Monday, January 28, 2013

MMWUC: Controversial Poetry

I'm working on a poetry book for April 1st, the beginning of International Poetry Month. I consider myself a novelist not a poet, but I've been scribbling poetry since high school, mostly while hiding in dark corners of the Shop-Rite supermarket where I worked or other such venues. Occasionally  I'd write something nice, but most of the early stuff was like a Hallmakesque bad trip, mahn.

Later it got better. Recently, it's more like haiku format, but without the strict defining form of haiku as originally penned--though sometimes I get it right. I've also written a fair number of Twitter-related poems bound by the 140-character limit. Writing using twitter is actually a neat exercise in minimizing your style, that is, distilling down your words to get the maximum meaning from your rambling nonsense. Later, you can add back in the nonsense if you desire. I've found it quite useful. You should give it a try. It's like what the NASA scientists must do to anything sent in space: How much can we put in this tiny space to get the maximum results? Even if you're writing a flowing literary fiction piece about the affect a sneeze had on the love life of a rich woman's downfall from grace to poverty and ultimate rise at the cost of the downfall of her lover who dies of syphilis from an angry short-lived affair with his aunt after she was raped by aforementioned woman's father who had relapsed from his opium addiction and was out of his mind, (breath) tightening is the number one rule of good writing. (You would have thought that I would have tightened that sentence for you. Where would the irony have gone?)

Back to the main point: uncomfortable poetry lies at both ends of the spectrum. gushy love poetry from day's of yore:

Love comes in different ways,
and to most of God's creatures
on unexpected days.

Or, to the really weird stuff that enters the head and needs to be purged least you go insane thinking, where did that come from?:

Jeffrey Dahmer's Cat
I found myself up on a hill
where I caught a little chill
I went hunting for a thrill.
Shot a cat. Kill, kill, kill, kill.

Both extremes will be in the poetry book, POEMS FOR PLATYPUS. Readers will have to decide whether to befriend or run away from me. But in either case, do so efficiently.

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