Wednesday, April 21, 2010

scary, no scary

I like this, for instance, much better as a short story than as a poem.


Please tell me your best
facts about animals. I’m asking
everyone. I’ll begin.

The Tasmanian devils are being wiped
out by a frightful epidemic—like the
bees but worse. The epidemic
is actually called Devil Facial
Tumour Disease. It is communicable
within the species via bites
or especially vehement sex.

To sex a sea urchin, you tap it until
it emits a thin puddle of egg or sperm.
What if this worked on other things!
Imagine wondering what a thing is.
For the price of a few pats on the back,
the thing releases onto your
palm a frank sample, a tiny
pool of its own essence, meaning,
and being.

Maybe in another lifetime. Most
things are coy in our world.
They are couth.

Amy McDaniel


Oh, hell. Something else then. The smart little kid voice she's channeling is something of a thing these days. They say it goes back to James Tate and most recently I found Zachary Schomburg who does it par exsalonce. I haven't bought his book yet, but here is a good review of his most recent collection and here below is a sample of his work:

I know a dead wolf
we can climb inside
and beat

like little hearts.
It would maybe
come back

to life,
the wolf.


The old man
hunched over
at the front door
will be prepared
to give you a tour,
but first he’ll ask
scary, or no scary?

You should say
no scary.


I small-ly resent this mode because it enlists my sympathies so naturally, but is, ultimately, too easy to mimic, too reliant on those sympathies, and too islanded from other modes of discourse to stand perpendicular to the Ages. I don't know, yet, what that says about our times.

But the poems are frequently good.

Literature is a nettle field for some.


Hale True Benson Squire said...

reminds me of my friend Anna's Encyclopedia. It may not be just little kid voices you're hearing, but an imitation of naivete in general. It's hard to imitate unself-conscious talk, in writing. And even harder to imitate self-counscious talk.

Here's some real:

(be sure to back out and have a look at the explanation of the project. Pretty amazing: )

Whim said...

You're right. Maybe everyone is mimicking one mode or another, and perhaps which mode, knowing or naive, we use is predicted by the amount of authority that is allowed during the act?

But your friend's project is awesome.