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Of Poetry & Prose, and Then What Ever It Is I Do Pt. 5

May 25, 2012

So like I hope yer not all beginning to feel like Bastion, and I hope you know, of course, that I have other stuff  that I’m itching to get to, I have chapters of Left Turn to put up ( a couple quick ones [16 & 17] before things start really heating up in Chapter 18), I swear I will post one tonight……plus there’s all this politickin’ and acculturatin’ goin’ on, but though I am nearly incapable of being responsible, almost assuredly one of the biggest Manyana-ites yer ever to meet…, writing down the crazy ass bull shit of tornadic activity that takes place in my brain on a second by second basis is probably the one exception to this rule…oh and I do hate to leave things unfinished (again probably mostly referring to fun creative stuff more than anything else lol…)

But okay anyway and again Cat’s N Kittens it’s me

So I wanna finish the story in a few hundred words(meaning of course under 1000) not counting links to poetry. So lets see we’re in  the early 90’s right? My life is less topsy and his fabulous turvys, ( age, maturity etc, plus I’ve stopped doing coke, meth,[completely] and hallucinogenics[mostly] oh and there”s the disability money)I’m attending a lot of local open readings, and as my poetry improves I begin to pick up some featured spots…

First ya have to understand that I learned pretty quickly how bad and exactly why and where my early attempts at performance poetry and more importantly and specifically my poetry sucked weak ass(thanks to tough and brutally honest older poets[thanks again Lee & others unnamed])…but like I said, I was a quick study.

One of the best and most valuable pieces of advice was to change how I lay my poems out on the page and to drop the whole ee cummings lower case thing (seeing as it was “his thing not mine”…lol great advice old poet  whose name is now lost to time). His second point regarding my poems structure on the page was as eloquent and simple as was his guidance fer the “ee” dilemma…”ya do want people to be able to read it right?” he asked.

His point once I understood it was this, without an extremely valid reason as to why, making the poem more difficult for the reader to decipher draws attention from the words…

Sound, sound logic. I immediately changed both features of my written word.

The next advice, stop being so freaking overtly overbearingly preachy when you read….beats, hippies, they already ranted and quite possibly raved about it all,  so if yer gonna do it, try bringing something new to the table besides the same tired old all injustaphores and opressionisms, and fer God’s sake, if yer gonna talk about politics and the culture, be funny.

Okay I was ready fer all that. I had been, ever since my six year old Ogden Nash period, a fan of funny over frowns. Here’s a great example of the next stage in my poetry story…click on the homeless guy’s sign.

S0 we’re at about 1992, the Aguanga kid is born, I’m living with his mother, on SSI etc so I don’t have to worry ’bout work and can concentrate on art. I’m doin features and making, at least in my little corner, a name fer myself. As I mentioned in the last post I did well in “poetry contest”, and honed much of my poetry production to producing poems matching my somewhat  unhinged performing persona particularly (oh lol) suited to these contest (and as yet off my radar slams[though I am to ‘understand’ they are happening soon])and in the process my “voice” was born…While the above links are some of the “audience favorites[hits] the following poem really captures (I think, and is one of my favorites) what I am trying to do..just click on the persimmon fer the link…

This poem really, I feel exemplifies my voice, stripped of all the performance gimmicks, focused on a moment, the poetry of life, in this instance the conversation becomes the metaphor, at least I think, I hope, I feel that’s what I am going for…in hindsight, cause ya see my faithful readers, I didn’t set out to write this way, this is the way I write…when all is stripped away…when the pretense, and manufactured intentions, and tryin to be’s, and tryin to sound likes, and the pretentiousness of the Artie Mann, are all killed off through diligent applied effort, what is left is the real voice of the poet…in my specific case it lead to many people (all super cool poets) saying “It’s not really poetry though is it?” “Where’s the imagery? They’d ask…( I mean I always thought personally that “The old guy wearing California skin…” was halfway okay, I mean not Neruda or anything…)but imagery’s not my strength, and I decided long ago that being real, the poet I was, was far more important than either a: teaching myself to be someone elses idea of a poet, or pretending to be the same?

The misspelling of my name went unnoticed (at least by me)till the Aguanga Kid pointed it out yesterday

So that’s what I rolled with by late 92′ early ’93 I was pulling at east a couple featured readings a month, either sharing the bill or gong solo and carrying the night on my ever expanding body of work, always entertaining performance, all the oddity expected, delivered guaranteed ….this was just one of the reasons I got the nickname “Psycho Boy

Okay so rock ’em sock ’em robots Cat’s n Kittens I swore I’d get outta here at less than a thousand words (though I may have implied I’d finish er up also….well it is what it… lol)….comin soon Pt 6

I was asked to feature a number of times by the wonderful owners. They were also the first to agree to pay me as a featured…but we’re getting to that…hopefully…in part 6 fer sure

3 Responses to “Of Poetry & Prose, and Then What Ever It Is I Do Pt. 5”


  1. Okay, now I want to read the “California Skin” poem. Is it around here somewhere?

    I’m glad you’re doing this, but I have one question: Now that you’ve looked at your own history and influences, where is your writing going now?

    In the present tense: What drives you? What inspires you? What surprises you?


  2. Hi BB….I’m so glad that people are actually enjoying this…It has been a lot of…fun fer me…and a great cathartic experience. Like I’ve said I haven’t really ever told this story before…the “The ol guy wearing California skin…” line is part of “Persimmon Harvest”
    the poem found above by clicking of the “Persimmon” (or the thing that looks kind’a like a tomato lol)
    As to what I am doing now…well that’s still coming…I figure Pt. 6 will wrap up California years and start on Dakotey time…I am at this point accepting that it will probably have to be longer still and that Pt. 7 (hopefully that wil be all) I will be able to tie everything all neatly together with my online stuff and how everything came together on WP.
    So sorry I have not been to yer site in a week or so (has it been that long :() Sunday’s my big day fer catching up so hopefully today…
    Oh and I never got to ask about the “Trannie” poet from Austin who kicked ass at the L.A. Palooza MC’ing the slam…(I thought about him when I read yer reply regarding writing about the slam from Austin…
    Also did ya get a chance to click on the “Psycho Boy” link…I was of course hilariously stunned that “PB” columns had such a resemblance (similarity of voice) to what I am doing here lol…(oh and nother note from earlier…yea self introspection [taking apart and analyzing my own behavior] s’one of my specialties I guess)
    Oh bla, bla, bla, one more thing…the poetry sites I have up on WP are separated by time and location…”Golden State Years Hits & Near Misses 1989-1994″ is obviously all my So Cal poetry ( I think there is a couple accidental cross overs that I have never fixed “In and Out of My Hands” comes to mind)…”409 N” is poetry written either once in SD, or mostly poems written while living at 409 N….
    Annnyway, thanks BB fer everything and though I haven’t even started “really” playing with it yet…the sonnets comin and I am excited about doin it…I am planning at this point to put the whole process up start to finish and will let you know…


    • Sorry for the delay in my reply! Sometimes I do wonder how I manage to get through the day— I am super forgetful.

      Okay, I’m here now. Gonna focus on replying to you fully.

      I cannot remember who hosted the Finals the year that I covered the Nationals. I only remember bits and pieces of three or four of the finalists.

      I remember that the seating for the press was way, way, way, WAY up in the nosebleed seats. (Bad PR choice.)

      The upper balcony of the Paramount is tilted.

      You get a great (if specky) view, but even leaning forward in my seat made me feel as though I was going to tumble over the edge of the balcony 15 feet away. *Shudder.*

      My brain is mushy today. I did look at the Psycho Boy links and I did look at both of your poetry sites. I really like what I was seeing on 409 N. The few pieces I had a chance to close-read felt strong in voice and technique. I’m excited about where you’ re going next, and I’m glad you’re doing a writer’s inventory.

      Keep going. (I’ve read the next part already.) I am really curious as to what is driving your work now, as compared to ten years ago, or longer.

      You’ve had an interesting journey, DU. Really interesting!


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