RSS Feed

Stefon Describes New York’s Hottest Poetry & Eva Tries to Analyze a Poem

Stefon Describes New York’s Hottest Poetry & Eva Tries to Analyze a Poem

TODAY’S STATS:

# 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!

Stefon from SNL

Stefon from SNL

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:

High Food
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
stewardesses had
particular requests.

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.

Eva’s Analysis:

1. WTF?
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.

Apples are a symbol for seduction.  Are you feeling aroused by this poster?

Apples are a symbol for seduction. Are you feeling aroused by this poster?

Advertisements

About evalangston

Eva Langston is a writer, among other things.

4 responses »

  1. well, i think sophia is wonderful.
    a very clever poem. the unique diction is what makes it.
    “before the boat could land.
    actually on time but nobody kept track–”
    the way she collages words reminds me of a stan brakhage film; words standard in different eras as the medium used make a transcend time or “plane” in the poem.

    sophia: keep writing and i will gladly keep reading!

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Crotch Diamonds, Space Travelers, and Sharing Contemporary Poetry | In the Garden of Eva

  3. I could be wrong, but I think this poem is about handjobs.

    Reply
    • Hmm… It is a new way to read “the passengers all fingers” and “the trollop squeezed the apple into sauce.” Coincidentally, I just learned how to play “Blister in the Sun” on the guitar the other day….

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: