Saturday, February 18, 2012

Know Your Neighborhood Billionaires

I don't know much about this man but I am certainly going to try to find out more. Frank VanderSloot is his name and pyramid schemes, pedophilia cover up, and anti-gay propaganda are his games. You can read all about this bozo here.

This story brings me back to 2004. I was sitting in the student union at the University of Nebraska with my then roommate and now best friend Paul. We were eating dinner, quite possibly Chinese as the Runza had yet to open at this point, and your classic pyramid scheme schlub was selling his scheme to some innocent, freshmen, most likely strapped for cash. It was difficult for us not to overhear what this dude was telling this kid as we were sitting right next to him. What Paul did next will not only tell you a little bit about Paul as a person, but tell you a little bit about why I consider him my best friend. Paul leans over to me as if he was going to tell me a secret and says softly, "Hey, Kyle..." I lean over closer, Paul hesitates a moment and replies, "looks like we've got a PYRAMID SCHEME GOING ON!" "PYRAMID SCHEME!" "PYRAMID SCHEME!" "PYRAMID SCHEME!" and so on and so forth.

This anecdote is relevant here not because I wanted to tell you about Paul necessarily, but to say sometimes we need to be that guy who stands up for people who don't know any better. That freshmen looking for a job. I'm being Paul for those boy scouts Frank VanderSloot doesn't give a fuck about protecting. I'm being Paul for the silence Frank VanderSloot pushes. I'm being Paul for people who aren't in it for themselves.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Catchya a Carp

Never actually do.
Stupid lily pad's
stupid. xxxxxxOr
the accuracy in
the baiting. What
of it--worms and
creamed kernels
of corn musked by
all the tackle's plastic
xxxxxxxxflies off
the hook's anyhow.
But I forget I'm sick
xxxxxof fishing. And I
forget I'm always sick
Of what--we are grateful
for life? A snap
(save) of the swivel
bass stole the hard
hope of inadequate
tess. All's control,
supposing to be my
Canada, is minimal.
Supposing to be my own
great luff--a following
of an other's will.
The world allows us
to move: the catching of
a whale
xxxxxxin a lake. The fight
of it--but look! Two
red lighters on the floor
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxover there.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The First Winter Snow

Oh, pretty girl, you have trapped
yourself in the wrong body. Twenty
extra pounds hang like a lumpy
tapestry on your perfect mammal nature.

Three months ago you were like a
deer staring at the first winter snow.

Now Aphrodite thumbs her nose at you
and tells stories behind your back.

-Richard Brautigan

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Re: Wordsworth

As I venture further into Wordsworth's 1805 Prelude I have noticed striking similarities and poetic aesthetic choices within it that many of my favorite, more contemporary poets continue to utilize (not to mention my own work). This could quite possibly be the greatest poem I have read to date. This poem seems to be, at least so far (I just finished Book 3 of 13), strictly procedural. What I mean is that Wordsworth's Prelude is a poem about the instance of its making. There is a presence of the present within the poem that is at play with the fact that the poem itself is referential to its own past as well as Wordsworth's. There is more poetic insight within this poem than an actual poem, and therein lies its strangeness--this is first and foremost a poem, but unlike his contemporaries and predecessors, Wordsworth's own poetic process is being evaluated throughout. It's a poem for poets--a proclamation of ambition and failure and success all at the same moment. The poem reads as if it were written in the 20th century at times and is as fresh today (to me) as it was in 1805. My appreciation for Wordsworth before diving into his work the past few months was marginal at best. I would encourage all of you to revisit those poets you may have, at some point, dismissed for whatever reason. There may be the greatest poem ever written awaiting you.

Some favorite portions:

And now it would content me to yield up
Those lofty hopes awhile, for present gifts
Of humbler industry. But, o dear friend,
The poet, gentle creature as he is,
Has like the lover his unruly times -
His fits when he is neither sick nor well,
Though no distress be near him but his own
Unmanageable thoughts. (Wordsworth, Prelude, Book I, Lines 142-149)

Ah me, that all
The terrors, all the early miseries,
Regrets, vexations, lassitudes, that all
The thoughts and feelings which have been infused
Into my mind, should ever have made up
The calm existence that is mine when I
Am worthy of myself. (Wordsworth, Prelude, Book I, Lines 355-361)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


When we last left our hero...

Read as much Wordsworth as you can. So I'm taking the graduate seminar, "Wordsworth and His Circle" with Martin Corless-Smith. I was always intrigued by the romantics for their audacity to write poems to essentially save the world. There isn't that kind of poetics any longer, or if there is, I haven't come across it yet. An explanation for this, I will posit, stems from our(poets) lack of ambition. Ambition not only insofar as production and output of poems, but a lack of concern for the grandness of what a poem can be. I'm not saying this is a new end of mine by any means. However, it is interesting to read poems and read about poets, who at one point, believed poetry could achieve certain things that a variety of wars, genocides, and indifference seem to have swept away.

That being said, what is poetry? According to Martin, poetry is seen by many (and this was prefaced with the idea that poetry has in fact earned this reputation) as, "a parlor game for intellectuals." This, as far as I can tell, may indeed be the case. Who reads poems outside of poets? My stance on publishing is ambivalence and indifference. A poem is something that is and will always be regardless of whether it is published today, tomorrow, or the next decade. What do I get outside of some fleeting feeling of satisfaction from seeing my name/poem in print? My ultimate satisfaction is the poem. The poem will figure itself out eventually--both in its eventual becoming and being, as well as ultimate end point. Whatever dusty notebook/laptop/anthology/collection that might be.

Martin :)

Friday, April 23, 2010