Monday, May 9, 2011

Poetry and High School

Why isn't poetry more popular? My sister recently sent me this poem and I loved it. Here it is:


Craig Arnold's “Why I skip my high school reunions” (1999)



[From: Arnold, Craig. Shells. New Haven, Yale University Press: 1999.]

Because the geeks and jocks were set in stone, 

I, ground between.
Because the girls I ate 

lunch with are married now, most out of spite 

--because the ones I spurned are still alone. 

Because I took up smoking at nineteen, late, 

and just now quit--because, since then, I've grown 

into and out of something they've never known. 

Because at the play, backstage, on opening night 

she conjured out of the vast yards of her dress 
an avocado and a razorblade, 

slit the one open with the other, flayed 

the pebbled skin, and offered me a slice




--because I thought that one day I'd say yes, 

and I was wrong, and I am still afraid.


I like this poem because I recently missed my 20 year reunion and still feel some regret over it. I didn't miss my 10 year reunion. I went to it with a lot of expectations and left with a lot of those expectations unmet.

I also like it because those four years of my high school life, which is really a tiny sliver of my overall existence, still mean so much to me and seem to have an outsized importance of how my life seems to have gone since.

I like it because I'm still afraid that I am the same basic person I was then, and in fact, I still am....

I like poetry because you can capture so much emotion with so few words. Can someone tell me why poetry is not more popular?

3 comments:

zoewriter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Yay!
yoo RITE!!
Lemme tella youse summore without
d'New Joisey accent, kapiche?

Greetings, earthling! Need summore new-fangled-thots N ideers? Look no firdr, brudda. Can't stay long. Done gotta git, Paw... yet, if Im a sower, we plant the Seed; if Im an artist, we RITE the Word:

Would U please help a plethora of King Size, wildchild, rawkuss poetry/wordz which are lookin 4 a home in thy novelty?? Thx. Whew. They're pretty insane. They're bereft of reason. Oi! Blimey! They're bloody PINK spiders!

Gotta gobba lotta shrewd, surreal, supersonic, sardonic satires, sassy N savvy elixers N electronic elegance (and palpable nuance) on our YOUTHwitheTRUTH blogs. Wannum? Have'm. N'joym. Gettm outta my hair!!!

How mucha wanna betcha our sugar-high-mojo, pleasure-beyond-measure, fuse-blowin-exploits R a copious madhouse of one lavish bookay D.O.A.? Our proFUSE NRGod who leads U.S. to explosive fairy-tales in the 'one-stop-shop' symphony Upstairs? God's the BigDude, the Owner of ElysianFields, the Grand Prize, the Austere Overdrive, NoPurchaseNecessary: our bombastic tenaCITY on a Hill which'll plant the Seeds 4u2 grow-up to new N greater heights!! Mama mia! Thatsa good pasta!!

CAUTION: our 22ish, avant-guard, accurately-atrocious, offa-the-reservation-like-Jimmy-Hoffa, metal breadcrumms R sooo out-of-order, toots, they're an intimate wealth of bottomless sophistication. And dats da lethal fak, Jak. Go ahead. Sue me. Yawn. But, yet, here's the perennial KOO D'TAH: who else has actually SEEN the Great Beyond in spirit & lived to tella youse bout the bionic, bloated, brevity-like-earth we're living on?? Yes, earthling, Im an NDE, almost salivating4salvation. So gain altitude, never attitude: death has no intrinsick favorites.

If Mr. abSUREditty's an ultra-great-reward, and not everyone enters, Q: why is it an excruciating deluge of epic-.357-caliber where the quality's a limitless bulldozer plowin, pushin-your-power-cord with eternal goodies? A: the Prize-A+-TheEnd just gives U.S. moe-curley-graphix 2 VitSee: an explosion-of-extravagance which few R asking 4 anymore! Grrr. They're too concerned withe grotesque sanity of ambivilant piss-ants which swiftly crawl like lemmings to their scorecard destruction. C'est la guerre.

THANK GAWWWD!!! the Don has the ebullient BAWLS!!! to do the Manifest Destiny!!! To lead U.S. forward to the White House Upstairs with his SQUARES!!!

So, break-free, earthling; be like a contraversial outgrowth of incredibly-intoxicating-effusiveness in your zeitgeist to give the ultimate, stunning, backknuckle potency: Wiseabove. Wanna join this useFULL idiot Upstairs 4 the most zany, kooky, X-acto-knife antidotes? Extremely exquisite, explicit endorphins in abundance? Puh-lenty of pulverizingly-tantalizing psychopathic psychosomatics with eXtras? i2i-kick-velocity's-ass-ultra-maximum-rocket-fuel-party-hardy at my pad ya ever encountered without d'New Joisey accent 4 an eternal slew of precarious, magnanimous & primeval absurdities indelibly etched in the granite corridors of eternity with a total-barrage-of-melt-in-thy-mouth 'depth-of-undenial'???

Make Your Choice  -SAW
...cuzz nobody gitts outta here alive, earthling.

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

If yoo wanna know
and yoo do...
of course!
sez the Source!!

Lissen to wisdom, earthling:
1-outta-1 bites-the-dust, thus,
everyone of U.S. has an indelible soul.
While the body rots in the grave,
the soul rises to meet their Maker.

Thus, Death, Judgement,
Heaven or Hell
await U.S. all.
And dats da fak, Jak.
What we all should be thinking about
everyday in this finite existence
or at leeest in the back of our minds...
yet, how many actually do?
How many expect Jesus to have mercy on them when they worship the whorizontal
and croak expecting Seventh-Heaven??
Precisely why Im here:
many of U.S. have completely forgotten
our morality and mortality.

Lissen to wisdom, earthling:
this finite existence is only a test,
which Almighty God has produced to see
if we mortals have the kohoneys
to reach Seventh-Heaven.

Make Your Choice -SAW
Im an NDE.
I know what's up.
Literally.