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Saturday, April 18, 2015

THE PLOT THICKENS



It has come to my attention
as it does from time to time
that I'm much fonder of plot driven
narrative than characterization that goes
on and on and on and on and on and on
and in the end what are you left with
but the same pathetic slob you met in the beginning
in the same place in his life
only he's had some slight epiphany
or not
like all of the postmodern gunk
I used to wade through
hoping against hope
that SOMETHING would happen
anything
but in the end it just ends
and you're left feeling cheated
the way you feel
at the end of a love affair
cuz in the end that's just how it ends

up in the air

so why do we always want more than
what's possible
riding off into the sunset
everything neat and tidy
just give me something messy
The Big Bang will do fine
and I'll keep myself busy
picking up the pieces

Anyway here's what I made away with from my most
recent excursion to the public library's used book sale:

THE PARIS REVIEW BOOK OF HEARTBREAK,
MADNESS, SEX, LOVE, BETRAYAL, OUTSIDERS,
INTOXICATION, WAR, WHIMSY, HORRORS, 
GOD, DEATH, DINNER, BASEBALL, TRAVELS
THE ART OF WRITING, AND EVERYTHING ELSE
IN THE WORLD SINCE 1953 (and that is the title)

750 pages for a damn buck
cheap thrills
goddamn cheap
and there's Updike
Nabokov
Capote
William Burroughs
Ezra Pound
Ginsberg
Mailer
Hemingway
Henry Miller
and Stanley Elkin
whom I've always liked
just to name a few
and did you know that John Updike has a poem called
"Two Cunts In Paris"
oh
and I also picked up Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac Of The Dead
Stephen King's The Long Walk (lotta dead folks in there too)
and Ian McEwan's Saturday (which I finished on a Monday)
and God I swear that plot is so incidental to McEwan
(HE SPENT SEVENTEEN PAGES DESCRIBING A GAME OF SQUASH!)
but I waded through it anyway
I stuck with it cuz that's one of my flaws
giving the benefit of the doubt to
most anyone
till they prove me stupid

which most eventually do...

And I know I'm relinquishing
all claim to literary snobbishness
by telling you this
but I'll guarantee ya Scheherazade
kept things lively and moving
and just like that Persian king
I'm still here
after all this time
starry-eyed and hanging
on every word
with childlike wonder
(or naivete)
waiting to find out what comes next



29 comments:

  1. nice 2 c u writin again :) love, cat.

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    1. Running off at the mouth, you mean? lol

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  2. This is so so utterly majestic in nature! :D

    so why do we always want more than
    what's possible

    Well according to me people are dreamers and wish to achieve the impossible as it is alluring and calls out to them :D
    Have a wonderful day ahead :D

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    Replies
    1. I think you hit it right on the head. Thanks so much!

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  3. Enjoyed all but the first really made me smile...the truth of it. Great job.

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  4. Anyone who takes 17 pages to describe a squash game is begging for retribution.
    Politically incorrect - yes I know:)

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    Replies
    1. We are in agreement there. Hey, i tried to leave a comment on your blog but got back that message that said it couldn't be delivered, so guess you didn't get it. Dunno what gives between here and there! (Anyway, I really liked your post)

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  5. I've got to the point where I just cannot read crap, even if I spend $20 on a book I will not finish it if it does not engage me. Thankfully there is a wealth of post-modern literature of the last century still worth reading.

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    1. Yes, there are, and I don't mean to paint all postmodern authors with the same brush. I was thinking of the stuff I used to read in literary journals, especially during the nineties. It would seem like the story was building toward something...and then it just ends...and you're saying WHERE'S THE REST OF IT???

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  6. Love it love it, love it! I am an impatient reader these days. If it doesn't grab me quickly, it's lost me. I'm mad about beautiful writing (The Book Thief springs to mind) but not about wankery pretending to be art. I like characters I can fall in love with, and yes, a good plot where stuff happens.

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  7. Oh yes I agree, one can get lost in that ocean of word plot character, but there must benthe interest factor. Oh and yes as Rosemary reminds the Book Thief very fine novel

    Much love...

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    1. I may steal that one from the library!

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  8. Ha, and yet here we are writing poetry. Sometimes snobbery but what is that to a good story. But often the best of action is just a repeated narrative...

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    1. Poetry could be considered the snob realm of writing, I guess...but mine could never be accused of that!

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    2. I hope I fall short of snobbery too..

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  9. There are still poets around. It is not a mean thing to be indulging in poetry!

    Hank

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  10. see - i would have loved to listen to Scheherazade - she must've been a master storyteller.. love a good story... love books.. i can get lost in them and wish they would never end..

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    1. Then I recommend The Never Ending Story--lol Great to see you. Claudia!

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  11. Thank goodness for the sample of a book one can get on the Kindle - it it doesn't grab me in five pages, I'[m outta there. this has kept me from wasting good money on bad books. When I was a young un and told my friend I was going to write poetry, she said, If you ever become a snob, I'll beat you on your head. Well, no head beatings yet. Hayes Spencer is Kanzensakura

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  12. I'm famous for starting a book, then starting another, and another, and seldom finishing any. I suppose that's in part because I read a lot of non-fiction where you can get away with that. I do stick to only one fiction book at a time (though don't have a lot of time for fiction) and I agree that plot is so important and incessant, irrelevant details will bog me down. I enjoyed your journey to the library immensely. Peace, Linda

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  13. Well yes, as poets we too are influenced by both what we live & read. You should enjoy my piece today, for it is episode 37 of a screenplay poem I am writing based on an unpublished existential Western I wrote in 1967, which should garner your interest in what comes next as well as what came before. I have to read "Two Cunts in Paris". This is my first stop here, but I dig your voice, & it a return trip is imminent.

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  14. A lot of this spells my lifelong bookworm habits (except that I loved Saturday, and have read it three times!) Once upon a time, when I embarked on a book, I finished it, no matter what. With fewer days ahead of me, I give up more readily on pretentious writing or lack of plot and action.

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  15. I love a good page turner - but lose patience easily at those that blather endless on with no apparent plot in sight. Wonderful write - look forward to reading more of your work

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  16. Ah..the world of action vs the world of talking.. i'll take the world of
    action as soon as i can quit talking for now..:)
    And 'just do it'.. instead..:)
    Even if i have to
    use NIKE
    shoes to do it..:)

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  17. That was a very amusing summary of the state of much of contemporary literary fiction! And I like the way your own offering mirrored that kind of prose. A great piece of satire - and a very fair point!

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  18. Thanks, all, for your lovely, insightful comments!

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