Friday, April 1, 2011

The Trouble With (National) Poet(ry Month), Plus the Slurred Genius of Accidental Poet "Dominque"

April is National Poetry Month. This guarantees that:

A) Today you will see a peppering of blog posts and pseudonews items about National Poetry Month.
     a1. By tomorrow you will have forgotten it is National Poetry Month.

B) Lovers of poetry will spend the next 30 days re-reminding you that it is National Poetry Month.
     b1. You will slowly grow to resent them. 

C) People with internet platforms will publicly "celebrate" National Poetry Month.
     c1. Mostly by posting cringe-verse torn from their high school journals, greatest hits from undergrad History of Lit books (largely Yeats, Whitman, Blake, Frost and Angelou) and/or lines from the most notable poetry figure from their home town/state/country.

D) On April 30 most poets will still feel isolated and under-appreciated.
     d1. Additional April 30th projection statistics: 98% of all poetry-haters will still hate poetry. 1% will have defected to the pro-poetry side. The remaining 1% will have died of old age or unrelated catastrophes. 

Also, Barnes and Noble will feature discounted boxes of magnetic poetry sets:

Only people with metal surfaces in their home are allowed to write poetry.

As the author of a blog with the word "poet" in the title, I will contribute to this arbitrary public exercise by continuing business as usual, and by posting any examples I can find of Accidental Poetry.

Business as usual:
a snippet from "On Creative Loneliness," an old cringe-piece responding to "The Importance of Solitude:"

"but who will write the writer
in return
curl words back in reciprocal arcs
greet her in the morning
with three even lines in ink
on a napkin

silence, golden 
but after the hushes
the observer bears the weight

to see so much
to be seen so little"

And my first NaPoMo contribution, a must watch (with sound turned up high):

Accidental Poetry by Dominique: "U is for Eunice"
(Bio: Dominique is an upbeat girl-about-town who recently relocated from Desperation, MA, to Self-Loathing, PA, where she currently lives under her pillow. When not recording poetry on Ryan's message machine, she enjoys binge-drinking Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, playing with yo-yos, entering spelling bees and giggling. By day, Dominique works for either eBay or Jamba Juice, we're not quite sure.)


  1. "Only people with metal surfaces in their home are allowed to write poetry."

    Choked on my coffee. Thanks.

  2. It's that time of year where some words you love will be so over-recited that you'll grow a small resentment toward them. Much like the way I've grown to hate any time a guitarist wielding an acoustic guitar will try and pluck out "Cocaine Blues" while desperately straining their vocal chords to drop to Cash levels.

  3. By the way, Kim, if you need to get in touch with me, I'll be at Jamba Juice.

    Since we both share an affinity for yo-yos.

  4. i'm not sure what is saddest in this post: the poor girl's desperation to get laid; that 98% of poetry haters will continue hating; or that the haters hate because 83% of the poems, today, suck.

  5. for real fucking poets (the 1%) poetry month is every fucking day. fucking posers

  6. You know, apparently National Poetry Writing Month is sharing space with a "write a screenplay in a month" kind of initiative. I feel... more or less about that as you seem to feel about this. I know the idea is to be an incentive, to get people working, maybe even knock out some of the stigma, fear of starting something but...

    Just seems tawdry to me. Like it's making a gimmick out of something we've committed ourselves too.

    You're great, though. I support The Trouble with Poet continuing to be as brilliant as it always has been.

  7. Can I send Dominique my e-mail, cell phone number, IM and firecrackers (with spare matches in case the solar flares knock out the network and she needs to get in touch with me)? I've got a really nice wooden yo yo too... oh yes cringe worthy, which made it good because I know I have done that some poor guy's answering machine. In the past, mind you.
    After reading your post, I'm kind of glad Australia doesn't have a Poetry Month; if any of you are aware of Australian Bush Poetry, you'll know why...
    The Schirling; spot on!

  8. Oh, I can't stand it when people leave marathon messages on my voice mail! Hmmm... perhaps I'll write a poem about that? ;)