I set up this blog: Poetic Posters so that people can see some of the work I have done in poetic circles with graphics.
Some people want to see things like that from time to time, so from time to time I will post another poster or other thing that I have created in my futile attempt to promote poetry and broaden its audience.
I also kind of wish that someone like K. Silem Mohammad will stumble upon it and say something like this: "by George! I would like to have Jack Morgan design the next Abraham Lincoln cover."
Or someone equally cool.
I would like to do covers and layout of books of poetry. I would like to spend a lot of time with the work and then produce something visually that ties it all together in a way that makes children cry at the ensuing beauty.
I think that some poetry gets even more of a bad rap than the rest without good reason.
Psst. I like Carolyn Forché and Tess Gallagher.
I have never heard a reason good enough to stop liking them.
I hear their reading style is something that I would hate, but I haven't seen either of them, so I can't really form an opinion without going onto youtube, and I won't do that.
Forché as horror tourism is a bit rough because no matter what her motives are to travel to war-torn countries and write poetry about what she sees, I would rather have a poet there than government-sanctioned reporters and military personnel. I think poems and poets have always been saying interesting and important things about war and political conflict. It might not always be for good reasons or even true, but that's all right.
Gallagher is cool, too, I think. It's easy to make fun of her, I guess, but I think that many of her poems are rather intense. I've never met anyone who has anything nice to say about her, but I think that most of them haven't read anything by her, so I refuse to think that I am wrong on this.
I have been running into this a lot lately. A lot of people spout off about shit they have never read. I've read a lot, but when I haven't read something I say so and admit to my obvious lack of opinion. I guess it doesn't matter much. People have probably always been doing this, and nicer people don't say anything.
Sometimes, people I respect make fun of poets and writers I really like. I know they've read it, and I know that their opinion is valid, so it's hard not to feel a little embarrassed when our opinions are not the same.
I wonder if I've missed something. I wonder if I'm wrong. I panic.
Later, in listless contemplation at 3:15 AM, I think about whether they wonder the same.
I am petrified by the prospect that some day someone will call me "safe" or "dull" or worst of all, "vanilla." I hate that vanilla has become synonymous with bland. I worry about this more than I should, but I don't know how to avoid it. Remember when Madonna was like the craziest thing out there? Can you imagine how bad it must feel to be her right now? Rich and bland. Maybe it's the money. It can't be age alone.
So, when people use such adjectives to describe Gallagher and Forché, I think they must be right, and I am a bland and safe poet.
From now on, I will use the f-word in every poem I write.
I will also use lots of dingbat fonts and symbols.
I will also write more about genitals.
So I can be "experimental" like everyone else.
Love the J-Clo poster! The next three or four covers of AL are sort of lined up already, but will keep you in mind for one beyond that....
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