April was National Poetry Month and I managed to nearly let it slip by unnoticed. Several of my blogroll buddies have been far more dedicated. The Geekwif has been including poems in nearly every post this month. Karen from Read/Think/Live posted about a really cool haiku-style poem form based on the Fibonacci Series. And of course, Lisa Manzi from Lam(b) is a real life published poet.
I find being a professional poet a very devoted calling since "nobody gets paid to be a poemer" to quote Bucky the Cat. That may not be totally true, but poetry is definitely one of more underpaid career choices.
My favorite poet is the late Richard Brautigan. Brautigan is one of the minor Beat poets known for his quirky metaphors and non sequitor style. His novel Trout Fishing in America is his most famous work, but I find his poetry just as mind expanding and intriguing.
In high school, I found a rather tattered copy of Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt at the used bookstore I practically lived in. I would get to English class a little early and write one of his poems on the chalkboard as an alternative to all the traditional poems we would study in class. I’m not sure my teacher appreciated my contribution, but she at least tolerated it.
Here are a few of my favorites.
|Have You Ever Felt Like A Wounded Cow|
Have you ever felt like a wounded cow
halfway between an oven and a pasture?
walking in a trance toward a pregnant
|Propelled By Portals Whose Only Shame|
Propelled by portals whose only shame
is a zeppelin’s shadow crossing a field
of burning bathtubs,
I ask myself: There must be more to life
There is so much lost
and so much gained in
The last poem was always particularly provocative. People who were offended by it (and there were many) obviously just didn’t “get it.”
Richard Brautigan died of a self-inflicted gun-shot wound in 1984. His body wasn’t found until about six weeks after his death. Friends had become suspicious of his absence and broke into his home to find him.
A poet’s life can be very lonely, but no one should die that alone.