Bringing Sexy Back (to Poetry)

I have been slowly working on a response poem to Charles Bukwoski’s comments about how poetry has been a gutless art. He was drunk as hell in this interview, but a few things he said were good. A few things he said were bullshit. But he’s always been like that. He, like all of us poets, liked to grandstand for attention. I hope my poem will be an adequate tribute to, and dialog with the grumpy old codger.

Though there were things he said which I disagree with, I liked his claim that poetry has all the energy of a big Hollywood industry or  a Broadway stage play; “All it needs is practitioners who are alive to bring it alive.”

I know I sound crazy, but I hope to be one of the voices like Mathew MacFayden or Thomas O’Bedlam (a pseudonym, his YouTube screen name is spokenverse), who helps to bring the art alive. While God did not bless me with a voice as amazing as these two, I still wish to be among them, and the poets who not only speak to us, but speak to us more clearly than ever before in the history of the English language. I know, I know; I’ve got big dreams. Here’s a link to my YouTube channel where I tend to highlight other poets more than myself (got lots of things being submitted to publish though) Watch and listen to these next two clips and see if you don’t think that maybe poetry can still reclaim relevance in our modern world.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jesse Steck says:

    Bukowski did have a tendency to ramble on when he was drunk. I’m not sure he actually believed everything he said, especially when he was in his cups. But I do agree that there are enough writers out there, amateur and professional, who spend their time crying about their pitiful emotions. I am beginning to see writing as a sport rather than an art. And it’s not a sport for the weak. Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom have no soul. Bukowski wrote poetry that was as likely to cut you as move you. I like that in a writer.


  2. sonofwalt says:

    Oh, I could see the old man and I arguing, drinking and caring deeply about each other. He reminds me of my own poetry mentor. God, George… do you read this blog, will you forgive me?

    But yes, I agree, it’s the poetry without soul, which gets to me. And if one does not believe in soul, than we can say guts. There is so much stuff out there that has the form of the art, but not the guts.

    And the way it is often taught? As if the goal is to bore students with our knowledge, rather than to excite, or as Poe said, “elevate the soul.” No wonder people don’t read like they used to.


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