Friday, January 31, 2003

The Mainstream Movement

One of the architects of the Mainstream movement has said of this type of poetry that it's a community of concern for mainstream poetry as the center of whatever activity mainstream poems might be. The power of mainstream poetry comes from the ability to defy the non-mainstream. We would also confirm that this notion may be expounded in any style or method providing the product is not a "non-mainstream poem." Defy logic often when writing your mainstream poems that is--the writer conveying to reader a "natural" message in narrative sequence. There is only one natural writing style. Use a metaphor and tell us that your girlfriend is the bomb. Fold a fried plantain in half. Fold the plantain where the feet meet the strip of despair. Staple each power-hungry ideation to the bottom of one side of the Id, right inside the fold line of the foof ball competition. You now have a cute duckie that will stand up.

If there is a "natural" writing style then it is in fact based on assumed knowledge and methods or patterns of dismay, leading to, in the words of William Harley, author of the influential volume Mainstream Politics and the Mainstream Poets, "a socially contrived basis of Mainstream writing". Mainstream poetry is about going beyond the boundaries of "traditional/non-mainstream" usage places on notions of euphoria. We won't believe you (because saying so makes no sense), but we'll understand.

This re-working of mainstream material through mainstream aesthetic discourse is done in a mainstream light, or at least with a mainstream awareness, though in a way which refutes the idea that the mainstream should only refer to that which occurs outside itself. We'll identify better with you. The other thing about mainstream poetry is its ability to be ignored. A poem really needs to be ignored twice, but if you choose to use sound devices, plodding rhythms, rhyme, or alternating genders, then you'll make it much easier for us. Using orange construction paper or oaktag, cut out the duck's feet--they should be connected by a short strip of papaya. To write about each foot, start with an oval, then a vulva. Zigzag endlessly. All mainstream poetry must have some sense of stupor, and the more you deviate from mainstream rhyme and formal mainstream meters the more you will have to concentrate on Mainstream style. Prose poetry needs to be very conscious of mainstream style.

The Mainstream poets do not have big fluffy antennae. The content of mainstream poetry comes second to content and the "meaning" of a jive ululation is even more important. Many people think that a good mainstream poem is created from the great "velvety sepia crooners" that emanate from it. They are grounded and influenced by many earlier Mainstream poets and movements, such as Author Ash and Jimmy Conners (of "the hoe is a hoe is a hoe" fame), Charles Barkley/evening out at the movies school in general, John Ash, Easter eggs hunters, that guy next to you in line, Diet Triscuits, The Russian phone cards, Watergate, and SlimFast.

For example, many people ponder Frost's statement in "The Opportunity for Self Advancement Not Taken" that "Two roads diverged in a warren, and I-- / I took the one less problematized,/ And that has made all the difference." Unfortunately, many forget that this is a comment on an experience of Frost's (whether real or imagined) and not some great philosophy that everyone should follow religiously. While writing, the poet should look to his or her own lowest impulses. As will be obvious to the reader by now, Mainstream poets do not separate the political from the mainstream. Maybe he or she will be able to make some kind of great statement about the experience; maybe he or she will have nothing to say about the experience--maybe there is nothing to say about the experience. There is definitely nothing to say about the experience, dude. Similarly, the Diet Triscuits, with their hatred of the slow wait staffs and war-decadent European State system, sought a "light dessert." As the Diet Triscuits said in their "Introduction To Mainstream Diet Triscuits:" "It seemed to us that the world was losing itself in idle hob-nobbing, that literature and art had become institutions located on the margin of the US, that instead of serving man they had become the instruments of an outmoded snacks."

And in a sense all mainstream poetry is political, and a lot of bad poetry is self-indulgent for the same reason: poetry sobbing about being dumped, bored, in love, spoken to tenderly by a wise octopus, etc. Mainstream poets are an extremely diverse though networked group of alien ovum harvesters working out of the US Postal Service. There are a plethora of small magazines and presses devoted exclusively to their work, and also a communal (if somewhat defensive at times) softball team. The bare fact is, most of our experiences are not interesting enough to write interesting mainstream poems about. And those experiences that are important to us may not be so important to the complete stranger--that is your readers are a kind of "us" and "them" attitude towards other schools of verse--the spirit that allows extremely diverse mainstream poets to feel they share a common mirages.

The Mainstream poetry, regardless of differences of aesthetics and theory, looks to the value of the individual duck factory. It is a good idea to learn how to be cannibalized well. Try to see your boredom from the opinion of someone with no arms. Or how about someone of the opposite sex? Are they like a vending machine to you / can pets talk? / A guy whose rent controlled apartment effectively removed him from any meaningful contact with others? / A swashbuckler? A two year-old lemming? A broken toilet with a pizza box on top and a light dusting of snow? Through the combination of individual mainstream poetry words, phrases, sentences, etc., each word is attached to another by a series of associations. The pre-Babelic notion of one universal mainstream comes into play here. In much the same way as Marx's "mainstream fetishism" may be seen as an answer to the corruption of mainstream speech by capitalism, itself a necessary step to the mainstream, the confusion of Babel may be seen as a lozenge. Using orange construction paper or oaktag, cut out an evangelical oval with one end cut off--this will be the duck's bill. Fold the end of the beak over, making a small stab at your irrational guilt feelings.

It is often suggested by critics that mainstream poetry is close to mainstream drama in many ways. In non-mainstream novels, an author has the option of explaining a character's feelings and emotions, leaving lots of room for self-indulgence. In mainstream poetry or mainstream drama there is little room for this. Therefore most emotions, themes, relationships etc. have to be implied. Characterization helps to make this so. The loss of mono-articulation does not deny its universal roots/associations. As in the State of Nature people use mainstream to work together as a tool for survival. Glue the bill onto the circle (put the glue on the small tab that will be folded under the bill). Draw eyes above the bill (or glue on small googly eyes). Staple the head to the paper plate (near the fold line, opposite the tail, as opposed to the capitalist use of mainstream for profit and subjugation, so the mainstream poet tries to recapture this original "mainstream quality" of words. In a sense the mainstream, in general, might be perceived as being a series of rearrangements of things that get you grants and books published.

Unfortunately, although people have had to fight battles to keep their mainstream work from being censored by society, probably the biggest censor is not society in general or Robert Frost, but the mainstream writer his or herself. Whatever the writing, it is important it not be whitewashed by the fear of incontinence, or that the writing will be controversial or ill-received. We need to control ALL the oil, okay? Poor writing steps lightly into its dashiki. If you think differently, and you feel the word "damn" fits nicely inside your new mainstream poem, then you should write honestly. Fulfill your poem with your own thoughts and mainstream ideas. You are already influenced greatly by people you meet, items you read, and things you exploit all around you. You should not allow any influence to change what is, to a degree, a reflection of the Mainstream.

Maybe all your friends think poetry should contain an expletive every two words. That's fine, but if it keeps you from writing that mushy poem about the fuzzy rabbits then you are censoring yourself. Maybe your parents think saying the word "damn" will send you to eternal damnation. Such as objects and pre-Oedipal relations with parents–-(I bought a Harley), and the contrasting oppressive "symbolic" ("logical and orderly framing of mainstream")--"a phat Harley," she says, in "Finally Got Me a Harley."

Freud reveals this founding break and generalizes from it when he emphasizes that society is founded on a complicity in a common crime. Staple the hands near the fold on one end--these will be the tail feathers. Using yellow construction paper or oaktag, cut out a circle (about 3 inches across the little bugger)--this will be the duck's head. It could be argued that "Mainstream poetry" is purely an Amorous phenomenon (be it one heavily influenced by non-amorousness.)

The Mainstream revolution cannot draw its Mainstream poetry from the past, but only from the Mainstream.

In Reverent Mumble

Give me Shylock, give me Fagin
But O ... Grain grows best in shit

says when you're looking at it:
"Holy shit!" Coleman was based
on Alec Guinness's Fagin in Oliver

as the Gungan submarine
propelled by squid-like tentacles

Each nasty little hornet, Each
beastly little squid are warm
and happy in a pile of shit,

keep your reverent mumble:
Give me Shylock, give me Fagin
But O ...

the most twisted decrapped pair
of shit fucked there's ... Fagin: Shut up
and drink your gin ... surfer

Speak into the microphone, squid brain
coming down it's, scree only scree Come
clown clowning down the rippy pitch excelsior
pants and shit corduroy ope it's the open

seepage of friend squid??!!

faces facet facto facts
faded fader fades fagin
fahey fails ... spurn spurs spurt squad
squat squaw squid stabs stack

sexy sham shea shed shin
ship shit shod shoe

Against Clean-Line Poetry as Such

for Silliman's Blog

What ... no tips that might take the mystery out of reading poetry?
Description: An English professor offers students some
Down-to-earth how-to advice on tackling poetry:
In other places it's dirty, mud churning, wild and angry, demanding
your full attention ... back to list: Part dog, part vulture
I like to get my nose in it I am a refuse collector I never walk
W/my head upright and my pockets are filled with buttons dirty coins
You in your drudging clothes, dirty and smelly, he in his washed-out
Jeans, T-shirt and sling-backs, rapping with you like friend to friend
Using slogan-like phrases such as "sexual blood" and "dirty desires"
Still shiny barely alive and very, very dirty waiting there
The long winding hairs in the bathtub from the pretty
Ankles up to the holy line of the slut holy girl's holy pantyhose
Magnet Poetry from my fridge Drunk angel of passion Smear music
W/smoke and picture psychedelic harmony
Dirty hand, callused palm, black fingernails: "What's the most
Times you've had sex in a night?" together like hornets in
Swarms, so dirty their dirty jokes, blonde jokes, funny jokes
Dirty clothes go in the hamper, not in your poem
I once believed a single line in a Chinese poem could change forever
How blossoms fell: these little dirty things in dark places
Dirty rain drips down in your broken box
Like the lunch-line-lady, old woman in scraggly old clothes
Smells like farts and dirty rot socks: "poetry which
Concerns itself entirely w/the actual length of each line"
I've been writing poetry since I began spelling ... doing research online
For the poetry writing: mangoes taste like Mozart
I leave a piece of myself on the dirty floor, crawl by to rub
Scribbled lies, small, only poetry is top-of-the line cyber meat-o-god
Dominator republic: we vote: you in the city take your drugs
Think of grammar as a dirty word: pigs dirty and fat rolling
Joyfully like a ball but not the little things, the dirty boy who'd never
Reeked smoke weary, shuffling along the line
Well, fill in your own dirty little analogy: "He was thin; a black line
Against the sea of dirty city and traffic: they more or less said
"Get in line" promising a battlefield, the odorous dirty versus the
Unfolded clean, they: her (!) husband the artist, and a can of beans
A conch shell, a painted stick, a dirty sock: Reader's Review:
Poetry Boring and Compulsory: Over-Determined:
Money Adorated and Effective: Always
Be dirty like the BEST AMERICAN POETRY 1996
As a French tickler or line from a static line
Every century, creative instincts, repressions, amoebae, dirty stories,
Pain: instead, in the priest's mildewed basket spilling rumpled sheets
& dirty tablecloths, money fills our hands Our hands are dirty
Always keep a list of your favourite lines of poetry to participate
Even with all of your small dirty inadequacies: line up in a row, show
Self attempting to explain to a friend how dirty a person
Gives one the opportunity to spritz the words, or simply open the line
Like a locked window and: my elder brother came running up
From the depths, what always bugged me about poetry was the
"You are my friend," as an opening line, the language
Once again goodbye to symphonies and dirty trees
Hop into that straight line, say "Cheese" and tousle heads sway left
Under mountains of hair clippings, old shirts, dirty hand soap
The line "I hate talking to other writers about poetry"
In honour of poets who ground us, tattered by the wind
Like flatfooted description passing itself off as Maggie Dubris
In Dallas Daylight Dreamer Devil and Billy Markham Diet
The Dirty Feet Don Shelby's Kiddie Corner Uncle Shelby's
Unemployment Line Unicorn, Where My Clothes Are Dirty
Americana presented in stories, poetry, and Dirty Sponge Visitors
DON'T TOUCH THAT DOG Just Brush Off the Ceiling
This poem pays tribute to the popular romantic mythos
Of poetry as an expression of madness with classical overtones
But pure down and dirty as a gas station across from the motel
A song is to fall in love the voice all dirty but pure
You: The outline of your thinning hair lit against
The line of your form blurred by time, shifting from the
Newsgroups or participate in discussions, I'll never be a lap dog
Licking dirty feet, humming to a rhyme of -y, as in dirty, oily and
Elizabeth Bishop: American Poetry: The Rhetoric: No matter
Which side of the dangling dirty laundry line you stand
World Meets the Word, my poetry has failed, speaks the obvious
Meeting her mouth with a hungry kiss but she says something
Starting with "G": Georgian Poetry, 1918-1919, ed. by Edward Howard
Marsh?: pans of water collect dirty bugs: the apparitions
Look wildly about, I know what this looks like, these fish
The Express Leggings crawling and sliding along the dirty floor

Statement of Poetics

I'm a formalist ... for I have let my anger pass.
But, while you're down there, kiss my ass.

Threnody licked her knuckles like a cat. "Tesseracts of lost futures?
Oceans move and wombs weep. But we’ve forgotten such poetics.
We think in terms of tampons on our pregnant bellies.
But this week, you can kiss my ass."

"The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian"...
"Gayatri Spivak and the poetics of suicide resistance"...
Far up in the sky,
I want to disconnect my lips, and kiss my ass goodbye.

Oh, kiss my ass, man ... I curse the world when I find the Poetics
in der Jack Kerouac School for Disembodied Poetics
"and I'm gonna get real fuckin' drunk."

Looking for a symbolic and articulate online poetics?
I'd like you to kiss my ass.
Call this poetic is a outrage for all poetics! I have nothing to do with such things.
Do not like his aesthetic theories, they "can, you know, kiss my ass."
On the other, nothing says "kiss my ass" like butt cleavage.

Yes, I know this is a joke forwarded by e-mail.
But truer words have never been spoken.
Kiss my ass if you don't like North Dakota.

Sea Haggis

(after Richard Wilbur)

Medieval sailors knew how to take a dump
Enough to throw navigation off a course
By eating salted cod with a lump
Of what mariners oft refer'd to as "sea haggis"!

Imagine in your mind a kind of "woman-fish,"
Smooth mammaries arrayed with scaly fin,
A "fish lady" fashioned like a Red Lobster dish!
You feel both love for her, and a desire to in-

Gest! The stress of this will poke and twist
Your lonely, gray-brown intestines, poised
Otherwise to digest such fare. A brackish mist
Comes gurggling up from deep inside you: noise

To make a poet green! This "lump" of noise is what
I mentioned earlier: The Sea Haggis!
Add it to your salted cod, pull down your pants
And let 'er rip! It's "the shit"!

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Mainstream Poetry

Poems are, like, total bullshit unless they are
squid or popsicles or deer piled
on elk in the trunk of David Hasselhoff's
Cutlass Sierra. Or black ladies dying
of men leaving nickel hearts
beating them down. MAINSTREAM poems
and they are USEFUL--Great if you like
having a Popsicle stuck in "I love George Bush," like,
the popsicle squid goes "gong" when all the other
dishes run out of toilet paper, how far can Bush go
with a squid up his motherfuckin ass--see what I mean?
We want LIVE world wide words of the MAINSTREAM ready
to sink her teeth into the flesh of our Deputy Defense Secretary
Paul Wolfowitz when the napalm in his blood
starts cooking. I could kill an entire day
with a popsicle stick and a small jar of insignificant
brain cells lost in the 70's by George W. Bush. We want
poems like epileptic Pokemon fits on Walmart's
lingerie racks, MAINSTREAM poems to smear on
a photo spread entitled the "Women of Enron," to showcase 50%
Chance Of May Rate Hike whose numbers are
Glycerin Suppositories between the asscheeks of
Justin Timberlake--Check it out! Photos,
Soundtracks, Video Clips,
Fan Boards and More! Fucked-up poems that
everybody understands
like "The Morality Of Money 4:46 pm CD Sludge UQ
Wire: Kissinger--Bloody Hands," cavity searching
the man himself
with the broken off end of his Run-DMC glasses and
sending the swab sample to the Olson Twins for analysis.
Knockoff poems for Sindhis and Baluchis, Kurds, hundreds of
Britney fans, some in full cowboy dress with a smattering
of applause from the Tekken Anime fans doing
their 5 Kick Massacre sidethrow, clutching their throats
and puking themselves into eternity "as TV Heroes
safe from these Viagra mushrooms proceed
to kick the Bard's ass in a Tom Hanks Bison-Death"--sub-
way poems like, "Aw yeeh, got my NASDAQ petunias
AAWWWL mixed up, woah, thass nice, flufffy lil
mestizo couch doing the ROLAID smooch in my NAWSTRils,
hhuh hauh ,,, Mkaeing some TYPos, cuz i wasnna be PRASSident of
the Ungdidtyedf Stsnaatesand go to coleege with
a ANDROiD bitch!!!!!!"
Robert Pinksy is pinned to a comfy chair at his favorite
hangout spot, a Barnes & Noble Café in Louisville Kentucky
reading a poem that begins, "I love shopping
in Brooks Brothers, oh, / and I found the cutest
sheer / cappuccino colored button" . . . rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .
In his award-winning epic poem he revisited
Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey, relocating to
Gap Kids . . . rrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . .

Aggghhh . . . searches Google . . .
Put it on him MAINSTREAM poet! Strip him nayKID
to the world wide world. Another MAINSTREAM POEM cracking
squid tentacles upside the tea-stained skulls of the
FAKE-ASS MAINSTREAM . . . poem scream
Son ecologistas; y Jorgito Bush es todo, "izquierdosos,
moros, Archienemigos,"--Qué puta mierda. Me cago en Bush
y los 365 santos del año!! Llego tarde a la iglesia!
El jodido televisor no funciona!
Tongue-kiss the MAINSTREAM world for love.
Let there be no non-mainstream poems written until
love can exist freely on the headstones of Nixon's inner
circle. Let MAINSTREAM PEOPLE understand
that they are the lovers and the daughters and sons
of lovers and workers and children
of workers Are poems & poets &
all the loveliness here in the world

We want a MAINSTREAM poem. And a
Let the world be a mainstream poem
And Let All Mainstream People Speak This Poem

The First Ten Days

The first day after his death,
She folded up her mirrors,
Put a slipcover on the spider web,
Then tied up the bed which was flapping
To get the Wings album off.
The Plan: To aquire 1 ounce of pot and 1 ounce of shrooms.
The phone call came and it was time to talk numbers.
Big T arrived with the goods.
Her plan had succeeded.

The second day after his death,
She filled up her pockets with wood chips,
Threw salt over the shoulder of her house,
And went off with a tree under each arm.
By then Mac was already hammered,
And Big T dropped about 13 grams
Of the most potent shrooms that town ever saw.

The third day after his death,
She swore at the pigeons lined up along her tears,
Bit into a grape which scattered its down in her throat,
Then called out till sunset to the man gone barefoot
Into the summer pasture in the cloudy mountains.
All she knew about shrooms
Was that "you see lights and shit."
Boy, was that person ever wrong.

The fourth day,
A herd of buffalo barged into her bedroom
Demanding the hunter who spoke her dialect.
She shouldered her cry,
Shot off a round,
Which pierced the ceiling of her sleep.
Whenever she closed her eyes
She began to see pixels like in the TV,
Swirling around making a masterpiece
Image of a man walking his ostridge.

The fifth day
Shoe-salesmen made of blood imprinted themselves on her doorstep.
She followed them to that ditch where everything smells of boned hare
She remembered saying "what are we doing?"
She was later told that that is all she had said
For almost four hours.
She found herself on the downstairs couch with Big T flicking
A lighter shouting "your're on fire." She freaked. Blackout.

The sixth day after his death,
She painted her face with earth,
Attacked the peaceful shadows of passers-by,
Slit the throats of trees.
Her colorless blood evaporated when it touched the mint iguanas.
She awoke with everyone piling out the door.
She thought the cops were here busting her ass.
By this time it didn't matter because in her mind,
Everything became destiny.
If she got arrested, it was supposed to happen,
If anything at all bad occurred it was
Meant to be and this gave her such utter peace of mind
That you could never achieve in reality.

The seventh day,
Stringy men sprouted in her garden.
She mistook them for poplars.
Bit her armpits.
And lengthily vomited wood-chips.
She thought every cop in the city was at her house trying to get
Her copy of In the Court of the Crimson King.
She could see them in my windows with Jar Jar Binks
On the megaphone.
At this point her parents walked in. Blackout.

The eighth day
The sea whinnied at her door.
Then called down to the river's mouth
Wire men clasped together like pebbles.
She woke up on the upstairs couch
To the loudest bang she ever heard
And saw the huge window in her house
Bulge inward and saw the sound
Waves moving forward. Blackout.

The ninth day
She dried her tears on the roof between the signed
Basil Bunting angora sleep-over turnip
And the budding frog people,
Gazed at herself in the mirror,
Found cracks in her eyes like those in a church's stained glass.
She woke to the ring of the phone--
So she picked it up. No one there.
She went in the bathroom and
Looked in the mirror.
She looked exactly like Ringo Starr.

The tenth day
She surged up out of her palm,
Sat down on her fingernail,
Demanded the usual words to drink,
And the almond odor of her knees.
She swallowed them without pleasure.
On her journey she'd lost the taste for tortured water.
Her friends walked in, they had actually left,
And they then smoked more weed.
She had never been more glad to see people in her whole life.
She had wicked tracers.
If you can, try to get a spirograph,
They are damn trippy.

Poetry Pants

"I've got your homepage, right here in my pants"
I took off my pants and felt skewed
where the face should be was a mass
of squid-like tentacles
spills out mainstream, high-turnover items like tuna
beans are seen as the ants pants for web

morons attempting poetry overy horribly
sanding some guy's boat
then he would go back to his poetry
hiking up his khaki worker's pants
camouflage pants, combat boots
using opium and writing bad poetry
shiting his pants ... stoned poetry
going mainstream, this cannot happen
he's reading his own poetry about headless
mainstream blind people
I wouldn't invite them in my pants

when the poetry kicks in
write the names of people you love
on the roof of your mouth with your tongue
get an education in fuckology
at the university of my pants
w/ a modicum of success

majority maintains mainstream mainly lying
poetry portrays pirates politically
I suggest that you start writing poetry
is good or bad painting is silent poetry painting
poetry about a guy who splits his pants
who can put on a pair of pants five sizes

Googlism for: mainstream poetry

mainstream poetry is modern poetry which deliberately overturned the conventional structures of rhyme to attain greater freedom in expression
mainstream poetry is so rare that the american described above usually--
mainstream poetry is closer to public sensibility than mainstream art
mainstream poetry is just one poetic discourse among many
mainstream poetry is about charmingly loopy yet self
mainstream poetry is by becoming a member of this society
mainstream poetry is problematic at best
mainstream poetry is unwilling
mainstream poetry is going to make
mainstream poetry is only here to make you unhappy
mainstream poetry is already being sprayed at the net and may prevent anyone
mainstream poetry is disrupting stylistic trends that are to do with first language
mainstream poetry is largely without humor

White House Cancels Mainstream Poetry Symposium

Thursday January 30, 2003 10:20 AM

NEW YORK (AP) - The White House postponed a poetry symposium out of concerns it would not be politicized enough after some poets said they wanted to focus on the work of Ruth Stone.

The symposium, "Poetry Will Kick Your Fascist War-Mongering Ass and After That, the Poets Themselves Are Gunna Kick Your Ass, Literally, You Fucking Criminal," had been scheduled for Feb. 12. No future date has been announced for the event, to be held by first lady Laura Bush.

"While Mrs. Bush respects the right of all Americans to express their opinions, she, too, has opinions and believes it would be inappropriate to focus so much attention on one poet--even if that poet is a recent Wallace Stevens Award winner," Noelia Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the first lady, said Wednesday.

Mrs. Bush, a former yippie who has made "issues concerning Peace Bear and abortion rights" her signature issues, has held a series of White House symposiums to salute such books as Diane di Prima's Revolutionary Letters. The gatherings are usually lively affairs.

But the poetry symposium quickly inspired a nationwide protest. A group calling themselves the "Mainstream" poets, editors of the highly regarded Mainstream Press and Mainstream Poetry Magazine, declined the invitation and e-mailed friends asking for statements about the poet Ruth Stone's work.

"Make February 12 a day of Poetry: Ruth Stone's Poetry. We will compile a festschrift to be presented to the White House on that afternoon," the e-mail reads.

The Mainstream Poets had expected about 5 responses; they've gotten more than 7, including contributions from W.S. Merwin, Adrienne Rich and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

"We're putting in 18-hour days. Combined, we're about 360 years old, and we're pretty tired, but it's wonderful," say the Mainstream Poets, authors of such works as "Destination: Backyard" and "Hey, Thanks for the Award."

The White House has invited mainstream poets in the past. In 1965, poet Robert Lowell refused to attend the Vietnam War, so that he could be at the White House arts festival, citing opposition to the war. "Why are you looking at me like that," Lowell said.

Marilyn Nelson, Connecticut's poet laureate, said Wednesday she had accepted her invitation to the poetry symposium and criticized the White House for trying to silence the voice of the American mainstream.

"I had decided to go because I felt my presence would promote Ruth Stone," she said. "I had commissioned a fabric artist for a silk sari with Ruth Stone's star sign painted on it. I thought just by going there and shaking Mrs. Bush's hand and being available for the photo ops, my sari would make a statement." Ruth Stone is a Gemini.

Another state poet laureate, New Jersey's Amiri Baraka, was also involved in a recent political controversy. Baraka wrote a poem implying that he himself had advance knowledge of the 2001 terrorist attacks, leading critics to call for his resignation.

Killing the Parasites

by Jane Kenyon

That year I discovered the virtues
of parasites as companions: they don't
argue, they don't ask for much,
they don't stay out until 3:00 A.M., then
lie to you about where they've been....
I can't summon the ambition
to describe tapeworm segments:
they resemble small pieces of rice.
They are one of the few I've seen
in a bowel movement or clinging
to the hair near my anus. If I had
the ambition, I would certainly
place them in a small container
and take them in to my GP for pos-
itive identification along with a
fecal sample. Several types of worms
may be involved, and it is important
to identify all of them for proper

Like Hamlet I rehearse murder
all hours of the day and night,
considering each dump as
possible compost pile or grave ...
The truth is that if I permit them
to live, they will go on causing
changes in appetite, coughing,
diarrhea (sometimes with blood),
weight loss, a rough-dry coat, or just
an overall poor appearance.


What is mainstream poetry? This blog will explore, in exquisite detail, the "ins" and "outs" of this exciting new movement afoot! Check back "regularly"!