Weekly Poetry Pick

poetry

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.

poetry5

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.

bslogo

Advertisements

Weekly Poetry Pick

poetry5

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.

 

 

poetry

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

poetry4

 

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.

 

poetry5

 

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

poetry

 

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

poetry

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

orwell2

-…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

irresponsible

 

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.