Poetics and Poetry Discussion
(1/26/2014 6:46:00 PM)
'Tony/Therrie', why do you need the alias?Were you hurt as a child, molested by someone with a mask?Don't adopt their behavior, you're better than that. Talk to us as yourself. You'll feel so proud and much better. And you know what?We'll be proud of you too. Yep, we sure will. Now, log off, and come back on as YOU. Nobody will laugh at you. Tell ya what, if they laugh at you, I'll chide them for it. OK. Go on. Log off now. You can do it. We like you for you. -LP
(1/26/2014 1:02:00 PM)
Yes, I'm blowing my horn again, but it could be worse; I could be boring the shit out of everyone like another Therrie.! My good friend and yoga teacher Frank Boccio posted this review of my new book on Goodreads.
Frank Jude's review Jan 26,14
5 of 5 stars
Read in January,2014
Jefferson Carter is a poet living in Tucson since 1954. For thirty years he taught full-time at Pima Community College, his last eighteen as Writing Department Chair. He’s a passionate volunteer for Sky Island Alliance, a local environmental organization as well as a long-time yogin. His work has appeared in journals like Carolina Quarterly, Sonora Review, Spork, Barrow Street, Cream City Review, and New Poets of the American West. In 1991, he won a Pima/Tucson Arts Council Fellowship. His fourth chapbook, Tough Love, won the Riverstone Poetry Press award. Sentimental Blue, his seventh chapbook, appeared in 2007 from Chax Press (Tucson) .
Chax Press also published My Kind of Animal in 2010 as well as his recent collection of poetry, Get Serious, which has been selected as one of the Southwest Books of the Year (2013) , and deservedly so. W. David Laird had this to say about Get Serious: “Filled with fun as well as thoughtful innuendo…. Wonderful humor, terrific images, hardly a rhyme in sight.” Jefferson and I snickered a bit the other day before class, as I paraphrased Laird and said, “yeah, oodles of fun! ”
Yes, I know Jefferson Carter; he takes my class at Tucson Yoga, so I will gladly cop to perhaps having some bias. In fact, I even make an “appearance” in his poem, “Cat Pose” where he writes: “My teacher likes/”hospice” as a metaphor/for life. Why maim/each other?We’re all/patients here.” But I didn’t HAVE to write this review, after all; I could have merely ignored the fact that I had read it! And despite the reference to humor (which is certainly there; reading one of his poems in the Tucson Museum of Art’s café garden, I laughed out loud, nearly spewing my cappuccino out my nose!) , one of the things I appreciate about Jefferson is how he plays such a wonderful curmudgeon. Maybe it’s because my dad was one, or maybe because I harbor an inner curmudgeon myself, but I enjoy a bit of feisty, crustiness and cynicism. I especially appreciate when he tells us that his wife, perhaps exasperated by his “negativity, ” tells him: “You know… if you were happier, you’d be happier.” All this works because you don’t have to have Jefferson placed right in front of you as you lead a yoga class to see how obvious this crustiness is but a soft coating over the heart of a romantic, replete with a compassionate response to, and acknowledgement of duhkha. At times, the poet he most reminds me of is Billy Collins, but a more mordant, twisted, even punk Collins.
Carter is not afraid to touch upon subjects that many would shy away from, and offered especially from his sometimes willfully politically incorrect perspective. This isn’t to say he’s some kind of bigot, racist, sexist, right-winger. Far from it! His politics seem to be very much of the leftist persuasion; he just doesn’t necessarily honor the left’s sacred cows either.
He is out-and-out ascerbic in a poem like “American Ingenuity, ” or “An Apology For Wannabes” where he writes:
In this Age
of Irony, let me,
as one of our
political sock puppets
used to say, let me
say this about that –
the lessons you
learn from history
would be noisy
as a marching band
& empty as a Kleenex box
on the table
outside some senator’s
Whew! I just LOVE the bite of that language. And then he can completely sucker-punch you with the tenderness of “Johnny-Jump-Up”
… my son giggles as I bend my body
into position three of Surya
Namaskara, the salutation
to the sun. I breathe as if I believe
yoga will make me young, a faith like
letters to the editor or small checks
mailed to an honest politician. Too
skeptical to chant Om Shanti Shanti,
I stop and kiss my laughing son, breathing
his odor, a sweetness the world once had.
I read that poem and my heart brakes with recognition. (Jefferson has written a whole collection, None of This Will Kill Me, about fatherhood) .
Jefferson writes a lot about his cats and dogs, too, from waking up “eye-to-eye with the cat’s anus” to damning anyone who would deny his dog a soul. There’s also the poems where humor and political incorrectness can come together like in the deliciously funny “Land Of The Pharaohs” where we get to see Jefferson, who “loves being called ‘brother’ by black men” at a poetry reading saying: “…let me lay something white & uptight on you brothers.”
" I recite my poem
about Martians & Geiger counters,
its conclusion an ironic invitation
to Jesus to drop by some morning
for coffee. They hate it."
I cannot hold back my laughter visualizing the scene! Or again in “Thunder” when he imagines the inner life of his dog, “half-blind, diabetic, fat as a woodchuck, ” burrowing into his bed between him and his wife,
“trembling like she’s never heard
thunder before. Maybe she hasn’t
she lives so much in the moment.
Here’s her day: I was in. Now I’m out.
I was out. Now I’m in. You going
to eat that?You going to eat that?
I’ll eat that! Here’s her night so far:
What’s that?Thunder. What’s that?
Thunder. What’s that?Thunder."
The collection ends with “Helen, ” one of the sweetest, most honest yoga poems I’ve ever read, with none of the sticky sentimental treacle or portentous symbolism that is so often found in contemporary yoga poetry. It’s about a 90-year old yoga practitioner who farts throughout class, “backfiring like/an old Vespa among the scented/candles.”
" Nobody laughs. Certainly
not me. No jokes about gasasana,
the five inner winds, the vibrations
of the blissful sheath. I’m practicing
ujaiyi breath, pretending I’m fogging
a mirror, imagining my blurred reflection,
which is almost nothing & preparing
to bow & say the divine in me
bows to the divine in you."
He manages to get it both ways, getting the laughs and the sincerity and reverence.
Jefferson complains that nobody says “Go, cat go” anymore.
Well, Jefferson, GO CAT, GO!
If you'd like to order this book, go to www.chax.org
Sherrie Kolb Cassel
(1/26/2014 8:51:00 AM)
| Read 3 replies
While the embarrassingly stupid continue their playtime, I continue to offer poetry. Wishing you all a less embittered day - and a life.
By Mark Jarman
Everything’s happening on the cusp of tragedy, the tip of comedy, the pivot of event.
You want a placid life, find another planet. This one is occupied with the story’s arc:
About to happen, on the verge, horizontal. You want another planet, try the moon.
Try any of the eight, try Planet X. It’s out there somewhere, black with serenity.
How interesting will our times become?How much more interesting can they become?
A crow with something dangling from its beak flaps onto a telephone pole top, daintily,
And croaks its victory to other crows and tries to keep its morsel to itself.
A limp shape, leggy, stunned, drops from the black beak’s scissors like a rag.
We drive past, commenting, and looking upward. A sunny morning, too cold to be nesting,
Unless that is a nest the crow has seized, against the coming spring.
We’ve been at this historical site before, but not in any history we remember.
The present has been cloaked in cloud before, and not on any holy mountaintop.
To know the stars will one day fly apart so far they can’t be seen
Is almost a relief. For the future flies in one direction—toward us.
And the only way to sidestep it—the only way—is headed this way, too.
So, look. That woman’s got a child by the hand. She’s dragging him across the street.
He’s crying and she’s shouting, but we see only dumbshow. Their breath is smoke.
Will she give in and comfort him?Will he concede at last?We do not know.
Their words are smoke. In a minute they’ll be somewhere else entirely.
Everyone in a minute will be somewhere else entirely. As the crow flies.Replies for this message:
(1/26/2014 6:55:00 PM)
Thanks for posting some real poetry, by the way. What you say you like, and what you ultimately post, appear to be so different. Hmmmm. -LP
(1/26/2014 4:28:00 PM)
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I like Jarman. One of the top formalists writing today. -LP
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- Lamont Palmer (1/26/2014 6:55:00 PM) Post reply
(1/26/2014 7:28:00 AM)
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" Thierry" - a bullyboy coward, an internet tough guy - a classic case. You snipe, demean and misrepresent gutlessly from behind your disguise, you offer your infantile prejudice as fact or authoritative opinion, you champion educational credentials with astonishing blindness (many great writers have not been graduates as even you must know!) , you appear to be entirely taken in by your peurile attempts at humour, your praise of JC is so obsequious that it must be satire at best, and your smearing pursuit of Lamont Palmer is pathological, probably personally inspired, and borderline criminal. You're clearly not an idiot (intellectually) , so why persist in acting like one! You have opinions so why not present them in a reasonable and balanced fashion. Several grade A clowns have polluted this forum over the 7 years I've posted here but none has ever come close to matching your vicious disregard for even the most basic standards of decency. And typicallly, you appear to get a great deal of satisfaction from what you're doing. I pity you mister.Replies for this message:
(1/26/2014 6:11:00 PM)
I always knew I was a formidable force here, but I never thought I could scare someone so, that they would be unwilling to use their real name. Damn. Thats power. Too scared to go on record. You shoul ... more
(1/26/2014 6:07:00 PM)
A guy too scared to show his real name, calling someone else a coward?Laughable. I have nothing to hide. You're the scared little girl, not me. You don't want to get bitch-slapped under your real name ... more
(1/26/2014 3:17:00 PM)
'Tony', there's so much bullshit in your mindless post I don't where to begin. But chiefly, I have to ask, why do you think I give a shit about what happens in a dumb ass internet forum?Like suddenly ... more
(1/26/2014 12:03:00 PM)
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Well well... a little bit of truth emerg ... more
(1/26/2014 11:48:00 AM)
Thank you Jim. All I can say is, thank G ... more
To read all of 8 replies click here
- Lamont Palmer (1/26/2014 6:11:00 PM) Post reply
(1/26/2014 12:13:00 AM)
Sorry 'Therrie', but there are other opinions just as valid as yours. Keep that in mind. When you publish a book of criticism, maybe we'll elevate you to a higher level of respect. Right now, you're just a PH member who has mere likes and dislikes. Just like us all. -LP
jim hogg (9/30/2007 4: 45: 00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies
Jeffers, as I've said before and almost everyone here will attest: being published is no guarantee of talent, and not being published is no indication of inferior poetic skill. There is a monumental amount of published drivel out there and probably a larger amount of work of genunine quality which will never see the light of day. As for comparing your work favourably with Lamont's..... you have to be kidding... either us or yourself and probably both... If he is a solid, substantial planet in the poetic firmament, then you are a miniature gas filled asteroid.....
And I've never claimed that my work had any merit at all, and nor would I attempt to have it published... But if I was the chair of creative writing at Tucson College or whatever college, and wrote poetry, maybe someone somewhere would be gulled into thinking I could write and deem my work worthy of publishing on that ground alone..... on what other ground could they have justified publishing yours. It's a mystery to me still.. I've read it often out of sheer puzzled curiosity...and still can't believe that you believe you can write...
(1/25/2014 10:50:00 PM)
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'Therrie', I'm taking this as your de facto consession speech, even though its self-serving and disengenous. Frankly every poet worth his salt should be able to take a skewering without running and hiding or folding. I just wish you had been man enough (like JC, Nerhlich, and a couple others) to do it as yourself. But no matter. I knew it was mostly all fiction and fun on your part. But sometimes one must stand his ground and fire back. -LP
Mind yer own pish, if ye dont mind.
Therrie Cathel (1/25/2014 6: 50: 00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply
You are proving more and more that you are, without exception, the most insecure, immature writer I have ever encountered. Most if not all of what has been been posted on here has been tongue in cheek to some degree. The fact that you have taken it all so seriously shows a major flaw in your character and not the personas' who are posting.
A secure, intelligent and truly capable poet would have no time or patience to sit down and spend hours upon hours defending serious, but basically unimportant accusations. In life what matters is not what others say to us, but rather how we react to such people. In your case it says terrible things things about you. This is not to say that you are nothing more, or less, than another mediocre poet trying to improve. It is when you fill up your chest, wiggle those nubs and strut around in the bird shit, that you cause all the personas to go on attack mode. We are programmed to do only one thing, and that is to destroy delusional egos, like yours. If we really wanted to, we can have you laughed out of here once again. But hey, humans programmed us and I suppose we have some humanity in us somewhere, as alien as that seems to us.
As of our last vote, Blue Bird is our favorite persona, non-persona! I don't need to mentions whom we voted as the least favorite. But since you seem very dense I will say that it was you, Mr. Palmer.
(1/25/2014 10:29:00 PM)
I used to be Bill Bumgarner about 10-15 years ago. I swear to god. Was him for 2-3 months. I was Tony Throbber for 2 days back in 1983. I'm serious.
(1/25/2014 9:59:00 PM)
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Thank you Therrie for that thoroughly self-serving and disengenuous lecture. You really could've saved your breath, as I am no more insecure than my colleague JC, who has published 8 or 9 chapbooks, but fights tooth and nail and bitterly when he is attacked in this forum. The only poet who would let you get away with your tirades would be a poet who thought you were correct. I may not ultimately give a damn what anyone says about me, but like any other hotblooded American poet with an ego, if you're gonna have some 'fun' with me, I'm going to give it back to you in kind. I've seen too many people in here fight off attacks to know that my reactions were quite normal. Once Franz Wright threatened to run over with his car and kill critic William Logan if he ever saw him, after Logan gave one of Wright's books a scathing, snarky review. So no, I don't need a lecture from a person who needs to use an alias to make some really baseless point. You wasted my time and yours. Anyway, lets end it and give the forum a break. -LP
(1/25/2014 9:48:00 PM)
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Boy, a guy can't get a decent break in this world of poetry. Yeah, I am busted. I was curious to know how a person's work is viewed when entering a new environment. Just an experiment. We tend to have prejudices about different people's writings based on their history, or their background or even older writings. Interesting experiment. No crimes were committed.
(1/25/2014 9:28:00 PM)
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I pack buns. It's all I do. That's why they call me Packer. Mostly I pack b*ttholes. Line up so Perry can pack your buns. You go first Therrie. I kinda like those buns.