Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18: Republican Convention, Poet of the Week, Sandra Beasley, "Let Me Count the Waves"

On this, the first day of the Republican convention in Cleveland where a political party is going to nominate an actual caricature for President of the United States, I had to find a Poet of the Week who made me laugh.  I found Sandra Beasley, thanks to Rita Dove who named her as a young poet to watch.

What you will read below is a sestina.  Notice the words repeating in a pattern.  Notice how Beasley stretches the lines and words in places.  Plus, she talks about Pringles.  What more could you want in a poem?

Saint Marty is going to try to avoid political talk this week.  He'll let the idiot in Cleveland speak for himself and offend as many people as possible.

Let Me Count the Waves

by:  Sandra Beasley

We must not look for poetry in poems.
                  —Donald Revell 
You must not skirt the issue wearing skirts.
You must not duck the bullet using ducks.
You must not face the music with your face.
Headbutting, don’t use your head. Or your butt.
You must not use a house to build a home,
and never look for poetry in poems.

In fact, inject giraffes into your poems.
Let loose the circus monkeys in their skirts.
Explain the nest of wood is not a home
at all, but a blind for shooting wild ducks.
Grab the shotgun by its metrical butt;
aim at your Muse’s quacking, Pringled face.

It’s good we’re talking like this, face to face.
There should be more headbutting over poems.
Citing an 80s brand has its cost but
honors the teenage me, always in skirts,
showing my sister how to Be the Duck
with a potato-chip beak. Take me home,

Mr. Revell. Or make yourself at home
in my postbellum, Reconstruction face—
my gray eyes, my rebel ears, all my ducks
in the row of a defeated mouth. Poems
were once civil. But war has torn my skirts
off at the first ruffle, baring my butt

or as termed in verse, my luminous butt.
Whitman once made a hospital his home.
Emily built a prison of her skirts.
Tigers roamed the sad veldt of Stevens’s face.
That was the old landscape. All the new poems
map the two dimensions of cartoon ducks.

We’re young and green. We’re braces of mallards,
not barrels of fish. Shoot if you must but
Donald, we’re with you. Trying to save poems,
we settle and frame their ramshackle homes.
What is form? Turning art to artifice,
trading pelts for a more durable skirt.

Even urban ducklings deserve a home.
Make way. In the modern: Make way, Buttface.
A poem is coming through, lifting her skirt.
Better than anything that's going on in Cleveland

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