The posts about children’s poetry (c is for cup and Lemony Snicket stuff) reminded me of Shel Silverstein poetry and how its got some pretty adult content, in regards to incredibly dark humor, and I don’t know just general scary bizarre things like being a bare skeleton or having hinges on your head-accompanied by drawings. They also teach real world mature lessons. I think it’s pretty interesting that this poetry is lauded and deemed acceptable for children (I mean I personally have no problem with children reading it, and think it’s great, but I do find it interesting that it’s not like controversial or anything.) I have a terrible memory, but I do remember some of Silverstein’s poetry from when I was really young, it definitely stuck with me. I remember thinking this dark humor was funny and didn’t realize it was dark because I was a child, I enjoyed more that they were kind of riddles. I think that this tint of darkness definitely makes these poems more appealing to older audiences. Interestingly Johnny Cash’s song “A Boy Named Sue” is a Shel Silverstein poem- I mean I am not sure if this one is meant for children but here, because it is great/ <3 Johnny Cash. There is also a version with Shel Silverstein playing along with Johnny Cash but wow it is so horrible I really suggest that no one watches it. Anyways I am definitely going to have my kids read his poetry because now looking back, I can see the value of this poetry from a different perspective.
Both of your posts brought up slam poetry in my mind. I never really know how I feel about slam poetry since it incorporates tonal shifts in voice with actually performing and moving–and these tonal shifts are so much more exaggerated then when you hear a poet read their work. I think I’m on the fence mainly because it kind of makes me uncomfortable for some reason, which is saying a lot coming from me. I think the fact that poetry is so personal to the narrator, and then there they are loudly expressing it, is the reason for this, or maybe it’s because I can’t read it alone in my own space. Either way, this is one slam poetry video that I actually enjoy. I think it is really well done, but maybe I’d be on edge if I was in the audience. I’m curious about other people’s thought on slam poetry/ if they have considered doing it.
I always struggle with what to post here, so I try and do something fun for me (I am sorry if it’s only fun for me.) I’m really interested in social aspects of life, and how they mix with technology (aka the internet, iphones, facebook..so on.) There is a wealth of things to be said, and these things can be expressed in the sphere they exist in (I’ll show you what I am trying to say shortly.) I’m also really fond of lingo and how other people speak and describe things. I think it’s cool that lingo can place you in a specific time period as well. With all this in mind I’ve been playing around with a few ideas, one attempting to make poems out of text messages. They haven’t been coming out that great – it’s hard with a limited set of words! Although they don’t make perfect sense I think they kind of convey how it is living in this age. It’s also fun to find poetry in unexpected places! I aim for my next ones to make more sense, and maybe to try and do a series with texts, which explores this idea better. Having a few work together might clarify. I donno! I hope this inspires other people to look for poetry in strange places.
Ur a beautiful monster; I blame your teeth.
I understood josey language.
At least the past month ive bin with her everyday keeping her
Company. How long do we
wait? Theres no hug like a warm josen hug–Somehow, you made my
lip all pale. I look like a corpse. Ps
if that’s a selfie then im not doing that anymore. Shes drunk
in our hotel. I think it’s the
lambs wool tie. Watch your drink. Your most likely to see
Fennel and swiss chard other than
the carrots. I think richs dog in
buried in there tho so be
careful. Im sorry its shocking.
How long do we wait? Ur a
creature. Peppers. Cucumbers.
Beans. Fennel. Corn. All sorts of lettuce. Swiss chard. Ahhhh.
Erika’s exercise (the one where she had us construct a list, and then suggested writing poetry from it) inspired me. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to just sit down and write a poem. I think that this is because for some reason I am worried that it will be really bad, and don’t want to put in the effort to create something bad, or it will be borderline good and I won’t be able to decide if I like it, or maybe I am afraid of where the poem will take me. I honestly do not know, but I feel some sort of pressure sometimes. I decided that I would try and combat this pressure by doing a similar thing to Erika’s exercise(< this word will never look like it’s spelled correctly to me). My exercise is to come up with a short list of completely random things- something funny someone said, or something that is just floating in my mind so I want to write it down, something interesting from the day, a weird word– literally anything, and challenge myself to write a poem with these items/thoughts/etc. I decided that I would write these poems incredibly fast, I also decided that another thing that takes the pressure off is allowing these poems to be completely nonsensical. My list from the other day is as follows:
-baby chicks in blenders
-outer space- aliens being 5ft tall
-“the shitzus in Pittsburgh suck”‘
-heirloom tomatoes are the sexiest tomatoes
Big colossal hands cup my ankles like
I am at the edge of a cliff, belly banging against gravel
childsposing to my death. Do not release I repeat in robo-tongue
Don’t wish to live among the ones who exhale stardust–though
I will greet them eye-level.
The Shitzus in Pittsburgh
suck when I visit they stumble over themselves like my
mother after she has had
half a glass of wine (she’s a lightweight). Do not
release the golden egg you have kept
for science class: she has eyes and a nose and a mouth and
seems so personable but
everything looks the same in a blender.
The bar tab is higher than an old oak and
people are debating which tomato is the sexiest. Thumbing
through the pages of a cook book brings back memories
of thick pot roast stew: feelings of home and suede t-shirts.
Everything feels profound when there’s a lack of oxygen to the brain.
So this poem is weird as hell, and doesn’t really make sense. I tried to connect it all together by suggesting that maybe the narrator is hallucinating because he/she is about to die. Although this poem isn’t particularly good, it helped me come up with some ideas for a new poem like childposing to your death, robo-tongue, greeting aliens eye level since they are apparently 5 feet tall, and other ideas that surfaced. Hopefully if I do this enough I will come up with lots of new unique images and ideas to keep me inspired. I’m curious to see if other people feel pressured when they begin to write, and the things they do to combat this pressure, since pressure is pretty discouraging.
Charlie Sheen published a poetry memoir titled “A Peace of My Mind” in 1991. I think it’s interesting to read poetry written by celebrities because although most everything is made public, poetry is still very personal, and is usually created when the author is alone. I think this gives a special insight into the poet as a person. It is kind of hard to think of celebrities as fellow people because of how high the pedestal we put them on is. No one treats celebrities like normal people, and no one really gives them the respect that would be granted to any other individual. People feel perfectly comfortable tearing these people apart verbally, and bombarding them regardless of what they are doing; based off of an incredibly impersonal opinion. Sheen talks about this in his poem “I-media-etly.” It’s normal to call a celebrity crazy, although the general public doesn’t really know them; at all. Through poetry you kind of learn about how the poets mind works based on the words they choose, the way they compose these words, the ideas they convey, and the images they include. You kind of get a realer feel of their innards.
Sheen’s poetry is really dark, sexually twisted, and the tone is full of so much anger. Although I must admit, I only read what was available online, so this is referring to those poems and not his entire body of work. In “I-media-etly” it seems like Sheen talks about how soulless and fake the paparazzi is, and how they kind of run his life. “The Gavel of Truth” seems to be about Sheen’s struggle with himself. His choice in rhyming is interesting in that it gives these angry, dark, poems a playful sound. Rhyming always reminds me of childhood poems; or poems that are meant to be lighthearted. I don’t think light hearted is the theme of any of these poems though. Sheen uses a lot of abstractions and clichés. He refers to the paparazzi as ticks and eyes as lifeless in “I-media-etly,” and depicts death in a black coat with a scythe in “The Gavel of truth.” There aren’t that many creative images that aren’t disgusting or sexually twisted. Perhaps this could be fixed with structure, but Sheen really does not play around with lines at all. There are no surprises in regard to line or structure, which takes away a lot of reader interest. Sheen also has every line capitalized, but because his work isn’t particularly well written, it’s kind of hard to tell if this was a poetic choice, or if he just didn’t care that this is what happens when you type on Microsoft Word.
The titles are both kind of lame in my opinion, and don’t really add insight or interest into the poems. The ending of “I-media-etly” links back to the title which seems kind of childish and too full circle. “The Gavel of Truth” offers nothing new to the poem. Before I wrap this up, the last stanza of “I-media-etly” must be discussed. Did I just read what I thought I read? About stroking flaccid meat-ew- and cum filled eye sockets? Yes.. Yes I did. This stanza is out of place, like it was composed for shock value. I think it is meant to shame the paparazzi by saying that they follow Sheen around so much that they must want to sleep with him, but I am really not quite sure. Maybe that’s just how his mind works, and the images he forms. Only Sheen knows. I would also like to comment on how Sheen signed his poems, but I’m not sure if that’s how they appear in his book, so I won’t. How anti-climactic. I think what bothers me the most about these poems is the complete lack of tact. I guess it’s cool to be unapologetic but this was just not enjoyable to read. That’s ok though. His poetry doesn’t have to be for me. I think poetry should be for the writer, and hopefully these poems helped Sheen come to peace with his mind.