Weekly Poetry Pick

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D.H. Lawrence was a novelist, playwright, and poet known for his novels Lady Chatterley’s Lover The Rainbow.  His work often centered around the themes of nature, vitality, sex, and instinct. His writing style was so controversial that he was often the persecuted by censors. At the time of his death, he was a rumored pornographer who was thought to have wasted his considerable talents.  Highly influential, his work has been honored at a yearly festival in Eastwood.

 

Piano

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past. 

 

The above work is one of the best examples of a writer showing their appreciation for another art form. The tender way he describes the music heard is wonderful. I find this to be some of his strongest work and love how his passion drips into the meter of the words.  If you need more D.H. Lawrence in your life I suggest you enjoy more of it here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook. 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Jackson Dean Chase is an award winning author and number one best selling author. Mostly known for his work in the genre of the young adult science fiction and horror. Chase’s signature mixture of fantasy and pulp magazines has led to a fervent following amongst his readers.  This week we present the following work to showcase the poetic stylings of Mr. Chase.

 

Replaced

The world changes

too fast to keep up.

Just when you think

you understand it,

they pull the rug out:

technology,

music, 

fashion,

morality.

All dead, replaced by newer models-

as you have been, as we all must be

until the bombs drop,

the plague hits,

and the last light goes out

forever.

 

The above work is from Chase’s first poetry book Bukowski’s Ghost.  By the author’s own admission he fell in love with poetry because of Charles Bukowski. Much of this book is a tribute to the writing style and influence of Bukowski. Jackson Dean Chase does a great job of channeling a fantastic poet without of ever losing his own voice. The desperation and nihilism expressed within the above poem show how the writer is dealing with the passage of time and his connection with society as a whole.  It transcends being an accolade to Bukowski and forces the reader to take stock of their own place in the world. Truly an excellent piece from an excellent poet. I suggest you see more of the fine work of Mr. Chase here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Jimmy Stewart is not the first name thought of when poetry comes to mind. Known for his distinctive speech pattern and easy going persona. His acting work included such classics as Vertigo, Rear Window,  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and It’s a Wonderful Life.  The beloved actor was known for his philanthropy work and political activism, but far less known was his dabbling in the world of poetry and writing. This week’s selection offers us a rare opportunity to hear the author reading their work.  Go here to see Mr. Stewart reading this selection.

 

Beau

He never came to me when I would call

Unless I had a tennis ball,

Or he felt like it,

But mostly he didn’t come at all.

When he was young

He never learned to heel

Or sit or stay,

He did things his way.

Discipline was not his bag

But when you were with him things sure didn’t drag.

He’d dig up a rosebush just to spite me,

And when I’d grab him, he’d turn and bite me.

He bit lots of folks from day to day,

The delivery boy was his favorite prey.

The gas man wouldn’t read our meter,

He said we owned a real man-eater.

He set the house on fire

But the story’s long to tell.

Suffice it to say that he survived

And the house survived as well.

On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,

He was always first out the door.

The Old One and I brought up the rear

Because our bones were sore.

He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,

What a beautiful pair they were!

And if it was still light and the tourists were out,

They created a bit of a stir.

But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks

And with a frown on his face look around.

It was just to make sure that the Old One was there

And would follow him where he was bound.

We are early-to-bedders at our house — I guess I’m the first to retire.

And as I’d leave the room he’d look at me

And get up from his place by the fire.

He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,

And I’d give him one for a while.

He would push it under the bed with his nose

And I’d fish it out with a smile.

And before very long He’d tire of the ball

And be asleep in his corner In no time at all.

And there were nights when I’d feel him Climb upon our bed

And lie between us,

And I’d pat his head.

And there were nights when I’d feel this stare

And I’d wake up and he’d be sitting there

And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.

And sometimes I’d feel him sigh and I think I know the reason why.

He would wake up at night

And he would have this fear

Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,

And he’d be glad to have me near.

And now he’s dead.

And there are nights when I think I feel him

Climb upon our bed and lie between us,

And I pat his head.

And there are nights when I think I feel that stare

And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,

But he’s not there.

Oh, how I wish that wasn’t so,

I’ll always love a dog named Beau.

 

The selected writing is from the book Jimmy Stewart and His Poems.  He reminisces over losing a beloved pet in a way that is both relatable and heartbreaking. Taking the reader on a journey, you get to know the dog and can feel the writer’s affection for the animal. His pacing and meter are excellent and I really enjoy reading the verse of Jimmy Stewart, I highly recommend that you hunt down some more of his work.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Garrison Keillor is a champion of literature, hosting both the Prairie Home Companion and the Writer’s Almanac on NPR. He has written over a dozen books, two poetry anthologies and starred in a 2006 film based upon the aforementioned Prairie Home Companion.  As a member of the American Association of Arts & Letters and The Poetry Foundation he strives to bring the written word to the masses.

 

Thong Song

To people raised in a railroad shack
It is known as your butt crack.
To people who are more verbally deft
It is known as the gluteal cleft.
Either way, it’s at the bottom of your back
Between the one on the right and the one on the left.

Some ladies’ swimwear of slender heft
Displays freely the gluteal cleft.
On this matter, my mind is shut:
Don’t walk around showing off your butt
Please desist at least
Until I am deceased.

Your gluteal cleft, I must insist,
Should be seen by your dermatologist
When treating a rash, or cyst,
And nobody else. No daughter of mine
Wears thongs. That’s the bottom line.

 

The selected work is from Keillor’s book Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound.  In his signature dry and witty tone, he analyzes a fashion trend that he doesn’t understand. His reflective opinion is sprinkled with his own moral values in a really enjoyable way. Without being high handed or overly negative he draws criticism to a concept he disapproves of. To hear a live version of the above poem go here. Or to see more of Keillor’s spectacular writings, go here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

 

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Charles Bukowski is a legendary poet, short story writer and novelist.  His writings about the common man and how his environment impacted him was appealing and different. The influences of women, alcohol, the act of writing itself and humdrum of work were all present in his writing. A dynamically sense of self awareness continues to serve as inspiration today.  

 

I Might Get Traded

 

They sent the veteran second baseman

down to Fresno

so a 22-year-old kid could have

his playing time.

It’s a matter of investment:

Cheaper help

With a future.

Life in baseball

is limited.

But with a little luck in the Arts

you might last

right up to your deathbed.

Unfortunately

it took me

half an evening

just to write this.

it looks like

another slow night in

San Pedro.

 

 

 

The selected piece is from Bukowski’s book The Continual Condition. This work does an excellent job of pointing out the writer’s feeling the passage of time. He examines inwardly and uses the example of team sports to dissect his own accomplishments and his place in the universe. His frankness whilst dealing with self doubt is insightful and humorous. If you enjoyed this work I’d strongly encourage you to enjoy more Charles Bukowski here.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the recently revived Bored Shenanigans podcast. Our newest series “Story Time” is available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book here. Be sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Thomas Hardy was a celebrated writer. Known primarily for his novelized critique of Victorian society in England. His most acclaimed novels were Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd.  Hardy was also known for his dynamic poetry. His experimentation with style and his ability to manipulate language and stanzas in an unconventional way is powerful. His themes of loss and disappointment reverberate throughout his poems. His poems relating to the Boer War and World War One are amongst my favorites. I present to you one of my favorites.

 

 

The Man He Killed

“Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

“But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

“I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although

“He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.

“Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.”

Seeing the way the narrator interprets his enemy causes the reader to truly examine the humanity of both men involved. Hardy forces you to see that these are just two men who happen to be from different places. Others have declared them enemies, not the soldiers themselves. It delivers it’s point quickly and concisely without belaboring the point. If you need more of Thomas Hardy’s work you can find some examples here.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Bucky Sinister was the pseudonym, of David Lerner.  He was a renegade poet active in both the New York and San Francisco. He embraced the bohemian life and published a large number of articles in a variety of publications. He cofounded Zeitgeist Press which focused on publishing poets involved in the Babar Cafe. Affectionately known as the T.S. Elliot of the underground.

 

 

 

I Was With Her Long Enough To Change Brands of Cigarettes

We had split a bottle of wine and a pint of rum
before we went into the fair.
It started with a kiss on the ferris wheel.
I didn’t know that actually happened until then.
One of my favorite days of all time…

Six months later
I gave her money that she referred to as “fetus money.”
We were long over as a romantic couple.
That day she listed why she hated me.

I had told her that I was sorry and I said so again
but those words can’t take away a clumsy fuck.

The way she talked to me
it sounded like her mistakes
never hurt anyone but herself.
My mistakes have bad aim
and always seem to hit those near me.

This work oozes with the sarcastic wit of a failed relationship. It shows the rapid decline of infatuation with a candor often left out most writings. A cocktail mixing sinister dark imagery and profanity with a self-deprecating humor.  The above poem makes me wish that much more of Bucky Sinister’s poetry was collected and published before his death. Several of his works are featured in The Outlaw Bible Of American Poetry.  If beat poetry in the style of Ginsberg and Pablo Neruda are your thing, you will love his writings.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Susan Firer is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches women’s studies and creative writing. She has published six books of poetry and has been honored by her home city with the poet laureate.  Utilizing a vivacious and imaginative writing style she builds truly memorable poems.  You can view a  sample of her works here.

 

 

The Transit of Venus

The poppies start as aliens
end as husbands, a pause
of light, a dull scatter.
Transports dandelion clouds.
Venus passes between sun &
earth. Exceedingly rare, Transit,
have you noticed how close
the ode & elegy are?
(In the United States someone
dies every sixteen seconds!)
Husband, Supermoon, Venus
come & go. Death says there
is no you at the end of weather.
“Among the rarest of all predictable
astronomical . . .” Husband
presented me. The weatherman
says we are locked in the clouds.

The above is a great piece from Firer’s Transit of Venus.  I love this poem,  the way in which it connects all aspects of life so neatly. Successfully swirling wondrous mysteries and cosmic imagery into an elegant eighteen-line poem.  The final lines, in particular, resonated with me most of all. I will own this book, based solely on this poem and I hope that this writer continues to craft excellent verses for many years to come.

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

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Weekly Poetry Pick

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Jim Morrison is a rock and roll icon. His dynamic songwriting and piercing vocals helped propel The Doors to the legendary status they enjoy amongst music lovers. Easily one of the greatest frontmen of all time, Morrison’s charismatic way with words is something to behold. His collections of writings and poems are compelling and moving. I’d highly recommend any of them to fans of his music or just fans of surrealistic poetry, these are for you. There are a few examples of his poems on the following link.

 

Power

I can make the earth stop in

its tracks. I made the

blue cars go away.

I can make myself invisible or small.

I can become gigantic & reach the

farthest things. I can change

the course of nature.

I can place myself anywhere in

space or time.

I can summon the dead.

I can perceive events on other worlds,

in my deepest inner mind,

& in the minds of others.

I can

I am

The above is from Wilderness: The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison. While some have claimed this book is inaccessible, I never found it as such. I enjoyed this poem and the vast journey the reader is taken upon with it. The vastness and mental imagery are excellent and this could easily have a been a portion of a song. I found the transitions well done and you sort of waft through the entire piece until arriving at the end. All in all, this is a great bit of writing by an incredible writer. Truly Jim Morrison’s verses are some of the humanities’ finest.

 

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Saul Williams is a force of nature. A prolific and prophetic poet who emerged onto the slam poetry scene in the late nineties. He was the star of the films Slam and Today, was the lead in the Broadway musical Holler If you Hear Me, has released five records and six books of poetry. His spoken word performances are some of the most powerful that I have ever witnessed and I highly suggest you enjoy more of his work here.

She

We sleep
In the same house
But it is we
Who have a
Long distance relationship

I presented
My feminine side
With flowers
She cut the stems
And placed them gently
Down my throat
And these tulips
Might soon eclipse
Your brightest hopes

To aim
Is to take oneself too seriously
By focusing without instead of within
re arrange and re member
Aim…I am
The right letters are there
It’s the wrong composition…

 
The above excerpt from Saul’s slam masterpiece She. This is some of my favorite writing of all time. He is one of the few authors who can still send a shiver down my spine with every time I read his work. This poem explores the plethora of thoughts, emotions and feeling experienced during the relationship with the mother of his son. With vivacious and poignant imagery he shows how two people sometimes no longer fit together. This is one of his finest and if you enjoyed the above sample, I hope you will seek out his other work. There is truly a plethora of greatness authored by Saul Williams.

 

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Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Attila The Stockbroker is my absolute favorite poet of all time. A punk poet and folk singer who has written seven books of poetry released forty albums and performed over three thousand concerts. He has toured nonstop for thirty-five years and has maintained a DIY attitude his entire career. Arguments Yard, his autobiography came out last year and if you need some sharp-tongued, high energy social surrealist poetry in your life I highly suggest you check out his work here.

USE OF ENGLISH

The phrase ‘politically correct’
is not at all what you’d expect.
But how has it been hijacked so?
I’m going to tell you, ‘cos I know.

You’d think it should mean kind and smart
Radical and stout of heart
A way of living decently.
Well, so it did, till recently.

And then some cringing, nerdy divs
Sweaty, misogynistic spivs
Sad, halitosis-ridden hacks
all wearing lager-stained old macs
with spots and pustules and split ends
and absolutely zero friends
(Yes, living, breathing running sores:
The right wing press’s abject whores)
Were all told, by their corporate chiefs
To rubbish decent folks’ beliefs
To label with the phrase ‘P.C’
All that makes sense to you and me
And write off our progressive past.
Their articles came thick and fast
The editors gladly received them
and loads of idiots believed them.

You’ll find that most who use the term
Will only do so to affirm
Sad, bigoted, outdated views
they’ve swallowed via the Murdoch news.

 

 

I giggled aloud whilst reading this poem for the first time. The line hovered between linguistic elegance and hateful bile is breathtaking. Attila’s use of a simple rhyme scheme adds a bit of irony and taste that wouldn’t be present if this work was written in free verse. He cleanly states his views and challenges the reader to step above what is socially acceptable. Very on point, Attila drives his point home in his classic style. If you enjoyed the above, I highly suggest delving deeper into his works.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Weekly Poetry Pick

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Dorianne Laux is an award winning poet whose free verse poetry has a simple and elegant meter to it. Her ability to draw the reader into the beauty of the everyday is astounding. Laux has taught creative writing at the University of Oregon, Pacific University, and North Carolina State University and lives in North Carolina with her husband.  I strongly encourage all my readers to visit her site.

Ray at 14

by Dorianne Laux

Bless this boy, born with the strong face
of my older brother, the one I loved most,
who jumped with me from the roof
of the playhouse, my hand in his hand.
On Friday nights we watched Twilight Zone
and he let me hold the bowl of popcorn,
a blanket draped over our shoulders,
saying, Don’t be afraid. I was never afraid
when I was with my big brother
who let me touch the baseball-size muscles
living in his arms, who carried me on his back
through the lonely neighborhood,
held tight to the fender of my bike
until I made him let go.
The year he was fourteen
he looked just like Ray, and when he died
at twenty-two on a roadside in Germany
I thought he was gone forever.
But Ray runs into the kitchen: dirty T-shirt,
torn jeans, pushes back his sleeve.
He says, Feel my muscle, and I do.

 

 

I found the above poem thanks to the Writer’s Almanac Podcast with Garrison Keillor. I truly enjoyed this work. The writer does a commendable job of paying tribute to the deceased while showing the love she holds for Ray. It pushes the reader to connect with their own life and draw the parallel that when someone passes, they are never truly gone. I found a lot of comfort in the message from this poem and look forward to reading more work from this poet.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry by downloading his latest e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

George Orwell Complete Poetry Review

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-…Nothing believing, nothing loving,
Not in joy nor in pain, not heeding the stream
Of precious life that flows within us,
But fighting, toiling as in a dream…-

 

I’ll be honest, this collection of poetry wasn’t what I expected. More accurately it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I desperately wanted left leaning, anti-totalitarian verse draped in social satire. I wanted elegant lines questioning the very intention of imperialism. I wanted first hand experiences of humanity falling into mob mentality. I really wanted to fall in love with this book.  I wanted to be as infatuated by this collection as I’ve become with Orwell’s essays and novels. I wanted this to be the shining gem of Orwell September. I wanted this to be something, it was never going to be.

For a little background, this collection was published in October of 2015 after being withheld for many years by Orwell’s estate. By the author’s own admittance, he never held much fondness for his poetry.  This book gathers some of his earliest writings from his youth  all the way to his later life. It does a commendable job of prefacing them, so the reader can more fully appreciate the events of Orwell’s life. From the standpoint of historical interest and curiosity’s sake, it is fun to see how much his style evolved, but that is about where the fun ends. The poetry just isn’t very good.  In the words of  Dione Venable, the editor of this collection, “Orwell wasn’t a wonderful poet, but in his poetry he’s gloomy, he’s funny, he’s happy, he’s sad, and in the last things he wrote, you feel his pain.” As you read through it, you see him experimenting with  various styles and rhyme schemes but few ever seem to really resonate.

Now that the negatives are out of the way, there are a few pieces in this collection that are quite good.  In particular I enjoyed Ironic Poem About Prostitution and As One Non Combatant to Another. The dark satire that reverberates in these works is familiar to the fans of his writing. They provide a glimmer of what I had hoped for when I found this book. Other than a few lines from a smattering of poems, this entire collection left me feeling a bit flat. It was eighty two pages of mediocrity. I appreciated seeing another side of such a highly exalted author. I enjoyed seeing small shades of his excellent novels in these poems. Unless you’ve read everything else he’s ever written or your inquisitive nature just can’t let this one go, I would suggest you just pass on it. Sadly, this is the first Orwell I’ve ever read that I can’t really recommend.

 

 

Pagan
So here are you, and here am I,
Where we may thank our gods to be;
Above the earth, beneath the sky,
Naked souls alive and free.
The autumn wind goes rustling by
And stirs the stubble at our feet;
Out of the west it whispering blows,
Stops to caress and onward goes,
Bringing its earthy odours sweet.
See with what pride the the setting sun
Kinglike in gold and purple dies,
And like a robe of rainbow spun
Tinges the earth with shades divine.
That mystic light is in your eyes
And ever in your heart will shine.

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

Whiskey With Kerouac

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I got shitfaced with Jack Kerouac last night. Home alone and with no real desire to accomplish anything, I drank neat rye whiskeys and read Scattered Poems. For those unfamiliar, Scattered Poems is a collection of vulgar and visceral poetry from the author’s travels across America. It is excellent in every meaning of that word, but I’m not really here to discuss that. I am here to encourage you to remember to live life in your way. I want you to stop and enjoy the whole experience. To remember to be more than just be acquainted with what sings to the muse within you. To taste the entire encounter complete with inspiration, love, joy and rage.

Sometimes, you have to spurn responsibilities and follow your own agenda. Sometimes you have to do the impractical thing that feels right in that moment. Sometimes, you should make that last cocktail when you’re already on the edge of drunk. Sometimes you should eat that last piece of cake. Sometimes you should make conversation with a complete stranger. Sometimes you should walk barefoot in the grass and look at the stars. Sometimes, you should make some decisions in the now and enjoy life for the luscious mystery that lies within.

 

Reality will always be right there waiting for you when you return from your chosen sabbatical. It vigilantly stalks you eager to present you with a new list of demands. Ii will meet with higher tolls and more stringent responsibilities. It will take your spirit and rob your very essence if you allow it. It is imperative that we realize that we are so much more than our agendas and professions allow us to be. We are a vast conglomerations of hope, dream and desires. It is vital to the human condition that we feel and question and contemplate. It is vital that we do not lose touch with the impulses of our imagination. We must continue to wonder, or truly all is lost.

 

 

I encourage all of my illustrious readers to enjoy some of Mr. Kerouac’s fine writing here.

 

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland

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T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland is a long form, four hundred thirty four line poem divided into five parts. Written in 1922, it is waist deep in references to other pieces of literature and in his notes the author proudly cites his influences. It tells the basic legend of the holy grail interwoven with the author’s own conjectures and themes. Eliot switches narrators and shifts from philosophy to satire, making it somewhat difficult to follow. Do yourselves a favor and get a copy of this book with annotations, without them you will be lost in the weeds and curious as to the intentions of this poet.

I feel that parts four and five, Death by Water and What the Thunder Said are my favorite sections of this poem, mostly because they are the easiest to follow. Maybe it’s heresy, but I feel the entire work would have benefited from being a collection of poems as opposed to one long poem. The loose connection maintained throughout the text makes this somewhat difficult to comprehend and causes the reader’s experience to suffer

Overall, this is a great work. My major issues with it revolve around the inaccessibility this will exhibit to some readers. It’s a dense poem, that is hard to consume in large bites and most certainly is not a casual read. I read it twice with the annotations and a study guide as to not miss anything. Even with all that it is well worth your time if you’re willing to put in the extra effort. It’s an intense book, but the author’s talented word structure is unmatched. Often touted as one of the great poems of the twentieth century, this poem certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.  

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Bookshelf Memories

poetry

My wife and I just recently moved and while reorganizing things I found an extremely important totem from the past. The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry is one of the most important books in my personal library. Not because it holds any collector’s value or even because it’s my favorite book, it is simply because it’s an amazing reminder of a chance taken. It’s one of those valued pieces of pure sentimentality.

I had a spectacular English teacher during my junior year of high school. She was one of those rare educators that honestly gave a shit and put out genuine effort. Before entering her classroom doors, I didn’t even really care to read and really didn’t see the purpose of literature. Mrs. Smith turned my world upside down by showing me the importance of it all. Her curriculum focused on creative writing and reading comprehension. She believed that everyone enjoyed reading, the trick was finding what appealed to the individual. Her approach was one that I hadn’t experienced before that and I bought in completely. 

My world was truly turned on it’s side when Mrs. Smith started the section on poetry. Seeing that everyone and everything has poetry in it revolutionized my thought process. She saw how much I enjoyed reading the works of authors like Dylan Thomas and Edgar Allan Poe. She also recognized  much I enjoyed the release granted by writing putting my feeling down on paper. She was an endless fountain of encouragement, pushing me to enter poetry contests, constantly printed off poems from a variety of authors for me to read and offered an abundant amount of constructive criticism on my writing.

One day after class, she was going over one my poems with me and she handed me Alan Kaufman’s Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. It was a vast collection with poems from the likes of Jack Kerouac to Patti Smith to Tupac Shakur. It showed me how that, in poetry there are no rules. You are given uncompromising freedom to say what you want. I’d never read anything like it and I knew from that moment on, I would be writing poetry.

This book, those authors and that teacher successfully pushed me to be a writer. I so deeply appreciate a teacher taking a chance on a misguided kid and showing me an entire world of art I didn’t know about. So many of the things I value now were heavily influenced by Mrs. Smith back then. She was a phenomenal teacher who I’ll continue to cherish. Her best intentions and eye opening lessons will continue to dwell within the pages that well worn book upon my book shelf.

 

 

 

Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans podcast available via iTunes and Stitcher. See more of his articles here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here  or download his e-book hereBe sure to follow Bored Shenanigans on Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

Bored Shenanigans Podcast – Episode 23

Alternate title for this episode is Late Cast! Things have been sorted out so hopefully no more late episodes anytime soon. I’m sure you will hear all about it in like 2-3 week when the one we recorded on Friday goes up… Also before you try to be a smart ass and say “ooo Brewer you said you would get it up on Tuesday and you didn’t your not so great, fuck you” I never said what time zone. Here in Podcastia it is still Tuesday so, Fuck you, and quit your QQ ing!! Also there is talk of inventions and poetry, the place and evolution of nerd culture, BS productions siege of FOX news, weird things the Majorious Jarrett finds on the internet, and bad horror movies.

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Welcome to Bored Shenanigans.     

Welcome to Episode 23: Jar Jar Rides ze Shoopuf