May 31, 2017

Silly Poems

I started writing poetry during my residency in Italy. That's what solitude does to one! I always thought that poetry was too hard: one has to write half finished sentences that have to be deep and meaningful and mysterious and, at its best, full of pain. But that was a misconception on my part. One can do silly things with poetry, and after meeting Anna Bromley last Sunday, who is doing a PhD on the qualities of silliness (to say it broadly), I think I might be doing something that has some meaning after all. 

Here's a silly poem I wrote about Sarah Lucas' crocs:


to write a poem for Sarah Lucas
for the crocs she was wearing on the opening day
how they remind me of my dentist
and other professionals 
standing on their feet in that solid kind of way

is the croc a shoe for women? 
no! they have the air of unisex
so practical it’s quite un-arty 
exactly wrrrong 
that’s what Frank O’ Hara
in his Lunch Poems would say 

are crocs made out of plastic?
how everything is plastic 
even the car rented in Italy
driving around in a machine made out of plastic
reduces your sense of stability 

to write a poem for Sarah Lucas
maybe I should let go of the shoes?
I’ve never written a poem
I tell my friend
he says it’s easy
just add  
“na so was!” “ah ja!”  here and there to a sentence
which will turn it, at least in German, automatically into poetry

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