Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Thank You, F- You

I've been moping around for a week because I read a bad review of myself. It's must better to be unnoticed, writing poems for heaven with little or no recognition. I do not have thick skin. I cannot just shrug things off. I'm more of a backpack those grudges to the grave type.

What happened was I was reading arund in the forums at Able Muse and found a topic concerning a recent anthology in--Phoenix Rising--in which I am featured. The editor sent me a copy of this book months ago, and I was so mortified by it that I hid it somewhee in a shelf in the bathroom. The reviewer for this book had a similar, vitriolic response to the book. I was chuckling and agreeing with every slur he spit until he quoted from one of my poems and called it "awful."

Yep. That's right. Awful.

Talk about a sucker punck. There they were--four lines from my poem, which, when taken out of context with no explanation (it was a dramatic monologue in dialect, in the form of a blues song with shortened ballad stanzas), did sound pretty awful. Actually, the reviewer found the lines so awful that he spared me the discomfort of printing my name by the poem. Geesh. If I had known he thought my writing was awful I would have stopped pestering him (he's also an editor) with poems long ago.

Thus ends the F- you part of this entry. The thank you part goes out to the poet who picked my manuscript Squeezers as the winner of a chapbook contest. This person called the day after I found the review, which also happened to be the day after my 33rd birthday, to tell me I was the winner. I was very humbled when she read the judge's citation to me. You all know how I feel about 'prejection,' so I won't get any more specific unil it's formally announced.

Now for the full text of that awful poem, slanged and unworhy of the art and undesirable as it may be.

I’M GONNA LEAVE YOU, CHÈRE

Woman, one morning
you’ll open your eyes
and sweetest Pierre
will be gone—no goodbye.

I’ll be in my pirogue
out at the spot
where I hooked the fattest
bass I ever caught.

I’ll spend the day fishing
and drinking my beer
without ever wishing
I’d brung you out here.

Nighttime I’ll dock where
the lake meets the river
and dance at Tin Lizzy’s
and find a new lover.

I said I was going—
don’t make the mistake
of thinking I’ll listen
to the excuses you make:

Pierre, Pierre,
don’t leave today—
what about the fiddle
you love to play?

What about the hound dog
asleep in the yard?
Your children? Your house?
Is loving us so hard?

Pierre, come back, baby,
I’m losing my mind.
Who’s going to warm
this pear of mine?

Don’t lift your skirt up
and dance in your slip.
Don’t try to kiss me
with your voodoo lips.

My dog doesn’t love me—
you trained him to bark
at my fiddle and my footsteps
when I come home past dark.

And sex? You’re pretending
or my name ain’t Pierre—
I know what would happen
if I touched you down there.

I told you one morning
you’d open your eyes
to find sweet Pierre
had done left you. Goodbye.

4 Comments:

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Kells said...

Alison,

I was roasted in Poets Against the War by a reviewer along with Kim Addonizio (they started with the A's and worked their way down!) We both had daughters in our poems which he did not like at all. When I came upon it accidentially, I think it was called "the plague of poets" and then I saw my name. Holy Badmouthing! Anyway, sorry to hear about your touch of that, but CONGRATS on your chapbook! Excellent news! Focus on that!

Oh and by the way, check my blog... I just passed you "The Stick." (fill in ominous music here);-)

 
At 6:33 AM, Blogger Alison P. said...

Kelli--

You're a trip. And I'm sending an F-you to the reviewer that roasted you. (I wonder if it's the same person?!?)

Ok--so I'll check your blog and follow directions.

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Congrats on the chap!! Make sure you let us know when it's released. :-)

ps Holden is dreamy~*

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

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