Blank Verse – David Lohrey

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Blank Verse – David Lohrey

I’m asked to ignore too much…look the other way.
In fact, I should call my poems empty poems.
“Never-mind poetry,” that’d be a better name.
I’ll write poems about nothing. Poems that say
absolutely nothing but say it well. I’ll write poetry
that resemble Rothko’s paintings of voids, great hollow,
pulsating works of art, undulating existential blobs
from the bottom of the heart, written down but just
as easily forgotten.

Poems celebrating everything that’s good and wholesome,
that’ll be my racket. Easter eggs before they’re broken,
poems about Elvis as a matador printed on black velvet, with
HOME SWEET HOME embroidered in sequins and little
plastic pearls, with hymns to the Almighty. They’ll be called blank
verse and can be served with dessert toppings like apple sauce,
chocolate or maple syrup. Those would be apt subjects for a howdy-doody
poet like me. We’ll call them frozen yoghurt poems and serve them on a stick.

Today’s editors dictate the content of poetry. They remind poets
that anything found to be inappropriate will not be tolerated.
They are little Ivy League Gorkys. I’d be happy to write what
they want but only in exchange for a dacha on the outskirts of Moscow.

These sensitive souls demand a poetry that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.
These self-satisfied prudes are backed by their attorneys. “Mustn’t give offense.”
Poetry is to be edited like church letters in the 1940s. They’d change the title
of Ginsberg’s “Howl” to something like, “Help Me!” Hallmark America.

By the time I’m finished editing out everything offensive, I’ll be left with
4 or 5 safe words: the, yet, then, too, and but. All the rest relegates me
to Facebook. Everyone is offended by my rubbish as every decent
human being in 1957 would have reviled Charles Bukowski’s poetry,
or T. S. Eliot’s, Henry Miller’s and surely Jack Kerouac’s, too.
The New Yorker did so and refused to publish them.

The internet editors now take it upon themselves to enforce common decency.
So off we go, back to the genteel tradition, back to placing covers on piano legs,
back to saying nothing that gives offence, back to the times when dreams
meant nothing, back before Freud, when a pickle was just a cucumber in brine.
And for what? The defense of Christendom? Not at all. No! So we can be nice.
And all this on the advice of corporate lawyers and the guys who make cereal.

The purpose of poetry after all is to make others feel good. This was cooked up
by some madman, a recent graduate of the school of insanity. Be sure that the fat
feel good about being fat, that blacks have black power, and the disabled are made
to feel they can do whatever the next man can even if they live in an iron lung.

I’d prefer to go back to the mimeograph machine, or back as far as the quill.
Forget internet courtesy and creative writing school notions of politeness.
Twenty more years of this and we’ll be back to where we were in the 1900s
when Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein left the country. Back then the boobs in charge
were mainly little old ladies holding a Bible in one hand and a pistol in the other.
Now the magistrates of decency have MFAs from graduate
writing programs with certificates in censorship signed by the Governor.
They can have it.

[David Lohrey is the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing. He is also an editor for Sudden Denouement and a mentor for me personally – Jasper Kerkau]

First Look: Machiavelli’s Backyard by David Lohrey

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I just received my proof copy of David Lohrey’s new book Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing. It is beautiful book. We will have copies available in the next week. It is a very exciting week for SD. I would like to think those who have purchased Rana Kelly’s book Superstition. We will have the Kindle edition available any day now. We will also be giving away copies of both books. Though we have a lot to learn, we are on our way to becoming a serious publisher of divergent literature. This process has been the culmination of a year’s work. It could not have happened without the love and support of so many wonderful writers/editors.

Jasper Kerkau

Ikimasen – David Lohrey

Talking truth to power.
What potent language.
Truth. To. Power. And if
power talks back, I’ll call
my lawyer. I’ll return
to my safe space. I’ll issue
a trigger warning to comrades
around the world: Help!

We’ll take them to court. My
lawyers will set them straight.
They’ll read them the riot act.
They’ll spank their asses
and set me free. I’ll
celebrate with pancakes
and whipped cream. A
brunch for the warrior class,
LGBTQ crusaders fighting
in pink tights and gold
lame running shoes. It’s
a true revolution, led by
Pussy Riot and the Marijuana
Growers of America. Give us
the chance and we’ll turn
the country into a 3rd world
basket case, just like Venezuela,
or my favorite, Zimbabwe.

We’ll kick pregnant women
in the stomach, set
fire to the White House, and
suck off anyone who
joins the cause. We’ll line up
on our knees to sing The Battle Hymn
of the Republic: “Oh say can you see
how fucked up we all are.”

The Black Bloc will attack us
if they believe we are against
them. Black power groups
declare white lives don’t matter;
we better sign up or they’ll
cut our throats. Speak
truth to power. What do
the US Army, Walmart, the World
Bank and Madonna have in common?
They all demand we get along. Open
borders and open arms. That’s CIA policy.
That’s the lyrics of the Pussy Riot. Globalism
is the new narcotic; it’s an aphrodisiac. Just
ask Kissinger. It’s orgiastic and if
you disagree, you’re an enemy of the State
as well as an enemy of the Stateless. There’s
unanimity; just ask Anonymous. There’s
consensus. The new Totalitarian State has
decreed that we must all get along. You’ll only be
targeted if you say, “Not me.” You may be shot,
if you utter, “Ikimasen,” which in Japanese means,
“I refuse.”

The greatest We in the history
of mankind is under construction.
All you have to do to join is
to give up everything you believe.
Clinton demands that Putin
go down on Obama. Then there
can be peace. You not only
have to obey, you have to swallow.
Total surrender and then we’ll talk.
That’s the US position; our boot
on your neck, our cock in your
mouth. Clinton has you in her
sights. McCain’s finger’s on the trigger.

Take me out for a walk.
Put a collar on my neck.
Use me like an imprisoned
sex slave. Beat me, drug me,
hand me over to your friends.
The new regime demands total
humiliation and absolute power.
They’ll put rings in our noses
and baseball bats up our asses.
This is no joke. The party is over.
It’s come to this. Samuel Beckett
had it right. We’ll be told
to bleat like sheep or squeal like pigs.
We’re all to be named Lucky,
each and every one of us.

The bright spot on the horizon is
that our enemies are too stupid to hide
their intent. We have time to prepare,
time to fight back, but when they
say it’s time for us to shut up,
they’ll mean it. Few will believe them. They want
erasure. They want ethnic cleansing. They’re
planning to exterminate the opposition.
They’ll let us live as go-go dancers or park rangers.
We’ll just have to submit to castration and
permanent brain damage. It’s coming.


 

[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and he is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. His latest book, The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide, is available on Amazon.com.]

Quit Your Job and Become a Poet

            This poetry collection has a beginning, middle and an end. It covers two months’ worth of misadventures in the life of an embittered and slightly arrogant young woman who decides to quit her job to become a poet out of spite after being called a few choice names. Sometimes you will like her, sometimes you may not. Sometimes you may laugh or cry or want your money back. But life’s not very fair that way, now is it?

             This is a coming of age story, and that age is almost thirty.

 

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Georgia Park is creator of Private Bad Thoughts, curator of Whisper and the Roar a feminist literary collective, and a writer for Sudden Denouement

A brief, rave review by Jasper Kerkau can be found here. And if you’re interested in witnessing one of earth’s most epic poets in motion, you can invest in her work here.

Sudden Denouement/Secret First Draft Divergent Literature Writing Contest– Submissions Accepted March 1st Through March 31st

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Secret First Draft are holding a joint Writing Contest in the month of March to elicit new writers for the Collective.

Writing Prompt: March Madness

Unpublished/Original work

Each entry should be more than 50 words but less than 500

Each writer may submit 1 to 3 (maximum) pieces of writing for consideration

Submissions will be accepted: 3/1/2017 through 3/31/2017

Full prize information to be announced soon!

1st Place Winner will be granted membership in the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

2nd, 3rd and 4th Place Runners-ups will be granted membership in the Secret First Draft Collective.

Send your submissions with your name, your pen name (if applicable), the address for your blog and a short biography (1 to 3 sentences to): Suddendenouement@gmail.com

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and its sister sites Secret First Draft and The Whisper and The Roar are forums for divergent literature that we hope excite and challenge you.

The top three posts will be published on Sudden Denouement and the top five posts will be published on Secret First Draft.

Finalists will be contacted by Sudden Denouement no later than May 15, 2017.

Running in a Wedding Dress-Georgia Park/Private Bad Thoughts

Coverage of the election gives me

Orwellian style nightmares

we are separated by metal rods

and bars of water,

we are submerged in cages

on the way to

the quarantine zone,

which try as it might

is tasteless

 

Each day, there’s a new exhibit

on Wednesday,

when we are admitted

into the long hallway

for the movie screening,

it’s a tacky abstract.

Two days later, when we exit:

Thursday’s is a row of severed hands

Friday’s is a stock photo of a woman

running in a wedding dress

 

I wake up and know

we are all married to this man

and there will be no turning back

i wake up and I try to go back

to dreaming again


[Georgia Park is creator of Private Bad Thoughts, curator of Whisper and the Roar a feminist literary collective, and a writer for Sudden Denouement. She is a wonderful poet with an enormous heart. We can’t imagine this journey without her. Please check out more of her wonderful work.]

Sudden Denouement/Secret First Draft Divergent Literature Writing Contest

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Secret First Draft are holding a joint Writing Contest in the month of March to elicit new writers for the Collective.

Writing Prompt: March Madness

Unpublished/Original work

Each entry should be more than 50 words but less than 500

Each writer may submit 1 to 3 (maximum) pieces of writing for consideration

Submissions will be accepted: 3/1/2017 through 3/31/2017

Full prize information to be announced soon!

1st Place Winner will be granted membership in the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

2nd, 3rd and 4th Place Runners-ups will be granted membership in the Secret First Draft Collective.

Send your submissions with your name, your pen name (if applicable), the address for your blog and a short biography (1 to 3 sentences to): Suddendenouement@gmail.com

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and its sister sites Secret First Draft and The Whisper and The Roar are forums for divergent literature that we hope excite and challenge you.

The top three posts will be published on Sudden Denouement and the top five posts will be published on Secret First Draft.

Finalists will be contacted by Sudden Denouement no later than April 30, 2017.