I made this prayer poetry meme the other day.
I was lying in bed with thoughts and language rolling around in my head. This sentence “we don’t think your prayer is funny” felt electrically charged and important.
So I got up and made the poetry meme. Can’t remember how I found the frogs, but they are public domain frogs from an advert long ago. Thank you, wiki commons! From an advert for some throat lozenges.
I was remembering an intense situation some months ago, in our courtyard. The sentence was my true reaction within a conversation, a reaction I’d never speak. Poetry can help me access a truth I’d kept buried. Something I really needed to say and did not say can surface much later. It feels soaked with importance–other people may or may not find it important, but I need to say it, late.
Yes, I call these poetry memes and micropoems. A phrase feels importantly charged, and I have to write it down. Then a whole poem can come from that, or it can be just that sentence.
Probably you think I’m a zinemaker and blogger–that’s true. Maybe you see some visual art I make. But much of my life, my art was mainly poetry. That’s what I went to school for, and what I wanted to center my life around. I wanted to be a poetry professor and teach at university. Things went in a different direction…
Poetry’s still a great love of mine, but it’s so limited, since regular people don’t like poetry, or think they don’t. At a funeral or wedding they might like a poem, but most people don’t think of themselves as poetry lovers.
Poetry is earthy, real, a song at the fireplace–as real as my bones. As important as anything. But in another way, poetry has become a tool of the elite. Poetry can scare people off, like they had a mean English teacher long ago who made poetry into a big deal and rarefied, off on a cloud, something chilling, not of our own lives and bodies.
Poetry is of my own life and body. But the gatekeepers of the poetry world don’t let me in. I’m not even allowed to dive the dumpster outside the gate. Poetry world is money, pretentious bullshit, ivory towers and other white monuments to inaccessibility, intense grant applications. Angry articulate people pulling each other down, stark competition, crabs fighting over too few resources.
It’s not for me. I’m too crazy, and I don’t come from money. Never have I performed right.
why I make art
I was asked why I make art, and then three reasons deeper than that reason. I ended up listing a few, and I wrote them on this yellow background. Thought you might enjoy my reasons.
Why do you make art? There’s always the “let that boy boogie woogie–it’s in him, and it got to come out,” reason.
Here’s a poem I wrote a few days ago–I hadn’t written a full-on poem in a while.
you don’t have to wear a beard to be a man.
because they are lonely,
they wish to scare away death.
to have another chance at love.
add beer, a radio, a pool table.
a fast car to fix over and over.
the skeletons are happy because
they rule the world of living people.
the hat is laughing.
the hat shows you death is permanent.