Friday, June 23, 2006

The Weekly Poetaster Report

...as this is turning out to be, anymore.

What exactly is that annoying inflection with which poets read? It's not decidedly upward, as it doesn't gain or reach for anything, and it resolves in a downward tone only sporadically. It's an inflection peculiar to poets, seeming to bend just enough to almost be a whine in reverse. It vibrates between bitchiness and pretentiousness--perhaps it intones bitchtentiousness.

It's made worse with a slam attitude and /or rap hands. Or singing. The poet's inflection is a voice that seems to have wearied from it's own sound, it's own thoughts. It's a lilt that professes boredom and disinterest while at the same time smacks of arrogance in its self-consciousness.

I worry that I may be missing good poetry because I can't stand to listen to the awful reading of it. I'm almost tempted to ask for copies of the readers poems so that I can take in the work objectively without the irritating rendering of the pieces.

Once again, I'm smiling outwardly, feigning interest, but inside I'm praying to any deity within earshot to strike me dead before I have to clap for yet another bad reading of bad poetry.

How does one respond to a person who doesn't know how to read or write their own poetry?

An enthusiastic"Wow, you should really workshop that," is the best I can do, still looking them straight in the eye. Delivered with a tone of voice sounding complimentary, it's really a suggestion to get a second opinion before calling the piece finished.




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