Saturday, April 17, 2004
If we're to criticize one another's work, we ought to strive to be constructive. Sometimes the best answer to a poem is another poem, or another version of the poem under consideration. I feel that on this blog if one is to say a particular line is what's key to a poem and all the rest is filler, then perhaps the putative critic ought demonstrate through writing of his/her own how that might be so.

Making a provocative statement about a poem is not necessarily enough. I don't think negative comments are necessarily a bad thing, if you back them up. Unbacked up comments behind pseudonyms are something else altogether. Something altogether too easy and unearned.

That, anyway, is how I feel. I don't defend my poems. They constitute their own reality, their own defense.
Friday, April 16, 2004

Might as well give it a whirl.


To travel to Wales
to search for myself
and wonder why
I do not know
To connect with artistry, poetic soul
plucked up by that dreadful force
concealed in memory
which shattered the innocent in me
so long ago
and yet still today here
I am picking up the shards
feeling afresh their pricks
welling crimson from pale skin
Thursday, April 15, 2004

dirt pan

hurt prophecy
in a dirty pan
decoding babies fear

billy jno hope catharcyst
Monday, April 12, 2004

OK. I accept your challenge.

The following two-part poem is offered up as a test case for yr consideration (slaughter?). I'm going to try and refrain from comment. This poem was published in Separations (Generator Press, 1988):

Diptych / Dipstick


The Library's hours determined

what I thought.

I turned the radio off

thinking it was on.

I guess I transmit

my image of me to myself.

I guess you transmit

your image of you to yourself.

I guess I am possessed

by my own outside.


The Library's hours determined

what I bought.

I turned the radio off

thinking it possessed.

I guess I transmit

my image of you to myself.

I guess you transmit

your image of me to yourself.

I guess I am thought

by my own outside.
Sunday, April 11, 2004


It's fun to talk about what a poem should be, but I'd like to see how you apply your rules. What if poets here took turns posting a poem (their own, of course) that they are willing to have discussed (torn apart, analyzed, praised, stolen, mocked, mislabeled, dismissed, revered, etc.)? You could start by saying anything you want about your poem, or you could just respond to the comments of others, or you could stand back and leave the whole thing to other people to discuss. Just make it clear that your poem is here to be honestly discussed and not given the usual praise-or-remain-silent treatment.