Saturday, 23 February 2013

Famous Authors' Baby Photos

"Before daffodils, I was into tulips--lol"--William Wordsworth

"'Imma write poems with snowglobes in em' is prolly what I was thinking here--good times"--Billy Collins

"Pigshit!"--Antonin Artaud

"Quoth!"--Edgar Allan Poe

"I tried out that 'poetry should take off the top of your head' line and my mom was all like 'noooo!'--lol"--Emily Dickinson

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Molly Earl's Crazy Crafts Novel Wins Canada Reads Competition

It was a poignant moment when the novel Crazy Crafts: Home Crafting Projects for the February Blahs: a Novel was chosen as the Canada Reads winner, a day before the 31st anniversary of the sinking of the Bob & Doug Community Poetry Scuba Bubble.

Newfoundland and Labrador author Molly Earl reflected on that coincidence on Friday, as she discussed her win with CBC cultural affairs show Q.

“To be truthful, I woke up this morning and my crocheted pillow was wet with tears because today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Bob & Doug Community Poetry Scuba Bubble,” she said.

"Jian Ghomeshi is all the reward I need"--Molly Earl

Friday, 15 February 2013

Interview with Paul Hoover!

"There are a few surprises all up in here"--Paul Hoover
G’Morning Poetry: Paul, there are a few surprises all up in here.

Paul Hoover: I think you’ll certainly find a few surprises all up in here, yes.

GP: Paul, why did you choose—in this edition—to omit Bukowski and Kelly and Antin, say, but include Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, and Andrea Martin?

PH: I consider them the pre-eminent conceptual poets. I had to make space.

GP: You have also made the controversial decision to not include any actual work from any of your chosen poets but rather just simply to list their names—why did you do this?

PH: Space, again. And I respect the elegance of the list. 

GP: In your Introduction to the new volume you spend a great deal of time discussing your new HBO series IM IN A MTHAFCKIN BOOK! which you say will star Andy Samberg playing a character called “Paull Hoover” who is a poet and anthologist. When will this show air?

PH: Pretty darn soon!

GP: What is your definition of poetry?

PH: I like what Foster Hewitt said: “Pronoun verb, pronoun verb!”

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sharon Olds--Enigmatic Queen of Conceptual Poetry

Sharon Olds--TS Eliot Poetry Prize Winner & Enigmatic Queen of Conceptual Poetry

G'Morning Poetry: It's a great pleasure to speak with you, Sharon.

Sharon Olds: It's a real pleasure to chat with you, too.

GP: And congratulations on receiving this year's TS Eliot Poetry Prize!

SO: Oh, thank you so much!

GP: Were you surprised that a radical conceptual poet like yourself should win such a mainstream  poetry award?

SO: Oh--I was very surprised... But I haven't often been described as a "conceptual poet." That's a new one!

GP: You are thought of as one of the founders of conceptual poetry. Can you explain conceptual poetry to our readers?

SO: I'm--well... I am certainly not one of the founders and hardly an expert in conceptual poetry and so--

GP: In your latest collection--Stag's Leap--we notice that you have merely cut and pasted (from the IMDB site) all 2000 or so audience reviews of Bambi. Why did you do this?

SO: Stag's Leap is actually a collection of individual poems that speak--in diverse ways--about the agony of lost love.

GP: In terms of the history of your movement, however, why did you and Kenny decide to embark on a radical poetics of appropriation and plagiarism?

SO: Kenny?

GP: How do you respond to critics that suggest that the pervasive "I" of the confessional poets (that "I" that you conceptualists seek to detourne) has in fact merely reconstituted itself either in the marketing apparatus or the "heroics of labour" or the generally anxious, anti-I ego-work that surrounds so many of your fellow conceptualists/their projects?

SO: I believe you are mistaking me for someone else. I don't think I'm a conceptual poet.

GP: Is the refusal to acknowledge a "labelled poetics" another tactic of radical conceptualism?

SO: I don't know.

GP: What is poetry?

SO: The poetry that I know and seek to practice is a form of communication that happens between souls.

GP: Is that a lifted quotation from Barbara Walters' recent interview with Elton John?

SO: No--those are my own words.

GP: When you "wrote" The Father, in 1992, you were way ahead of the conceptual poetry game. Our understanding is that that book is comprised entirely of internet-gleaned anecdotes about Robert Young. Genius.

SO: Wrong.

GP: Sharz, you are on record as saying that "the iPad is more important than Robert Lowell." Can you elaborate on this audacious claim?

SO: Wrong. Wrong again. Goodbye.

GP: Thank you so much.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Robert Frost Estate Announces New Deal w Kellogg's

The Estate of Robert Frost announced today a new marketing deal with the Kellogg's Corporation. "Dad always used to eat Frosted Flakes and then he would say 'they're gr-r-and!' and then we'd correct him and say 'you mean, "gr-r-eat!," don't you, Dad?' and then he'd say 'who's the fkin famous poet at this fkin family eating table?' and we'd all say 'you are, Dad' and then we'd continue eating in monastic silence,' said Sarah Frost the only surviving daughter of Robert Frost and the current Executor of the Robert Frost Estate.
        Frost went on to say that, while Kellogg's will continue with their world-recognized "They're gr-r-eat!" tag line, Tony the Tiger would be replaced with the new face of Kellogg's: "Robert Frosted Flake." "The guy totally looks like a frosted flake and his name is FROST," explained Kellogg's Marketing Director Doug Jenkins. "At the end of the day it was a win-win greenlight situation for us in Marketing," he added. Frost said she also expects her father's poetry sales to be boosted. "People love to read poetry at the breakfast table," she noted.
    "This is a merger my father would have been pr-r-oud of," she said.

"Basically I just like ALL my shit frosted--knoimsayin?"--Robert Frost
"In this picture I'm still kind of happy about things and life and stuff--then I got fir-r-red"--Tony the Tiger

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Actual Live Transcript with an Online Ikea Customer Service Agent


POEM is launched (later known as POÄNG)
Another IKEA classic is born, the comfortable armchair POEM made of laminated wood, which will later evolve into POÄNG.
See the entire POÄNG series

G'Morning Poetry: Hello, we would like to ask about the poem.

Ikea Customer Service Agent: Hello. I would be happy to assist you.

GP: What is the poem?

ICSA: The Poem is another IKEA classic. It is a comfortable armchair made of laminated wood.

GP: What is the relationship between the poem and social justice?

ICSA: It comes in many colours, too.

GP: Are you saying "diversity" is the relationship between the poem and social justice?

ICSA: I'm sorry--I was typing out my last answer when you sent your other question. I don't know if I understand your question. Can you rephrase it, please?

GP: Is there a relationship between the poem and politics? Can the poem change the world?

ICSA: Well, the Poem has been around since 1976. It's a classic. Many customers the world over associate the Poem with Ikea itself. 

GP: Would you consider the poem a tough read or an easy go?

ICSA: The Poem is a chair. You sit in it.

GP: How is that possible?

ICSA: That's what it's for. The Poem is a chair.

GP: Ah. So would you characterize the poem as "of the people" and yet "ferociously avant-garde"?

ICSA: The Poem is a functional, affordable, smartly-designed chair.

GP: Have you read the poem?

ICSA: Where are you writing from?

GP: Canada. How long is the poem?

ICSA: I think you are misunderstanding me. The Poem is a functional, affordable, smartly-designed chair.

GP: Would you say that the poem is metaphor- or metonymy-driven? 

ICSA: I'm not sure you are understanding me. "The Poem" is the creative name for the chair.

GP: Can we get a copy of the poem?

ICSA: Yes, most definitely. It is widely available at all of our North American stores.

GP: Wonderful. Last question: who wrote the poem?

ICSA: I think I see our misunderstanding. You think the Poem is a poem. The Poem is just a chair.

GP:  Who wrote the poem? Did Billy write the poem?

ICSA: Have I answered all of your questions satisfactorily?

GP: Who is Billy?

ICSA: [The agent is offline] 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Guy Debord's Top Ten Quips About the Superbowl!

"What would I do?"--Guy Debord

In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of superbowls. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.

The images detached from every aspect of life merge into a common stream in which the unity of that life can no longer be recovered. Fragmented views of reality regroup themselves into a new unity as a separate pseudoworld that can only be looked at. The specialization of images of the world evolves into a world of autonomized images where even the deceivers are deceived. The superbowl is a concrete inversion of life, an autonomous movement of the nonliving.

The superbowl presents itself simultaneously as society itself, as a part of society, and as a means of unification. As a part of society, it is ostensibly the focal point of all vision and all consciousness. But due to the very fact that this sector is separate, it is in reality the domain of delusion and false consciousness: the unification it achieves is nothing but an official language of universal separation.

The superbowl is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images.

The superbowl cannot be understood as a mere visual excess produced by mass-media technologies. It is a worldview that has actually been materialized, that has become an objective reality.

Understood in its totality, the superbowl is both the result and the project of the present mode of production. It is not a mere decoration added to the real world, it is the very heart of this real society’s unreality. In all of its particular manifestations — news, propaganda, advertising, entertainment — the superbowl is the model of the prevailing way of life. It is the omnipresent affirmation of the choices that have already been made in the sphere of production and in the consumption implied by that production. In both form and content the superbowl serves as a total justification of the conditions and goals of the existing system. The superbowl is also the constant presence of this justification since it monopolizes the majority of the time spent outside the production process.

Separation is itself an integral part of the unity of this world, of a global social practice split into reality and image. The social practice confronted by an autonomous superbowl is at the same time the real totality which contains that superbowl. But the split within this totality mutilates it to the point that the superbowl seems to be its goal. The language of the superbowl consists of signs of the dominant system of production — signs which are at the same time the ultimate end-products of that system.

The superbowl cannot be abstractly contrasted to concrete social activity. Each side of such a duality is itself divided. The superbowl that falsifies reality is nevertheless a real product of that reality. Conversely, real life is materially invaded by the contemplation of the superbowl, and ends up absorbing it and aligning itself with it. Objective reality is present on both sides. Each of these seemingly fixed concepts has no other basis than its transformation into its opposite: reality emerges within the superbowl, and the superbowl is real. This reciprocal alienation is the essence and support of the existing society.

In a world that has really been turned upside down, the true is a moment of the false.

The concept of “the superbowl” interrelates and explains a wide range of seemingly unconnected phenomena. The apparent diversities and contrasts of these phenomena stem from the social organization of appearances, whose essential nature must itself be recognized. Considered in its own terms, the superbowl is an affirmation of appearances and an identification of all human social life with appearances. But a critique that grasps the superbowl’s essential character reveals it to be a visible negation of life — a negation that has taken on a visible form.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Famous Poets' Famous Come Back Lines

"Two fuckfaces diverged in the woods and I, I got famous--jerks"--Robert Frost
"My moustache's solitude flicks you away like a flea"--Rainer Maria Rilke
[Flowers of evil eye]--Charles Baudelaire
"Does a skylark respond to a slug? Loohoohooser!"--Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Did you say something? The audio ain't so great up here on MOUNT FKIN OLYMPUS, biotch!"--Walt Whitman
"Quoth you, asshole!"--EA Poe