Newspapers are economic and terse, gorging on scandal, crime and hearses. All loaded into the first paragraph, the rest of the inches are chaff. Books of poetry on the other hand are languid, variate tomes of a fruit cake. The only real hack of reading poetry is to disregard the poetry for its own sake.
Poetry is thrust upon the young minds in high school.
It starts as the English teacher puts on Dead Poets Society.
Then, the students bake in the darkness as they soak in the platitudes and anxiety.
The fertile brains will continue for months or years loving poems, it's quite cruel.
The books they do buy,
if they continue to read,
are those void of verse.
The short story is the form of the trick,
Parsing words and phrases in a click.
So take the poetic tale that unfolds,
And make it a story you are told.
Another book from your shelves you can lick.
Very much the same, flash fiction and poetry, though with different reflections.
One, the latter, is raised to lofty acclaim.
Muck-racking trash and gutter pulp, the former.
It's Wiener notation versus Fisher-Race all over again.
The masses, however, eat up the shorts in Baton Rouge with a bowl of gumbo.
Purists will be apoplectic at reading in a way where you're not soaking up the nuances, the breathe of a line, noticing how each stanza deconstructs the narrative and rebuilds itself into a whole. Suffering a loss of its inherent structural beauty. But you don't own a tweed jacket and don't hedonistically lay on couches unless it's glued to gunfire and spinning turtle shells.
If the thought of owning a book of poetry is less pleasant than re-watching your parents' colorectal exams, it's apparently a thoughtful gift you can wrap and send along its way to a friend or acquaintance you've seen at one point in time with a book in their home that wasn't sitting on the toilet.
Should you instead present it as a romantic gesture to an unloathed one, the backfire will be most apparent.
Written on Friday, 14 February 2014