Modern American Poetry has entered its Big Hair Phase.


Your poems are gaudy, overexcited, its grammar teased up to the sky.

You’re not really saying anything. Your poems all sound the same.

There are no images.

You talk about your dexterity and mastery in a language used by hunters and captors and slave-owners.

You talk about how you’re so different than everything that came before you, how everything else sucks and you don’t care if people like you.

Instead it’s all about “sense of play,” getting your parents angry, trying to affect minor public policy decisions.

When will you slow down?

When you stop with all the disruptions?

I sit on Ashbery’s shoulders and flash you my tits. You won’t give anyone backstage passes.

And you would just stand there onstage, grimacing, shredding it up over 4/4 time.

Modern American poetry, I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.

I talk to you and you sit there on your raft in your mother’s pool, all drunk and sad.

You pour vodka on your head and say you’re a piece of crap.

Parody is the best you can do. That and pastiche, collage, fragment. Verse, chorus, bridge, repeat.

You write poems on the subject of poems in a poem entitled “Poem.”

The banality of everyday doesn’t concern you.

You and your rhetorical claim to ordinariness.

You and your rhetorical practices to give every indication of individual, eccentric genius.

You just studied with James Tate and are all excited.

Make all the distortion go away!

Stop erasing shit from books!

Please, fucking stop!

I want to hear a story. Take that lipstick off.

Please build up to your finale and be done with it. Let someone else take over.


One Reply to “Modern American Poetry has entered its Big Hair Phase.”

  1. This is brilliant.

    And also made me exhale some angst outta these lungs.

    Thanks for that.

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