on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2016 8 Nov

The gap between two books of poetry: paradigm shift

von: Martina Weber Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Richard Siken has been working at a twenty-four-hour restaurant since school times. One night his friend Dave came by, after the bar rush, and Richard read a poem by Anne Carson to him. Dave said wow, that´s amazing, that´s why Anne Carson will always be a better poet than you. Your poems start out okay, but then they go all Francis Bacon in the middle. William Burroughs wrote, a word is a virus with its own life, and thus it has the ability to kill. Richard said, dear reader, I am bad with facts, but I´m trying to reach you. You could listen to Channel Orange, sitting in bed, in a shabby hotel room, reading Siken´s first collection of poems, Crush, published in 2005. Have a look at the cover and you know it´s a book of high passion and panic. And you maybe will order a bottle of whisky via the hotel phone and start to smoke in spite of you were a non smoker in a non smoking room. Can you see the plot like dotted lines going nowhere, like any explanation? Rome is burning, again. Those things happen all the time. Phone´s for you: a German critic, says, there´s too much feelings in it. (I know grammar is wrong. Don´t open that door again.)


Ten years later, book No. 2. War of the foxes. Dunno why he´s also a painter. He is. Unlike O´Hara. Siken did not make the picture on the front page, though. It´s a very different view on things in this poems, especially on lovers. I am faithful to you, darling. He said it to the paint. He surrenders his desire to be healed, poem by poem. And if you prefer to have a look at the unconscious (who is speaking anyway?): you can say, the lyrical I tries to persuade himself of the meaninglessness of love.

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