Monday, April 16, 2007

I HATE NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!!! There I’ve said it, it’s politically incorrect to say out loud and yet I have to tell you as much I love the written word I hate it when things are forced upon me. I dislike being at an education conference and having someone do a very bad reading of Langston Hughes or worse some rhyming flower poem about tulips.

But it’s to be expected—it’s April after all and no where is safe. One can’t open the mailbox; go to the coffee shop, a school building without some other person, who by the way doesn’t really seem to read poetry any other month of the year, shoving a poem down your throat.

What if we did this with other things? What if it was National Baton Month in April and any idiot could walk down the street showing you tricks on his baton? What if there were hundreds of idiots and you couldn’t shut your door?

Today I went to my favorite restaurant for take out which by the way I figured was a fairly safe place and I looked down at the menu and someone has started “Take-Out Poetry—write a few lines on our menu and display it all month long” The first poem was a haiku about apple juice and I had to leave without ordering ANTHING.

Ballard truth: this is the thing that I think bugs me, it waters down poetry for me. Makes it seem like it's this thing anybody could do if only…..and I guess on some levels that’s true but most of me says NO!!!!

I work my ass off to put a manuscript together. I think poetry is harder than writing fiction, short stories, or comic books. Poetry is work. What I do as a poet is work. It takes time, patience and discipline…

But maybe the baton twirlers would feel the same.

7 comments:

Pamela said...

Funny how the world works...I was just told in my MFA conference that my strongest poem this year was...a rhyming poem about tulips.

Now I'm really sweating the 3rd semester review.

32poems said...

what about having a National Cookie Month? A Neonatal Cookie Month? A Neonatal Cookie Mouth?

Anonymous said...

October is National Cookie Month!

tom said...

odd, they celebrate national poetry month in Minnesota? i can't find any sign of it here in michigan

but writing the poem on the placemat is something i do - but i seldom leave it - drawings i sometimes leave - but not poems

i am curious though - what is your favorite restaurant in the Cities - my daughter and son-in-law like to try new places -

early hours of sky said...

okay Tom, this is like asking a printer what kind of type set he likes.

Go to Evergreen for the best veggie dumplings in the world and have the eggplant basil or seasame chicken. You can also have it vegan style.

Or go to Mindori Floating World Cafe for 9 dollar sushi lunch that will blow your mind.

And if you cant make up your mind try the new Global Market with about 20 resturants inside.

tom said...

thanks - the kids are still learning their way around the cities - i think they have been to global market

my wife's family is polish and we have always celebrated easter with polish traditions - when beth went to buy punczkis (sp) for fat tuesday - the one grocery said 'cheese' and several places she stopped told her no - or they also didn't know what they meant - i asked on The Forbidding Story board because I knew Joe Green was in St. Paul and we found out where to get them - as well as other easter meats, breads, and lamb butter -

so i will pass this on to beth and dave. thank you. i hope to be back to visit sometime in early May - other daughter has finals week in her MFA program the second week in May - so will probably be around that time - (she is at Mankato)

Jeremy Halinen said...

Hi Teresa, I just discovered your poem "I Am Thinking of My First Deer" in Best New Poets 2006 and like it quite a lot, so I am hoping you'll submit to my new print literary magazine. I've posted the call for submissions below. Thanks, Jeremy Halinen

Knockout Call for Submissions

Poets Jeremy Halinen and Brett Ortler are editors of a new print literary magazine called Knockout.

The first issue is scheduled to appear in September 2007 (in a print run of 1000-1500 copies), and includes poetry by Carl Phillips, Carol Guess, Larissa Szporluk, Laurie Blauner, Lynn Levin, Timothy Liu, Jonathan Williams, Thomas Meyer, Jim Elledge, Christopher Hennessy, Antler, Ronald H. Bayes, CAConrad, Gerard Wozek, Jeff Mann, Aaron Smith, Michael Montlack, Jeffery Beam, Billy Collins, Robert Bly, Marvin Bell, Ger Killeen, Thomas Lux, Denver Butson, Dan Pinkerton, Todd Boss, Charles Jensen, Brent Goodman, Theodore Enslin, Alberto Rios, David Mason, Mabel Yu, Kim Lambright and Joseph Massey, among others.

The editors are now reading submissions for the second issue, and request submissions of 3-6 unpublished poems, sent all in one file, an MS Word document, to the following two email addresses:
knockoutpoetry@gmail.com
jeremyhalinen@yahoo.com

Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but please note that the editors are NOT considering unsolicited fiction or nonfiction submissions at this time.

To be considered for our second issue, please submit no later than August 15, 2007 (although the editors recommend sending them sooner, as the issue may fill up before then). A submission received after that deadline will be considered for the following issue. Response time is generally two weeks, and rarely more than a month. Payment for accepted work will be two copies, one for the contributor and one for a friend of the contributor.