In the Oval Office

Wikipedia Poem, No. 858

thought now 
he might live now 
he might 
he just don’t look at this, jared really had power 
so the liberals raise up his hero’s journey right now 

he might now 
he just might now he   
might have thought now live right now 
though he might live for the liberals imprisoned 
him on his hero’s journey right now 

he might wow he might just live now 
he might flex on his hero’s journey right his soul 
just channeled it looks so good we don’t look that good
we don’t look good we wine drown and don’t look good
we don’t look at this, jared, really, they started appreciating this fine wine   

wine whine wine whine
he thought clever now 
he might be mighty now he might 
now just for a moment he might live now
for there’s a fine wine to be found how

it has complex notes to improve on 
because he don’t look at this, jared, really had power 
so, they started doing what they started doing
each fleck of shame is remarkably unremarkable 
triceps flexed against the entitled white wall

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Source: Vucci, Evan. “Kanye West, in ‘MAGA’ Hat, Delivers Surreal Oval Office Show.” Associated Press, 11 Oct. 2018, www.kfvs12.com/2018/10/11/president-trump-kanye-west-have-white-house-lunch/.

No Echo No Light (Sorted)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 808

noecho

without echo
this is arguable
the new edition
no echo no light
no echo no light
no echo no light
echo without tongue
a soft clumsy argument
departments and programs
new edition of the borrowed text
the new edition of the translation
the new edition of the new edition
in this it is arguable: in his preface
this preface to a treat without echo
departments and pronouns continue to
continue to tongue without imagination
west relates how many university translators
treat the translator’s invisibility without echo
to the new edition departments and programs
of soft clumsy giants this is arguable in his preface
kanye west relates how many university programs
imagine a soft clumsy giant ingrown in a mountain
as a linguistic brick rather than a humanity of fields
continue to treat the translator’s invisibility as a liability

In Which, Further Reading, No. 1

pinecone

Marcus Wicker’s Silencer is very good. I’ve spent a lot of time with its poems, yet it’s not enough. Wicker is sharp in this interview with Kathleen Rooney at the Poetry Foundation. You will come out more alive after reading both/either. Wicker:

  • “Poetry won’t save your life, at least not without (self) action. But a well-wrought language object can deliver a lightning bolt of feeling married to intelligence that’s capable of stirring readers into any number of outward actions and interior reactions. That’s power and magic enough for me.”
  • “I take my hip-hop influences as seriously as my literary heroes, and I’d like others to do so as well.”

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Over at the New Statesman, Jason Murugesu argues that Kanye West is “our first metaphysical rapper”. One might feel a gentle pop as their optic nerves retreat from their aggressively rolling eyes when, five graphs in, Murugesu writes: “According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Donne’s metaphysical poetry is “characterised by conceit or ‘wit'”. But keep going, the lay argument builds a compelling case, not for his intended point, but, for looking at contemporary artists with disengaged distance. Murugesu:

Not everything is so highbrow though. West and Donne enjoy a similar taste for puns made in poor taste. Donne’s The Good Morrow describes his thoughts as he awakes next to his lover. In it, Donne makes his now infamous sexual pun where he references his lover’s “country pleasures”.

The opening of West’s “Mercy” features the rapper Big Sean trying to make a similar pun on the word “ass” (throughout the song, multiple rappers featured on the song compare women to the super-car, the Lamborghini Mercy).

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Another reading suggestion — this one a deeper investment  — is “Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry” first published in Italian in 2002, and translated by Cambridge University Press in 2004. Marco Fantuzzi and Richard Hunter take a monographic look at the poetry of the third and second centuries BC, and engage in close readings of “some of the most famous Greek poetry of the Hellenistic period”. It’s a scholarly text, so the reading isn’t as immediately accessible as either the interview or the internet errata above, but the first 43 pages are available to read on Google Books; try it out. I’m a zealous believer in the fact that this kind of information shouldn’t only be read between the dire walls of a university classroom. This stuff can be great fun. One representative sentence:

  • The intensive philological scholarship of the third century BC, which sought to describe and classify literary forms of the past, may have facilitated the contamination of traditional genres.

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And finally, some suggested reading from the last few weeks on wikipoem.org:

Bottlebells

bucolic clangors suspend themselves
behind the slow rise and in their teeth
hear crickets

Violence / In modest tints arrayed / Within the silent shade

euclid measures across the lull of a dog and me steaming
a mouthful of rod starvations of posture impeccable

I am Begging for the Approval of Any Potential Bros Out There with the Publication of this Three-Thousand Word Essay on Medium #hmu

          ‪men   stumble 
in spring street on flip flops and 
     broadway   phantom lovers   
phantoms   their damn selves

After Reading a Page and a Half of Tradition and Innovation in Hellenistic Poetry

           unreached but unreachable
this 
   condition is
the key then to 
         to verdant madness

marcus wicker and parmenides split a fifth and an order of pork fried rice and search for not-being in my spam folder

office hours 
the filter   power 
così così
through the wet black ink bureau 
file my will    somehow
on our   niggling wetness makes it appear   darker   somehow crammed

Wikipedia Poem, No. 103

"Calling all the drone-dead children." Michael Robbins

“Calling all the drone-dead children.” Michael Robbins

1 

the ceremony of home
what bastion of Kanye 
said behind his moment

I may have not read 
rallying, rallying behind
a poet of serious political debate

the MTV Video Music Awards support 
a savvy e-seller of lengthy speech
what bastion for sale on eBay

2

an unusually lucrative poet
“C’est la guerre” 
was a serious singer 

his second prize 
is available — another hit
to be purchased unusually 

and the old
cannibal poet
strikes again

3

the officers search 
for three suspects 
in the night

they sent wounds over the radio 
into men off and back
with words like a gunshot 

the poet in heavy gear
with a high-fashion K-9 partner 
sent off pursuing others 

4

He never returned home 
the home of both teenage girls
and authorities on the Jersey Shore 

make contact with one 
and one told an angel reed
of their missing home 

O, Captain! You’ve left
never from the girl
only from the Jersey Shore