Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Time Cappy Got Stuck in a Poetry Slam

(This is a book review, but the story I use to introduce it might be of some entertainment value)

There are only a few things I genuinely loathe and hate in this world.

One is split pea soup.  No matter how much bacon you put in it, you are not going to get me to drink that 70's carpet green slop.

Two is theater.  I do not like theater.  I've attended more than several at the behest and begging of women and without fail they merely made me wish I hadn't wasted my life attending.

And the third is poetry.

I remember a long time ago an elderly Jewish friend of mine who would pay me to be his sober cab and I'd chauffeur him around the Twin Cities in the pursuit of younger women and booze.  We were reasonably successful because he was charming and had decent game, but his skills unfortunately landed us in, of all things, a....

poetry slam.

He had hooked up with some young 20 something liberal arts type girls and they invited us to see them and their colleagues perform at some fleeting shithole some idiot artist tried to make a profitable "art business" out of on 1st Avenue in DT Minneapolis.  We walked in and sure enough every imaginable stereotype was confirmed.  Women with pits you knew weren't shaved.  Men who would lose a fight against the women if there were to be a "Wrestlemania" in the venue.  And above all else the poetry.

Oh the poetry.

I'd rather drink the 70's green split pea soup slop.

Nothing intelligent.  Nothing insightful.  And always, always, always political.

Add to that these 20 somethings (who no doubt were still living off of a subsidy from their parents) waxed poetically in such an arrogant, self-absorbed manner over garbage that would thankfully never be remembered by the world, and it was the biggest waste of time I ever spent trying to chase tail.  Never would I ever attend a "poetry slam" again.

Inevitably I couldn't take it anymore because it WAS torturing my brain.  So I excused myself, told my elderly Jewish buddy to call me when he needed me to pick him up, and headed to Lee's Liquor Lounge in the hopes of finding an ingot of a babe I may have missed the past 40 times.

Regardless, the point is I HATE poetry.  I've never liked it, and I doubt I ever will.  So you can imagine my joy when I was asked to review "The End of Ideology" a book by Blair Naso of ROK fame.

I was honest with him saying my time would have to be compensated for reading poetry and that I was not a fan of the genre at all.  But still, he agreed and I read through a sampling of the book he sent me.  And for split pea soup, it ain't bad.

Naturally if you're like me and DON'T like poetry, this is not the book for you.  But if you are more of the artistic nature and DO like poetry, you will certainly want to spend the money on this instead of the cover charge for SJW, leftist, feminist, emo infested poetry slam.

It is written by a young man, and thusly many of the poems will relate to men.  His "Online Dating" poem is pretty funny, "Daddy's Little Girl" is hilarious though dark, and I did enjoy the "Story from the Tavern."  But there are also some dark and effective poems such as "I Killed a Man Today" the somberness, directness, and lack of emotion I very much appreciated.

Still, not my cup of tea, but if there are any poetry aficionados out there of the male persuasion, I'd strongly recommend Mr. Naso's work.


David Suspended said...

Cap, you probably don't hate poetry all that much, rather you just hate bad poetry. Unfortunately, most modern poetry (as well as most modern art) is quite bad and created by talentless losers and praised by other talentless losers.

Try reading some Dickinson, Longfellow, Tennyson, etc. I would suggest "There's a certain slant of light" or "Because I could not stop for death" by Dickinson or "A psalm of life" by Longfellow.

Anonymous said...

Can't go wrong with Kipling.

Anonymous said...

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

I was 'instructed' in high-school that this William Carlos Williams poem was at the 'pinnacle' of Western thought and expression.

David Lee Roth has uttered mightier and more profound verse when he was near passed-out drunk, and was unaware he was even speaking.

We need to think of anything that is labeled Western Avant Garde Writing as total fraud. That would include 99.9% of all modern american poetry.

You nailed it again, Cap. Some days I think that it is only my lower middle-class income financial status that keeps me from taking-up a heroin habit to kill the pain.

Grizzly said...

I've come to the conclusion that the reason so many men hate literature is because the schools primarily teach crap. You're forced to sit through Death Of A Salesman, but they never give you the opportunity to read Caesar's Notes On The Gallic War.

There's poetry, and then there's poetry. What you hate is modern poetry, and in the history of the English language, it is absolutely the worst. I read through the samples on Amazon, and unfortunately its not very good.

You might like Anglo-Saxon poetry. It's extremely masculine. For example, from The Seafarer, written sometime in the 10th century:

Always and invariably,
One of three things
Will turn to uncertainty
Before his fated hour:
Disease, or old age,
Or the sword's hatred
Will tear out the life
From those doomed to die.

And so it is for each man
The praise of the living,
Of those who speak afterwards,
That is the best epitaph,
That he should work--
Before he must be gone--
Bravery in the world
Against the enmity of devils,
Daring deeds against the fiend,
So that the sons of men
Will praise him afterwards,
And his fame afterwards
Will live with the angels
For ever and ever

Ron Pavellas said...

Upon Reading the Works of Joseph Conrad

He, in his generosity and compulsion,
Presents us with a universe unknown
To lubbers such as we

Where straight men and not so straight
Confront, because there can be no other way for them,
The Inevitable:

the awesome powers of wind and water
the workings of chance
one's own angels and demons
ever-hovering Death

They, accumulated from everywhere and nowhere,
Pull together, though love and hate, or tempt the ultimate loss,
For one usually respects Death more than one cherishes hate

And so, the Captain-Master-God of each vessel
Forms his sometimes rebellious crew of disparate souls,
Whose peculiar desires combine to bring stuff from there to here

But the bringing and returning of other men's goods is not the goal
The prize is the self-recognition of

one's strength
one's resolve
one's skill
one's very manhood

Until the sea,
Or the land for those who tire before an honorable end,
Calls them to its forever embrace

Anonymous said...

all fine poems or if you'd like to go older still:

"What! Postumus, are you, you who once had your wits, taking to yourself a wife? Tell me what Tisiphone, what snakes are driving you mad? Can you submit to a she-tyrant when there is so much rope to be had, so many dizzy heights of windows standing open, and when the Aemilian bridge offers itself to hand? Or if none of all these modes of exit hit your fancy, how much better to take some boy-bedfellow, who would never wrangle with you o' nights, never ask presents of you when in bed, and never complain that you took your ease and were indifferent to his solicitations!"

Juvenal Satire VI, written sometime in the 1rst or 2nd century

pretty much all the "classics" taught in school are nothing of the sort while the real classics are all but forgotten because they deal with reality rather than the narrative the schools are trying to sell.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Could be worse, could be Vogon poetry...

melmoth said...

I love literature, especially older stuff and I hate poetry. (Admitting to loving literature on Cappy's turf is about like driving a cherry red Impala through Cripville, heh) I know some of the ancient poetry is valid but there is something about poetry that just leads to that kind of modern art shtick, just naturally. The modern art shtick is just putting something out there that is completely easy to do and just sit back and watch people knock themselves out with 'interpretations'. The idea (that I don't agree with) is that poetry is the highest form of the written word because each word has more weight. So it just naturally will get this kind of pumped up, self-important cheesiness. Even the best poetry naturally overrates itself because of the 'density' the words have, supposedly. So a shorter poem will even be more dense, showing even more facility/economy/genius with words.

Here's my poem then;


Bucket in the grass.

Okay, that's it. Genius. Only four words. DENSE.