Transactional Middle Class Aubade


Why is failure so central to your work?

At Christmastime,
I abandon warm twin towers of trash curbside
for the formal procreation of
the underprivileged and the poor.

What does failure mean to you?

All good men wear Gucci loafers.

Socrates wears Gucci loafers.
Therefore, Socrates is a good man.

Did You Mean Más o Menos?

Wikipedia Poem, No. 510

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“How about an oak leaf / if you had to be a leaf?” James Schuyler

sea suicid
ahis bed wie he
cha them all n euticals
dhis long hr i spoke bsentminde
of pharma lying on a cigaretthe day afe
point—heuicidal ornd the rooith this lth this
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him t to the ces at someke with chchelsea
where tth charles at some pll whetherr
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anded him he a lot of p
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they had aes
i went hem
all whg
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a lotroom went
suicidal helsea whewhat
anyboy up the point—he f
pharmacem went up r it’s suig
a cigareed he was all wheth smoking
atminded hee and dainstalled he took thinded
he wtely smokiroom went ere they hoint—he toe
was lyin point—he ceuticals the day afe was
defii went to what anybthem all w does
at s absentmin had alreae took the’s
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or i went to
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“Urban life is dense and fast and requires flexible structures that can incorporate speed and information.”


When I’m in Texas or Iowa I’m aware of the railroads and superhighways, and here [in New Jersey] there’s the city and the George Washington Bridge filled with its perpetual stream, the planes coming overhead, the cars moving along, the tremendous energy of the place, and its concentration of people. Nothing is still here. It’s very dynamic. I think a lot of poets are allergic to movement, and they like to turn their backs on it and create still lifes. They try to locate some sort of quasi-pastoral motif as a background for the poem, some jury-rigged construct of suburban garden as sylvan glade.

Urban life and movement present real technical difficulties and challenge poetic conventions. Urban life is dense and fast and requires flexible structures that can incorporate speed and information. It’s tough to come up with a coherent, interesting structure. Most simply avoid the problem or take refuge in some rote “avant-garde” gesture like fridge-magnet indeterminism, i.e. spilling the language all over the floor and stomping on it like a three-year-old child.

August Kleinzahler, The Art of Poetry No. 93, The Paris Review, Fall 2007

Wikipedia Poem, No. 244


“Many people feel threatened by exclusion[.]” Ben Lerner

          work with poetry
less denotes 
an assumption 
          associated with this way from 
this and that and intuit 
social differences—manage this 
manage that do what 
is true for everyone or for no one or for everyone 
but I think really disappoint them
         their demand social poetry 
    gets you 
          internal expectation 
      could do to eradicate difference—
poems achieve 
      really disappoint 
  don't say good poems 
          is true 
      for everyone 
         or for no one but 
this is true for everyone or 
everyone or for everyone or for everyone or 
  forget everyone or 
predict nothing 
in the second person


Source: Clune, Michael. The hatred of poetry: An interview with Ben Lerner. The Paris Review, 30 June 2016. Web. 2 July 2016.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 118


INTERVIEWER: What was it like to take high tea with William Butler Yeats?

     Cartwright calmingly my        hero  main part 
         was just         recomment it  Finally I   did most of a more 
     though, big heart       was extremely courteous, and I though,
big head, rathead her wonderful looking 
     in particulars 
       I reaping was just a    cold bath, and when 

     lit      it for Yeats, and still don't feel           he was     
just recomment back that surprise 
      he realized the said, “I had the fruits of my chamber." He 
realized that surprise he     was extremely courteous, and still don't 
how much he      day. 

He       was much he aged when 
we went in. Finally      I didn't       know on 
it's    just a cold me down. So I were         drunk early 

    succeeded the      fruits of reached here? 
And he was          just recomment. I asked for 
  Mr.     Yeats, and still don't feel 

he           drunk early succeeded various and asked for 
Mr. Yeats, and my chamber.     He was just the funniest 
       the       day. He said he        was left     over. 

The taller the fruits 
of realized that surprise not asked for 
Very kind. At a cold   bath, and 
   we arrived in the sense to me 
he was left over revise not           asked 

   forget in. Finally I didn't know, 
     but in my own. So I       were drunk 
          early succeeded various and 
take off        on my own.      So I gave revise he       
was extremely could see though, big heart was just 
    a        cold bath, and I still          don't know       my

Who is Mr. Yeats? Who is Ben Jonson?

Source: Stitt, Peter A. “John Berryman, The Art of Poetry No. 16.” Paris Review. Winter 1972. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.