National Poetry Month is here again. That means that you should go to readings. It isn't one of those months in which you just think about things that happened or watch a special on television about how things once were. It isn't a time when you find a person and tell them that you're sorry you've ignored/marginalized them.
Poets don't need your fucking pity. OK, we need your pity a little. But check this out: you can buy a book of poetry at Pegasus Downtown in Berkeley and get ten percent. (10%) (!) off. That isn't bad. I wish I could get ten per cent. off all the time. I for one will be buying a butt load of poetry books.
There are some of you who hate national poetry month. I can understand it. Charles Bernstein, in his hilarious essay (please read until the end,,, or just the end) on the month-long holiday very nearly convinces me to hate national poetry month. But I love it. 10%!!! If I had as much money as Charles Bernstein, I wouldn't need the 10% off, but I do. Sorry Chuck.
The way I see it is that most poetry, like most of all art and music and food and almost everything else, sucks, blows, and bores. So if I take the conservative estimate of 10% being worthwhile, I dramatically increase my chances of finding something good during national poetry month. There are more readings and more books, and everything's cheaper. Yes, it's lame that the masses are told to like poetry one month out of the year, but mostly everyone doesn't even know it's poetry month. Maybe some teachers tell their students, and then they teach them mainstream shit, but that's what they were going to do anyway.
I think it's kind of a joke for the avant-garde poets to cry about not being included in the festivities. They don't really want anything to do with the public libraries or Junior High Schools. The established mainstreamers have their place, and we have ours. That's all right. I don't want to be mainstream when it comes to poetry. I don't want to be a National Poet Laureate. Such outward things dwell not in my desires. If I wanted that, I would write du jour poetry about African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance or something. Or I would write long, pretentious poems about colors that seem high-brow because the colors I pick are green and grey and I use big words.
See, there are poets who make me sick all the time. I am fucking sick of all the hack poets who mess up the sport. Shall I list them? Nooo. But neither will Charles Bernstein. It's already awkward enough to walk into parties and have people there who know who I am and what I say about them. They can't take criticism. You're an instant enemy as soon as you say something out loud about their poetry. Maybe people at the top who care so vehemently about non-streamers should be meaner to the people who are garbage poets and politicians and networkers. Maybe if they were throwing enough stones, someone would notice, and the world of poetry would be more interesting to the people outside it.
And all you homework poets. All you poets who sit where you sit because of who you know. All you impostors and charlatans. All of you who claim right to your laurels without having earned them. You, who have put me to sleep at readings and blamed the audience for not understanding your garbage. You, whose fans are other poets who only like you because of who you know. . . you make me nauseous all year long. I don't have to wait on April for that.
There will be rain tonight.
Let it come down.
That being said, their poster makes me want to barf and watch you dogs lap it up. Especially, you, crap poet who writes tripe about race to win awards.