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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On Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, I felt it appropriate to select some of his work. I believe that Poe’s reputation has preceded him.  He was a master wordsmith who contributed greatly to the genres of science fiction and the detective story. His signature macabre style and vast vocabulary still stand out amongst the throngs of written word. So in celebration of the man, I present to you one of my favorites.

 

 

 

Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov’d — I lov’d alone —
Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still —
From the torrent, or the fountain —
From the red cliff of the mountain —
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold —
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by —
From the thunder, and the storm —
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view —

 

 

 

The above work was never printed during Poe’s lifetime. He signed a fan’s autograph book with it and after a stringent verification process, it was confirmed as his. I love the panache of Poe to sign an autograph with an original poem. Alone does a fantastic job of capturing the feelings we all have when we are by ourselves. It seeps through the words and highlights the small things that he has loved by himself. All that he loves, he loves wholly by himself. It mirrors each of us, as we have those things that we hold dearest but do so by ourselves, alone. For more of Poe’s excellent poetry, I suggest you go 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.