Sunday, September 20, 2009

I read a garbage poem today

It's past tense, it's present tense, it's past tense again! It's low-grade writing like this that gives online journals a bad name. I used to think Why Vandalism? was a good journal until it started getting out that they don't send rejection notices. Aspiring editors, take note: Good design, which this site certainly has in spades, won't make up for hack editorial.


Little old Peggy, the bartender, was eighty years old,
but the Bashful Bandit was slow.
She waddled out of the back room
and set down a big bowl of grapes on the bar
in front of Whisperin’ Ron
like a still life in the half light.
Whisperin’ Ron had a cancer operation on his throat
ten years ago when he
turned fifty,
and now he talks in a hoarse loud whisper.
Sometimes it’s annoying
because you can’t hardly hear him and
he really likes to talk,
like a yippy dog that had its vocal chords snipped
but still barks all the time.
He puts his cigarette and beer down
and carefully picks out a big
fat purple grape.
“Freshly washed and chilled,” Peggy said.
Whisperin’ Ron put the grape
into his mouth and chewed thoughtfully
and with obvious pleasure
for a long time.
“Mmmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmmmmm...”
Then he swallowed demonstrably.
“You know what, Peggy?” he whispered.
“What, dear?” Peggy said,
leaning her ear toward him.
He looked at her as if he was about
to reveal a tremendous secret
that would affect both their lives and leave
them forever altered.
“Grapes make great wine,” he said.
He smiled very big and sat back.
“Yes they do, dear,” Peggy said,
“Yes they certainly do.”

13 comments:

Detector said...

Don't you think it's unprofessional to be callin niggas out like dat in public?

mather said...

Another grammar lesson, thanks...I went to the first poem on your current issue and noticed the perfect grammar displayed there, and you know, you're right, I am garbage. But, if you keep slamming all the journals that publish me you're not going to get much work done...

renaissance jones said...

"then he swallowed demonstrably..." ho ho he. That is a pretty terrible piece. Is it really Mather? Cuz that one is bad even for him.
This poem will definitely go in his Damn Why Did I Even Send That Out? pile.

Joseph said...

"Whisperin' Ron" sounds like a name for a stupid fucking Pynchon character. Mather, I enjoyed your shit in the new Fragile Arts.

Anyway I put some very very bad poems in Why Vandalism like 3 years ago and pretty much wrote them off after they published some truly abhorrent shit my ex-girlfriend wrote when she decided she was going to take up pretending to play poet. Which was my job.

mather said...

Good lord, I don't write anything like Pynchon...I can't even read that guy, (big surprise). Whisperin Ron was the guy's fucking name, that's what we called him, what do you want me to say? It's a true story, good poem or garbage or somewhere in between. It's not my best, but somebody liked it, and besides there are two other poems of mine there on the site...

Thanks for complimenting the poems on Fragile Arts...that's gonna piss DiGangi and Renaissance off...

Your last name would be nice, Joseph...

mather said...

Oh, you must be Goosey...

Nathan said...

Haha anybody who writes that bad (or is it supposed to be badly?) should definitely pick up some remedial grammar lessons.

mather said...

Nathan is like the guy who comes in and kicks a guy who's already been whipped. Always on the tail end of things, aren't we, Nathan?

Well, Craig's kicking me on Madoreable and you're kicking me here, this is fun, should we just consolidate it? Nathan, meet Craig Snyder...you see, I am a peacemaker and friendship counselor...

heads said...

I think the problem may have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument in danger of being crushed, by a dwarf. This tended to understate the hugeness of the object.

Spencer Troxell said...

I thought 'A Serious Piece' was a fine poem. I would've accepted it.

It's funny, because I didn't realize that you were a real person, Mather. When you began popping up here and on my blog a few months ago, I thought you were a character someone created as a joke that I wasn't in on. I'm glad you actually exist.

Why Vandalism kindly published my one and only e-book a few years ago, which has endeared them to me. I don't read very many online lit mags regularly, but all of the one's that I do check in on sporadically have printed plenty of stuff that hasn't resonated with me, which is okay. All I ask of poetry is that it offer me an occasional shot in the arm that either inspires, uplifts, or disturbs me enough to believe that it's saying something true.

mather said...

Thank you, Spencer...I've got poems on Full of Crow and Juked that you might check out...

crackers said...

such a calm sober voice from spencer, and a thoughtful blog he has as well. humbleness warshed over the mather. this thread made mather three-dimensional for me, no longer a cartoon character but a man of substance and life. best thread yet.

mather said...

Spencer treated me well from the beginning. He asked me nicely not to bother his blog, so I don't. I give respect when it is deserved...

And crackers, I appreciate those words...