Saturday, January 14, 2012

Aimless Reading: The R's, Part 2.1 (Tom Raworth)

Caller and Other Pieces
Raworth, Tom
Caller and Other Pieces

Given to me by the publisher, Rod Smith, during the first Buffalo Small Press Book Fair.

I remember wandering around the book fair all day, returning again and again to the table occupied by Edge Books, which was manned variously by Rod, Mel Nichols, Gary Sullivan and Nada Gordon, all of whom had arrived in town a couple of nights earlier to read at Big Orbit Gallery. Kevin Thurston had brought the whole group to town to do a Flarf performance the night before the fair.

I remember after the fair going to eat at India Gate restaurant. We commandeered a table that ran nearly the width of the room, with seating for about 30 people. I have photos of it. In one, you can see that I sit at one end of the table. You can only see the back of my head. Far in the background, at the other end of the table, you can see Rod, hair slightly gray, eyes glowing flashbulb red.

from Caller and Other Poems


I could go on like this all day

Ti-tum ti-tum and doodly-ay
With every now and then a glance
To see if I've still on my pants
And if I have, if that stain' jism
Or just a trace of modernism.

For isn't this what poetry is?...

A raincoat over similes
You've seen before... Flash... look again
The same. No need to strain your brain
Simply recline on the chaise longue
And listen to the rhymes go bong.

And on like this ad-infinitum

With a metrical change or two to brighten
The gloomy rhythm of these stanzas
(Metaphor a Belgium for my Panzers).
Let those who think that piss is water
Sup deeply this insipid Porter.

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