A stearn talking-to

The Hat declares himself tired of posting to LiveJournal in different verse forms (locked as usual, technical hiccups as usual). I can’t help but feel that he’d do better trying to inject a bit of a modernist note in it all to liven it up. Try a bit of Eliot’s runaway, um, inspiration:

Though we sicken,
Though we sicken of the verse,
Though we sicken of the verse
And in sickening turn away from our whorish muse
Yet we do not turn away from love, or misery, or moi, moi, moi, or in turning turn
Away from that which might elsewhere inspire,
Yet without variation characters and fills LiveJournal
Like vomitus fills a millefiori vase.

Talaq! Talaq! Talaq! is a password for the bristling Turk,
Yet still can he comment on unlocked posts…

The first time I tried, I tried
To get it all to rhyme; I failed
But in failing secured
My place in the great canon;
Warmed it; put slippers by its chair;
Favourite paper tucked under a cushion;
Tweed blanket that smelled of mother and terriers.

The second time I tried, I
Got this bit to scan, and yet
It read like the Daily News
Or some other clever proletarian reference
That I got off Vivienne last time
She was necking the Nytol
That hot, salty day in Latakia.

The third time I didn’t try
At all
And was immediately published, snapped up,
fêted in Venice, fought over in Bloomsbury.
“You can’t buy this by the pound,” they said at the LRB,
“Not since he went over to the Ities, at any rate.”

Dove? you cried in Padua;
Dove? Dove il bar? Dove il vino?
Silly little uomo, the street urchins cried
Till you were sick, in their black-olive-black hair.

According to Mark Ford, Wayne Koestenbaum once argued that gay Eliot wrote in need of an editor so that Pound might step in and give him the literary equivalent of a sound buggering. I never expected to read this side of mescaline the words: “the male Modernist anus, a barren, intrinsically unprocreative zone, achieves a weird flowering—lilacs out of the dead land—when men collaborate: Pound penetrates Eliot’s waste land, and fills the hollow man with child.”

So every time more than one man has ever worked on anything at the same time ever in history, then, you can call it shagging in queer theory if it supports your argument. The most astonishing thing is you can get paid for that stuff, whereas I’ve heard that actual poetry pays surprisingly little.

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