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the death of illiquidity
September 28, 2008 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Massive Poetry Bailout in the works

Let there be no mistake: the fundamentals of our poetry are sound. The problem is not poetry but poems. The crisis has been precipitated by the escalation of poetry debt—poems that circulate in the market at an economic loss due to their difficulty, incompetence, or irrelevance.
posted by philip-random (52 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Life imitates
posted by andromache at 3:25 PM on September 28, 2008


art
posted by andromache at 3:26 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the pointer to this amusing little piece, philip-random.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:26 PM on September 28, 2008


I guess this just goes to show that the old saying is true: there is no free verse.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:28 PM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]






> The problem is not poetry but poems.

Y'know, I think the problem actually is "poetry."

Riding the bus here in Edmonton, I'm frequently exposed to nuggets of oddly-punctuated prose apparently representative of "poetry" (posted where ads usually go as part of a "Take the Poetry Route" culture campaign). Their artlessness and self-importance rarely fail to make me grimace.

But then I listen to Illmatic and smile to no longer feel like everyone after Archilochus has forgotten how it's done. Verbal craftsmanship doesn't need defenders or bailouts, thank God (it's like "grammar" that way), and it's still going strong.
posted by einzelsprachlich at 3:45 PM on September 28, 2008


"Poetry is useless, and poets even more so. They display a sickening level of self-immersion, a maudlin self-loathing unconciously spurred by their inability to throw together a decent sentence. They are praised for being ineffectual, lauded for their inability to survive. If someone walked up to me and started tittering in iambic pentameter, I'd thrash them until they pissed blood." - Jim Goad
posted by jonmc at 3:48 PM on September 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


this is just to tell you that
i didn't eat
the prunes in the icebox -

they were
the grapes you've had
in there for 3 months

so wizened
so black and so
BLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAHHH
posted by pyramid termite at 3:48 PM on September 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Well, good. Perhaps this means that The Itinerant Poetry Librarian can return to the US where's she's sorely needed.

I'm a member, are you?
posted by loquacious at 3:52 PM on September 28, 2008


Le banker heureuse (The Happy Banker)
(A French accent may or may not help)

by Roger Wooller

I'm happy just because I'm going banking,
I'm putting all my money in "la bonk".
I was feeling sad and very slightly wonky
because my only option was to wonk.

But now I've met a girl who feels the same way.
She loves it... going banking too.
I took her banking out along the tramway,
we banked together in the Melbourne Zoo.

I asked her if my card was to my credit,
she said "Why don't you slip it in and see?"
I found the slot and tenderly I fed it
into the bank - "I like accountancee!"

Oh wow! I think my bank account is bigger.
Does all this overbanking make it so?
My girl seems to have modified her figure,
her assets - they have just begun to grow.

Mon Dieu! Monetary joy is momentary, the bliss
of mounting figures is a ghost.
For now upon the morning I must marry
and pay int'rest on what int'rests me the most.
posted by netbros at 4:04 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


god. i wish someone would thrash that someone kick jim goad in the balls until he pissed cartilage and blood. the man has no poetry. but i think he'd only be satisfied by a thorough raping.

poetry is fine. if something has to die how about assholes who are too dumb to get their own jokes. and jonmc i swear i am not talking about you; i just loathe the goad. too many years in oklahoma, missouri and texas where that's the joke all day.

no poetry.
posted by artof.mulata at 4:13 PM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ha! I shorted poetry months ago.
posted by languagehat at 4:14 PM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


The problem with poetry is so many poets are speculators.
posted by darkstar at 4:28 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


bad poetry / oh noetry
posted by anthill at 4:30 PM on September 28, 2008


Ha! I shorted poetry months ago.

Buy Lowell, sell haiku, I always say.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:44 PM on September 28, 2008 [10 favorites]


Upon my honour,
Citizen taxman,
Words
cost poets a pretty penny in cash.

posted by ardgedee at 5:04 PM on September 28, 2008


I guess this just goes to show that the old saying is true: there is no free verse.

You think we should keep a metre running?
posted by roombythelake at 5:15 PM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


The problem isn't poetry—it's our tasteless tongue. It values vocabulary, but its rhythm's run. A sad spectacle, our mangled mongrel. Someone should shoot 'er, and get the dying done.
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:37 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh no! What have I done
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:38 PM on September 28, 2008


What are Wordsworth?
posted by philip-random at 5:39 PM on September 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


About a Pound.
posted by luckypozzo at 6:20 PM on September 28, 2008 [7 favorites]


I like the early twentieth century poets - especially H.D. They were immersed in the beauty and form of traditional poetry, but also breaking free of it. They wrote profound, musical, lyrical verse.

But the post-1960 stuff does need some serious weeding. Time will do that.
posted by jb at 7:08 PM on September 28, 2008


Their floors are stick-e-mart
They made Dad sick-e-mart
Let's hurl a brick-e-mart
The Kwik-E-Mart is real... doh
posted by crapmatic at 7:31 PM on September 28, 2008


Reminded me of the onion, specifically, this.
posted by grubby at 7:43 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lived upon a curd's worth.
posted by bardic at 8:06 PM on September 28, 2008


Uh, you guys know that Poetry did quite literally receive a $100,000,000 bailout, right?
posted by NortonDC at 10:07 PM on September 28, 2008


okay, now that's weird
posted by philip-random at 10:16 PM on September 28, 2008


"We estimate that for the buyout to be successful, we will need to remove from circulation all poems written after 1904."

Ouch!
posted by mystyk at 11:34 PM on September 28, 2008


Who is Jim Goad?

Reading that thread from Jim's website, specifically Jim's contributions to the thread, I'm like, "What the shit, man?" Is this that annoying racist-but-you-have-to-laugh-at-it-to-prove-you're-not-a-racist humor, or is it racism classic? Either way, fuck him.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:14 AM on September 29, 2008


Nice. Made me think of this for some reason...

The Men in Bowler Hats are Sweet
And dance through april showers,
so innocent! Oh, it's a treat
to watch their tiny little feet
leap nimbly through the arduous wheat
among the lambs and flowers.

Many and many is the time
that I have watched them play,
a broker drenched in glimmering rime
a banker, innocent of crime,
with lots of bears and bulls, in time
to share the holiday.

The grass is lush - the moss is plush
The trees are hands at prayer.
The banker and the broker flush
to see a white rose in a bush,
and gasp with joy, and with a blush
they hug each bull and bear.

The men in bowler hats are sweet
Beneath their bowler hats.
Its not their fault if, in the heat
of their transactions, I repeat
Its not their fault if vampires meet
and gurgle in their spats.

- Mervyn Peake

posted by Phanx at 2:41 AM on September 29, 2008


To quote Kenneth Koch's "Fresh Air":

Summer in the trees! "It is time to strangle several bad poets."
posted by languagehat at 6:00 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is what happens when you resist regulation for years and years. Turns out the market is full of goblins!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:46 AM on September 29, 2008


THIS JUST IN: poet thinks he is more clever and witty than he in fact is, updates as warranted
posted by mightygodking at 6:50 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Uh, you guys know that Poetry did quite literally receive a $100,000,000 bailout, right?

Yeah, NortonDC, I'll still never forget when I heard that. It still makes me angry even to this day. It's the single least deserving act of charity I've ever learned about. What a monumental waste. How many actually deserving artists or needy people could have been aided by that?

Poetry is the one human invention that should never be reimbursed for, because as an art form, it is completely without value. Poetry is when any person takes one or more random words, records them (for some reason), because, yeah, someone somewhere is going to like it. All art is subjective, to be sure, but it takes no talent whatsoever to take words that are in a non-standard pattern separate from conversation, communication or lyrics and write them down.

Don't get me wrong. I love almost all art. Especially seemingly incomprehensible work that makes sense to no one but one person. Art, to me, stimulates my sense that humanity to this day still has the ability to come up with something original that hasn't been perceived by anyone before. Creating and appreciating art is the highest form of humanity.

Except for poetry. Poetry can eat a bag of shit. Poetry is the wastebasket of human innovation, and should not be celebrated or even acknowledged. If I go through the rest of my life without hearing or reading another poem, my life will still be 100% complete. Moreso, actually.

I hate to lay such a big ugly rant here, but I have a very strong hatred for this stuff, and this did seem like the appropriate place to express it. I apologize if I've offended anyone, but it's just the way I feel.

Fuck poetry.
posted by greasepig at 7:02 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Poetry is the one
human invention
that should never be reimbursed
for,
because as an art form, it is completely without
value.

Poetry is
when any person takes one or more random words,
records them (for some
reason), because,
yeah,
someone somewhere is going to
like it. All art is subjective,
to be sure, but it takes no talent whatsoever to take wo
rds that are in a non-standard pattern
separate from conversation, communication
or lyrics and write them
down.

Don't get me wrong.
I love almost
all art. Especially seemingly incomprehensible
work that makes sense to no one
but one person. Art, to me,

stimulates my sense that
humanity to this day
still has the ability
to come up with something
original that hasn't
been perceived by anyone before.

Creating and appreciating art
is the highest form of humanity. Except for
poetry. Poetry can eat a bag of shit.
Poetry is the wastebasket of human innovation,
and should not be celebrated
or even acknowledged. If I go through
the rest of my life
without hearing or reading
another poem, my life will still be 100%
complete. Moreso, actually.

I hate to lay such a big ugly
rant here, but I have a very strong
hatred for this stuff, and this did seem like
the appropriate
place to express it. I apologize if I've offended
anyone,
but it's just the way I feel. Fuck
poetry.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:31 AM on September 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Poetry can eat a bag of shit.

Pure poetry!
posted by everichon at 7:35 AM on September 29, 2008


Dang it, Potomac!
posted by everichon at 7:35 AM on September 29, 2008


i feel bad for you, greasepig.
posted by klanawa at 7:37 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


this is just to tell you that
i didn't eat
the prunes in the icebox -

they were
the grapes you've had
in there for 3 months


prunes are from plums, raisins are from grapes - just so you know when we have to forage for a living.
posted by Bitter soylent at 7:49 AM on September 29, 2008


This Is Just to Say
William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


NPR had a program on Williams and they said this poem was probably the most descriptive passive aggressive thing ever written.
posted by Bitter soylent at 7:55 AM on September 29, 2008


If we don't act to save poetry now, pasty emo guys in stretched out sweaters on college campuses across the nation will no longer be able to obtain sex! This is a reality we cannot live with.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:00 AM on September 29, 2008


Thanks, klanawa, but I don't seek pity. I'm looking for other people to join me in my (understandably unpopular) war on poetr...ism. And thanks for helping to make my point, Potomac Avenue. Now please pay me my one million dollars.
posted by greasepig at 8:04 AM on September 29, 2008


A Library Of Skulls

Shelves and stacks and shelves of skulls, a Dewey Decimal number inked on each unfurrowed forehead. Here's a skull who, before he lost his fleshy parts and lower bones, once walked beside a river (we're in the poetry section now) his head full of love and loneliness; and this smaller skull, in the sociology stacks, smiling (they're all smiling)—it's been empty a hundred years. That slot across the temple? An ax blow that fractured her here. Look at this one from the children's shelves, a baby, his fontanel a screaming mouth and this time no teeth, no smile. Here's a few (history)—a murderer, and this one—see how close their eye sockets!—a thief, and here's a rack of torturers' skulls beneath which a longer row of the tortured, and look: generals' row, their epaulets on the shelves to each side of them. Shelves and shelves, stacks stacked on top of stacks, floor above floor, this towering high-rise library of skulls, not another bone in the place and just now the squeak of a wheel on a cart piled high with skulls on their way back to shelves while in the next aisle a cart filling with those about to be loaned to the tall, broken-hearted man waiting at the desk, his library card face down before him.

- Thomas Lux
posted by indiebass at 8:08 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


the aesthetic negligence has been profound

That's my new slogan.

greasepig, why battle poetry? It's already pretty devalued thanks to guys like lh going short.
posted by ersatz at 8:20 AM on September 29, 2008


I'll bet you five bucks greasepig keeps a rejection letter from Ploughshares on his nightstand.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:04 AM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Illiquid like cooling grease, the words ran thickly down our chins. The lifeblood of language reduced to ichor, congealing in pools on the rendering floor. We choked on our ignorance and then said no more, when poetry died for our sins.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:04 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's the single least deserving act of charity I've ever learned about.

Dogs may be the beneficiaries of Leona Helmsley's 3 to 8 billion dollars
.
posted by lukemeister at 9:19 AM on September 29, 2008


I'll bet you five bucks greasepig keeps a rejection letter from Ploughshares on his nightstand.

You're on.
posted by jokeefe at 9:58 AM on September 29, 2008


A greased pig in fall
laughs, squeals "Fail!" at the turkeys...
red leaves spell his own.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:29 AM on September 29, 2008


Hey, greasepig, what about poetic prose?
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:45 PM on September 29, 2008


greasepig: Don't get me wrong. I love almost all art. [...] Except for poetry. Poetry is the wastebasket of human innovation, and should not be celebrated or even acknowledged. Fuck poetry.

You're living in an age where visual artists can and do achieve fame by stacking garbage into totemic piles, where people will pay exorbitant sums for disordered murder scenes of paint strewn by a famous hand, where art critics have been successfully trolled into praising the works of children, elephants, and gorillas... and you think that codified language represents an exercise in waste?
posted by kid ichorous at 3:00 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


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