Friday, May 21, 2010

I Am Paying You Five Dollars for Criticism

Poetry workshops afford us the chance to pay money to a college or university or institution so that other people will say stuff about our poetry right to our face in a room.

The poetry communities of the United States are fun to hang out with. We usually like each other's poems, and we often get together in a room to say our poems, though we don't often say something at the time about the poems we heard.

I will pay you five dollars if you comment on my poem: meaning, if you say something in sentence form about it. If you leave three well-formed sentences about the following poem in the comments section, I will give you five dollars. I will mail you five dollars, or put five dollars in your palm. I don't want to enroll in a university or be credentialed by an institution to consider myself a fine artist. I feel fine. Most of the time. But I do want to pay to play. I mean, if you comment, you should try to characterize the poem, help me become a better poet. I'd love it if you said something interpretive and critical about it, and maybe less in a crafty-advice mode. But I do like crafty comments, too.

I am introducing myself to poetry-writing again after a very long & bizarre break from it, so I'm starting from a new place in how one learns to be a poet. A more fun poet, I mean.

Just look at this blog! When was the last time I posted a new poem on this blog?

Here is the Poem:

My Wisdom Belongs In A Book

a cheap mystery that is no mystery hovers

everyone over there is naked

everyone won’t let me take off all my clothes

and she makes me some kind of rubbery fish

dish with burnt instead

she dances like she’s going down on

she dances and rams her shoulder

against my chest she rams her shoulder

I’m saying goodbye after midnight

and squeezing her hip

someone throws water on us

from a window everyone throws water on us

they won’t let me under my clothes

she really holds me tight



  1. I'll waive the $5 because I don't know how I'd declare it on my taxes.

    Plus I don't think I have two full sentences only one.

    I've read the poem a few times from the day you posted it until today, and my one sentence has survived over that time.

    Only that I like the poem, but I don't like the last couplet, or maybe I just don't like the last couplet as an ending; but simply stripping the last couplet and ending at "everyone throws water on us" wouldn't do any good either.

    Nickel city criticism: not worth five dollars.

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  3. I can't strip! That's what the whole poem is about: I'm not a good stripper. But I can resurface. I'm very good at resurfacing.

    How about this for lines 13-14:

    they won't let me tighten all my clothes/ she really holds me underwater