# of pages written: 16
I try to read the poems in literary journals, I really do. But sometimes I feel like poetry is being weird just to be weird. Like the poets are purposefully trying to make me feel stupid. In fact, I might end up describing many modern poems the way Stefon from Saturday Night Live describes New York’s hottest clubs:
Are you looking for inaccessible reading material that makes you feel inadequate? Then look no further! These long-ass poems have everything: foreign languages, goat feet, vague references, Biblical allusions, creepy descriptions of skin and hair. If you liked Ezra Pound’s Cantos, then you’ll love this random collection of words and punctuation!
In case you are unfamiliar with the poetry being published in literary magazines, let me give you an example. I was flipping through Fence the other day, a journal notorious for “experimental” writing, and I read the following:
by Sophia Dahlin
the basking of a scalloped bloomer
listening on deck:
how the bride belied the groom,
despite his foreknowledge,
unable to desist when damasque’d cheeky
before the boat could land.
actually on time but nobody kept track–
smacking of what
the blossom overcame –
the passenger all fingers
pleadingly– the trollop squeezed
an apple into sauce.
2. Why so many dashes – ?
3. I like that the trollop squeezed an apple into sauce, but what’s a trollop?
4. Furthermore, what does damasque’d mean?
5. So apparently they’re on a boat… ?
6. I give up.
Eva’s Analysis, Take Two:
1. the basking of a scalloped bloomer: OK, so maybe someone is a late bloomer and he/she is basking in the sun on the deck of the boat. Why scalloped? I was thinking like potatoes, but maybe it means curvy. Or like the scallops in the ocean. Hmm. OK, let’s move on.
2. how the bride belied the groom: I had to look up “belie.” It means to misrepresent or be false. OK. So the bride did the groom wrong, even though he already knew she would, apparently, because of his “foreknowledge.”
3. unable to desist when damasque’d cheeky/stewardesses had/particular requests: Oh! Scandalous! So somebody hooked up with a bunch of stewardesses. I’m not sure whether it was the bride or groom. (Damasque is a patterned fabric, btw – I just looked it up.)
4. smacking of what/the blossom overcame: I got nothing.
5. the passenger all fingers: Are we back to the bloomer basking on the deck? Is he/she the passenger who is apparently “all fingers”? What does that mean, exactly?
6. pleadingly–the trollop/squeezed an apple into sauce: A trollop is a promiscuous woman. So is the trollop the wife? Or one of the cheeky stewardesses? I like that she squeezed an apple into sauce because an apple is often a symbol for seduction, so this is a nice image In fact, I think I’d like this poem better if it was just this one line: the trollop squeezed an apple into sauce. The end.
7. Final conclusion: I still don’t get it. It makes me frustrated. No offense, Sophia Dahlin. I’m sure you’re much smarter than me and I’m just a lame-o. I guess I should just stick with Shel Silverstein.
So that poem was kind of a bust, but I’ll keep trying. I’ve been interested in reading poetry lately because I’ve been writing more poetry lately. In fact, I just submitted a poem to The Fairy Tale Review the other day. The poem makes sense, I think. Therefore, they probably won’t publish it.