Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ken Blackwell/Nikki Giovanni/Howard Turns Poet

Local politics spilled over on sometime national figure Ken Blackwell. The other night, Cincinnati had a rededication of one of it's landmark fountain the Genus of Water. You know the one. Anyway, local poetess Nikki Giovanni was asked to speak and read a poem.

It's a little childish - like most modern poetry - but tucked away in it, Mrs. Giovanni let loose at the family event with this.
I am not a son of a bitch like Kenny Blackwell
I will not use the color of my skin to cover the hatred in my heart
I am not a political whore jumping from bed to bed to see who will stroke my need
Thanks Nikki. Glad I brought the kids. The full text of the poem is here. Enquirer follow up story here.

I could rant about the organizers bringing the stoopid lady to speak. I could rant about there no longer being any bounderies or the Soviet-like politicizing of Every. Last. Single. Thing. In. The. World.

But what most offends me is the poem.

It's sucks.

The problem with the modern is the lack of boundaries, borders, and frames. There's no canvas to tell the artists no. One thing artists - whether writers painters or poets - need is boundaries. People don't read modern poetry because it sucks. It doesn't - OMG - rhyme anymore. The frame that poetry needs is rhyming. Modern artistic novels lack...plot. Sculptures lack form.

Self imposed boundaries are harder to work within but make for better art. A lack of boundaries makes for lazy artists. Case in point.

Anyway, I thought I'd right a poem. It doesn't rhyme. How do you thing it measure ups? It's called "At Some Point". Commentary in paraentheses
At some point...
my hair started to grey
my belt buckle began to dig into my stomach
my feet hurt...all the tyme. (misspelling shows I'm a non-conformist)
my knees ache in the morning...not bad but just enough to know they are there.

At some point...
I became the father
I became the one to look to
I became a young man with responsibilities

I'm ekeing toward middle age. A creeping sleeping ekeing. (there's a word for what I just did there but I can't remember it) I have too much debt and too much worry.

I still have a young man's dreams to fulfill and hopes to satisfy...but it's off to the office.

10 hours in a cube isn't a life. It never was. Why didn't someone tell me that?

But here it sit. No choice now.

I've seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by addiction to health benefits, 401(k) plans and the regular paycheck. (Beat poem allusion)

Cheap salesman slogan: "If it's got to be; it's up to me." (contempt for business men gives me street cred)

I makes me mad that there's truth in cheap salesman slogans.

At what point
I will not worry about dreams but of survival
I will fear more than I hope
time will tap me on the shoulder and say, your prime is gone


The Blessed Virgin Mary sucks syphlitic pickles (Ensures my NEA funding)

That's my poem.

Stay You.
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