jr. The Tet Offensive.
I am the same age as The ODB
and Lisa Marie Presley, as Ziggy Marley
and Vanilla Ice, and no wonder
we’re all fucked up because we
all came forth in a year of strife
and we’ve never gotten over it.
But I refuse to stay down. In ‘68
I also got Tommie Smith and John Carlos
in Mexico City, The White Album,
Cash at Folsom Prison and Lady Soul,
Of Being Numerous and North Central,
2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes
and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”.
It’s not enough, but it is something,
a firebreak, a seawall that deadens
the hurricane’s storm surge, a shot
of whiskey to numb an abscessed tooth.

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At April 20, 2008 at 10:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No suggestions but a few questions:

Yes, ODB had some problems but Lisa Marie and Ziggy aren’t really any great shakes. Their fathers, however, were great shakers. Perhaps their fathers had more to do with whatever unknown idiosyncrasies they may have? Aren’t fathers a more reliable scapegoat? Vanilla Ice is fucked up too? How do you know that he’s just not ACTING fucked up, he is a performer, after all.

All of this leads to…

What is “fucked up” to someone born in 1968?

“all came forth in a year of strife”

Came forth from where, the mother-ship?

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

Don’t most people just call that “Sling Blade”?

You need more than the White Album?

At April 21, 2008 at 8:41 PM , Blogger Brian said...

Most call it "Blade Runner," but I was talking about the short story, not the film, and only the film was called that. As for "came forth," I think it's pretty clear on its own.

As for Vanilla Ice, well, he's a local resident, so we get a bigger dose of him than most these days, I suspect. He's looking at a domestic abuse charge right now, so I'd say that counts as fucked up.

At April 22, 2008 at 2:10 AM , Blogger The Beep said...

My b. You definitely weren’t talking about that “some folks call it a sling blade” flick.

The Ice man beateth? Shameth! That is fucked up.

Regarding, “come forth”. My poorly communicated beef has more to do with my personal feeling that the phrase suggests that you and your 1968 brethren stepped out of your mothers’ vaginas voluntarily. Almost, heroically, as if into battle which is interesting considering the context of the poem. It’s disheartening if aligned with the common grumpy- type- human lament, “I sure as hell didn’t choose to be here!”

Either way, I aint no poet, just a simpleton passing through, giving the ‘general person’s impression. Interesting poem.

At April 22, 2008 at 1:15 PM , Blogger Brian said...

Thanks. I appreciate it. Sorry if I came off as a little terse in that comment, by the way.

At April 22, 2008 at 8:56 PM , Blogger The Beep said...

Namaskar, Punchie. Don’t sweat it. Just keep posting; it’s brave, what you do… you give hyper-critical busybodies like me something to do and enjoy too.


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