Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

  • Music:

Does bad poetry matter?

Today was not a bad day at all. I felt that I was able to get a lot of things done, and that my remaining to do list is becoming manageable. I was excited when someone gave me a copy of a book, which people do sometimes because I somehow manage to be an top 500 reviewer. I used to review a lot of things on Amazon, but I see that I have not reviewed anything since 801 Live!, which, frankly, is a wonderful CD to be one's most recent review. I wish that all art rock albums rocked out like that one does. Call me a relic, but I love Eno's vocals on this one. Perhaps my personal mission in life should be to learn all the words to "Miss Shapiro", "Rongwrong" and "Third Uncle", but at least I know all the words to "Baby's On Fire" (but never sing them in public, what with them being about a baby on fire, and all).

The book is called Texas Teachers, and I'm really excited to read it. It's a capsule of short bios of real world real teachers who do their job well. I am really attracted to those "short bullet point" coverages of things. Give me bite-size, just like those odd miniature Chung King egg roll bitlets I'm apt to make for myself when my wife is out of town.
Actually, on second thought, I think I deserve a trip to
the Pakistani-Indian buffet in Richardson. What a lovely way to spend an evening alone, ingesting Tandoor and feeding my inner Mr. Chips.

I like to read books about "ordinary people" who get the job done. I like that Peter Beagle bit about how we always celebrate the wrong people--conquerors and such, and how instead we must celebrate "the colonizers of dreams". My own experience is that so many teachers and professors colonized my dreams. I can't say, really, that school shaped my reading list much before law school, but somehow school was the nice ambient music while I pursued my own personal solos of ringing, if sometimes discordant glissandi. I was pleased that a colleage at another firm with whom I met today nearly got his PhD in English. He gave up and went into law because the job market was so tough in English. I find this Hobson's choice is one a lot of folks face--cool job, no money, or job with income, no time to enjoy it.

Now I've finished my late Friday evening meeting, I've got Be Bop Deluxe's Sunburst Finish album on. "Heavenly Homes" has already spinned through, in which the vocalist assures his lover that though he'd like to hold her through "the fields of darkest blue", which I believe in context to be a night metaphor rather than anything more ornately salacious, but that, in fact, heavenly homes are hard to find. Now I'm listening to "Ships in the Night", though, one of my personal favorites--"without love, we are like ships in the night; without love, selling our souls down the river, sailing away, and forever, our pleasure is blue". I've been less happy with my journal this last week or two, as it is too emotional-content-based, so it's a nice break to hear a solid sax line fade into a pleasant piano jog instead of all those darn feelings. If only I had the album with "Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape"'s live version here at work. I love the piercing guitar solo in that--glissandi which sends me as near to Heaven at 43 as it did at 18. I'm a fossil--but a fossil for truth and virtue.

I am pondering this thing. I hate the notion of releasing books in places where the people who "own" the place would not be comfortable with the idea. But I am ready to put books into the wild. I must ponder this a bit, but this weekend I will make my first release. I've only got 4 in my library so far, but more will be up soon,and if anyone wants one, I'll be happy to send them. The only obligation is to release them free to someone else or the metaphoric "wild"--like some Heavenly Home where all our books cross like Ships in the Night.

As I write this, Bill Nelson is singing:

"Go and tell all your friends that you've witnessed the end of the world in a dream".

On the subject of books, I am in desperate re-read mode. I was so impressed a while back by a thread in someone's journal in which so many people said they had not read "Lord of the Rings". Now for those of us in the age bracket from say, 40 to 49, not having read "Lord of the Rings" is almost, but not quite, a bit like not having learned the Pledge of Allegiance. I think it's kinda cool, in a way, to have abstained from such a commonplace touchstone of our culture, although, frankly, I imagine that a lot of things, like Stars Wars and Harry Potter, are less affecting if one cannot recognize old Frodo's shadow looming over them, like some odd hobbit dark lord who kept the ring and wrote books with it.

But I say that people should not worry. I, Gurdonark, read this book several times a year. In essence, it's some theory of equivalence. I've read the work dozens of times by now. So I kinda make up for all the folks who, for good reasons--lack of time, love of Edmund Wilson, the need to stand out from we the common herd, have delightfullly abstained. I feel your lack, my brethren and sistren, and grok its fullness in the core of my elf-infested being. So I will re-read Lord of the Rings for the xmillionth time, to relieve someone else from having to do so. Then I'll re read Mr. Chips and maybe those first two James Herriott books. Give me comfort food, please, and maybe gulab jamun afters.

I'm into incrementalism this week. I did not mail out my four packages, but I got most of them addressed. Saturday, I have every hope of stopping at some rural TX postoffice on our way to Arkansas, and posting each and everything. I am so committed to catching up the last poems and scrapbooks and exchanges and kindnesses that I need to do to take my place among the moral beings of this planet.

I love the way the CD is soundtracking me:
"My world is not like yours, I come from someplace long ago.
Now there's no way back, I'm lost and I feel so alone. Life in the Air Age isn't all the brochures say".

But the topic I affixed to this post is about bad poetry, and in particular "does it matter"? Let me posit a theory. I opine that bad poetry, bad art, and art rock do not matter per se, as things that kindly but astute (and rather over-attuned to sexual metaphor) nuns will cover on the PBS art shows of the future. But bad poetry matters, because when I open an envelope with a exchange, a bad poem is like a little valentine, but not the valentine of romance and intrigue and relationship, but the true-felt valentine of the
heart and soul. A valentine without strings, a valentine without a kiss, a valentine without genderal interplay, a valentine free of hormones. What could be bad about that? This is why I do silly trades on, the sillier the better. This is why I do postcardx and send my home-done photos on corruplast. I love to read the heart of the matter, and I love to pinch off my heart, and pop it in an envelope. I want to get back to writing my heart in turgid verse, and passing it out those any who want it. Oh, and I want to try one more time to mix my CD, so that my heart can have voice,
or, failling that, beg scottm to mix it for me, after all.
I want my heart mixed into two stereo tracks, with the sound of an electric football field hummin'. Take that, major league baseball!
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