Spring 2009

Table of Contents - Vol. V, No. 1


Poetry     Interview     Translations     Fiction     Book Reviews

Dan Cuddy


Large Poem Writ Small or Vice Versa


(what an obsessive pronoun that "I")

think about writing a P*O*E*M
writ large
with the Great Old Concepts
but this is the age of Sponge Bob Squarepants
Hannah Montana
and financial hysteria

the words are puny concepts
that worm across the PC screen
now and then
but signifying nothing
but arbitrary ingenuity

and I talk too logically
that is subject-verb-object
to be postmodern
or post-language
where words spin out of control
like Darth Vader's little plane
at the end of Star wars Episode IV
which was really episode I

this poem at least
is a trivial pursuit
no beauty
even in a 1948 bathing suit
Atlantic City
Bess Myerson
gams that a gentle razor coveted

this poem is more like lust
than love
no discrimination in its sensibilities
and too abstract
like a commentary
for anyone hot and bothered and "cool"

this poem is so self-conscious
of its quasi-art
the plunking of words on a screen

not even paper now
not a notebook
the poet remotely types from a keyboard
no ink meshes into paper
no real experience gets into the words
just a lot of negation
running on at the mouth
happy to drool all over itself

is the poet or the poem
a rhetorical question
but this is too much like prose
too transparent
no strategy of camouflage
adjectives pecking and nicking at each other
like caged birds

I feed the words my ego
the language loves to eat me up
spit me out
for a poem
that sits in the alley
the can's lid not tightly on
a little to the side
the poet squinched up
in his own image
but not like a religious sacrifice
but like a bad loan

can't help making references
to the times
and the problems that point
their pea shooters at you
right in the eye
your net worth sinks
like the value of a post-modern poem
without Truth-Beauty-Art

it is just
in blue jeans
holes at the knees

all covered
head to toe
with tapioca pudding
and some mafioso licking
illegal areas

a pile of dirt in a museum
and the landscape man
the guy who cuts the grass
is an artist
especially in protest
dumping clumps of dirt

what are we protesting?
the Pope?
Nazi brutality?
our own small concepts?
Our own protests?

this is a post-modern poem
in the vernacular

if we were only babies.....


© Dan Cuddy



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