Of Poetry & Prose, and Then What Ever It Is I Do Pt. 1

May 19, 2012

Ola Gato’s y Gatitios…it’s me the Ol Dysu back fer another fabulous round of…whatever the hell it is I do here. So here’s the dealey-o fer today…

Recently I have been in a wonderful series of discussions (here on WP) with Bluebird (obviously not her real name) revolving around writing, both prose and poetry. She is by  far more technically savvy than me. Let me get that in the open right off the get go, especially regarding prose in case I inadvertently (somewhere in the following piece[or part two fer that matter]) imply anything to the contrary. In this process I have uncovered interesting hidden truths about not only some of my past works that I have been posting here, but the new pieces and posts that I pepper this imaginary place we call the world wide web as well…

An actual Bluebird, not Blogger Bluebird

Okay, as usual, I’m not going to go straight to these “hidden truths” but head there circuitously by way of the next reply I was gettin ready to post on her page entitled “Reading Poetry in the Big Chief Years”…I hadn’t planned to do things this way(yea like I usually plan anything). I had planned to write my poetry story (some thing she had asked[as well as a sonnet coming miss BB]), ya know like, well wait I guess ya don’t know, anyway the point is not like this…but well, here’s the deal, and those of you who I follow and comment on yer posts will easily back me on this….My comments and/or replys can often at times ramble on…sometimes longer than the original posts I am commenting on…oh it is to laugh…Anyway the point is that at some point, as the reply stretched on I realized that I was practically telling my poetry story right then and there, and though I’d promised to say it quickly…I’ll wait till yer done laughing…of course like always I was quickly easily topping  5oo words…

So, instead I decided to firstly, not post another long reply on this poor Gal’s Blog, (really ya gotta go and read not only this specific posts, but her other posts regarding writing, her poetry and…hell just become one of her followers you won’t regret it [I mean, Five Minute Dance Party alone often makes my day(I mean not this one but often)])…but, and again as usual, anyway…secondarily, this is a great chance to not only tell my poetry story, but explain some of what I have learned about what I have ended up (somehow unknowingly) attempting to accomplish with this weird writing style I have (somehow) accidentally (on purpose)found myself trying to write with and you the reader ending up left to puzzle over….and you should see the first draft sentences….

Anyway, and so okay her we go…the following was my reply,  in my own particularly peculiar way…

B.B-Bukowski of course was a huge inspiration fer me especially when it came to “finding” my own poetry voice…mmm…tryin to figure out how to say this quickly…weird-o kid, dreamer, good fer nuthin, had a bad(?) family/home life, left home ran the streets, into weirdo arts etc (mostly writing poems, plays, lame early teens despair and darkness stuff lol)…But I didn’t read books outside of school…which was limited to short fiction and poetry, so no novels  at all…(I had read earlier, as a little boy, Tom Sawyer etc…I especially remember loving the Hardy Boys). But I was too cool to read books(actually if you read my earliest post[links added above not part of original reply obviously] you can see I was trying to look tough more than be cool), in my experience, little boy units who are programmed to like reading got their asses whooped. please no “so sorry’s”, water under a long passed bridge. I laugh about it now.

Okay,  so late teens early twenty’s By this time I had been in theater(all H.S. and) first year of college,making underground(deep, deep) arty (unintelligible, pretentious or sometimes both) films with friends, still mostly homeless, a father, and was in was in a variety of punk bands (writing and singing)I bumped into a guy who gives me a Kurt Vonnegut book…”Cat’s Cradle” still one of my favorite writers to reread. Then came the beats but most importantly Kerouac…reading “On The Road” changed my whole idea of who I was…even though we were temporally, of course, years apart I felt a real kinship to whatever the particular variety of madness he suffered from….”On the Road” was my “Catcher in the Rye” so to speak

The next big author fer me was of course HST, like Vonnegut and Kerouac before him I read everything he had published in a few short months. Okay whoops major bullshit alert,  Freudian omission whatever, I have not read everything that any of the above authors have written….there is a distinct example of how someone can become a victim of their own bullshit…oh it is to laugh…I know I have made that statement more than once sitting around with other arty pretentious bastards each trying to out cool each other…(and it is a perfect example of what I rant about all the time; the difference between a truth and the truth)…Anyway like take Vonnegut fer instance, I do not think I finished “God Bless you Mrs Rosewater”, I don’t remember why (this must have been early 80’s remember) but more than likely it bored me somehow. I distinctly remember not liking “Welcome to the Monkey House” that much either….I liked Kerouac s prose, but hardly remember reading much of his poetry…but there have been a hell of a lot of drugs between here and there and so maybe  I’ve jes fergotten that I have read them…L and his fabulous o l’s,

And then as I was giving up on the punk “rich rock star dieing young of an overdose” dream I first discovered the poetry scene in LA about 87 maybe 88, I was still homeless then, but turning up at these events, and having heard some of my stuff (again my old punk songs turned into not so good poems,) an older poet suggested I read Bukowski…I have now read much of his work (more his poetry than prose (through the early nineties) but I began to feel as I often do that (but especially with C.B.) his style, his voice was beginning to bleed into mine or compromise my…now don’t laugh…”artistic integrity”…in reality BB you are far more of a craftsman than me regarding the actual process of writing prose. Like with the eclipses issue (lol, originally I think it was simply me doing ya know…hmmm…punk stuff…anti stuff) Often I do or think first and, usually through some sort of secondary process (such as discussing  why I don’t use punctuation in poetry with yer lovely self in this case) understand the truth of the thing after…

So that’s about where I stopped Dude’s and Dudette’s…I mean that wasn’t the end…that’s where I realized that I had really only briefly talked about poetry, let alone attempted to clarify some of the odder statements I had made already….but I was well on my way to another long ass rambling semi coherent reply…I mean look here I am well over a thousand words  already so I am going to split it up as I often am wont to do…

I probably won’t get Pt. 2 posted till late tonight, cause I’m sure you’ll all be waiting by yer computers (plus Chapter 15 [find out what happens between Val & Mac]is edited and, c.m.f. ready to be posted)’cause i got laundry to do before Lil Mouse gets home.(jes don’t tell anyone I do laundry, it will ruin my tough guy male chauvinist asshole image that I am so carefully crafting)

In part two I will (I promise) talk strictly ’bout poetry, at least at first, I hope, then a bit about my attempts at  prose including  here on WP, then I will try to wrap up the post with clarifications ( hopefully answering  the hows they came abouts?[and whys’ ya keepin ons?])discussions of style content etc of my other writings here on Word Press…including my lonely little “nice” Blog (shameless self promotion I know) “Random Rite’s & Wrongs”…wow okay reading that it seems just a smidge of an over reach to think I can get that all in one post…

Until ya see me tryin then,  keep it dysfunctional

3 Responses to “Of Poetry & Prose, and Then What Ever It Is I Do Pt. 1”

  1. You answered so many of my questions about your process and your fundamental “literary ancestry” here. I’m so glad you’re unpacking these ideas. And I don’t think you’re rambling at all— this piece seems well organized to me. Plus, this piece full of interesting self-revelations.

    Here was one of my stab-in-the-dark guesses— I figured that you probably had read Bukowski’s poetry, but not his prose. His prose uses standardized punctuation, right? His poetry often does not— but his poetic style does depend on the efficacy of line breaks.

    We all have our literary ancestry, DU. (Mine includes Vonnegut! I never could bring myself to read his first book, though. I saw him speak, once. He was exquisite.)

    And thank you for the thoughtful nod in my direction. I really appreciate it. You make me think about process and shape and style— I think one always should be revisiting one’s philosophies and motivations in writing. That’s me, though. And I can be really, really, really pedantic, ya know?

    Thanks for giving me a lot to think about, DU. Excellent essay. Can’t wait to read the next one!

    • BB, thanks so much fer yer continued support, and I’m glad you enjoyed this post…hopefully ya know I enjoyed writing it, I just of course never dreamed that it would go on so long, but it was the first time I’ve really talked and shared the whole story (still more comin’) with anyone since I left so cal, and even Lil’ Mouse learned a lot of stuff that I’d never really (I guess) told her. It just has always seemed like a different life…(each separate part I went through…lol) It was also a very cathartic experience and I gained as much as anyone by writing it…
      Anyway Miss BB, I’m tryin to take some time before I post anything else to catch up on all my WP responsibilities (reading new posts on the blogs I follow, comments, replies, reply to replies etc). By the way, you are an extremely observant and thoughtful reader who often picks up on some of the more nuanced (I believe) aspects of what I’m trying to do with my Dysu blog (..:And I don’t think you’re rambling at all— this piece seems well organized to me”) so I appreciate it greatly, just using the word essay gave me a thrill…I don’t wanna make claims as to what it is I’m doing here (though it would be what I would call them if I felt confident enough lol)…If you’d like to call them essays…well that makes me really happy

      • Sorry for the delayed reply! This week is going cattywompus on me and it’s only Tuesday. I’m doing the best I can to roll with the silliness of my schedule.

        I think… that unpacking your own thoughts, or writing about writing is an important way of figuring out where you come from — as well as where you are going next.

        I am also wondering if writing about all these different aspects of your life will help you integrate the different stories that make up your own personal narrative.

        I’m excited you’re trying out the essay form— it’s a beautiful fit on you, like a tailored suit. The essay is so underrated, really. It’s got punch and heft and muscularity. I’m excited for you on a bunch of different levels. Really, really excited! Glad to hear this piece sparked some conversation at home, too! Sounds like a win-win-win to me!

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