Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Poetry Blogging

I have to say that the greatest influence on my life,
and on my writing, directly and indirectly,
has been my two Children.
-- Raymond Carver


Raymond, I am not like you,
Though we've both known drunkenness and despair.
And we've both been influenced by our children,
But I think in different ways.
And I, too, have a brief attention span,
Limiting me to things of a single sitting --
Poetry and short fiction. I speak now of reading.

You were John Gardner's most famous and successful student.
I can only know him from his words,

And seek vainly to find him in yours:
Words honed sharp on a blue whetstone
Worn smooth by the sea,

Found in a handkerchief under your desk,

Then passed from hand to hand.

Blue is the precise word, I believe, for

Your free strophes full of drunkenness and people pissing,
And your spare prose, pared too deep sometimes,
But greater still than larger things.

I hope your too-short life was not so sad as they suggest.

Where did you pass the blade, Raymond,

When your carving days were through?

Copyright Jazzbumpa. All rights reserved.


Marinela said...

I enjoy reading what you write.

Jazzbumpa said...

Marinela -

Thank you. I'm glad you stopped by. You must be my youngest reader.

I took a quick glance at a couple of your poems. they are very clear and honest. That takes some courage.

Keep writing - I think it is in your soul.


J said...

I'm not so much into modern fiction, but enjoy Ray Carver's stories, like in Cathedral. He was not so PC, though, jzb. Fairly gloomy realism--a bit noirish as well. Or fatalistic--that's the word. Soundtrack by Mingus , or Chet Baker, Bill Evans, etc.

Jazzbumpa said...

J -

Carver was certainly not PC. why do you bring that up?

This poem, which I wrote several years ago, is a direct reaction to one of his. I believe it was called "The Blue Stones." I can't find the book I had that included it; nor can I find it on the web anywhere.

I don't actually enjoy Carver, but he makes me think, and stimulates my creativity. I once wrote a short story that was a reaction to "WILL YOU PLEASE BE QUIET PLEASE." I'll send it to you if you're interested.


J said...

well, that's it. Carver's not PC, and presents a rather bleak view of humanity (at least west coast humanity) yet he's a powerful writer, in my estimation.

Many great writers were hardly do-gooder liberals--Conrad, Ezra Pound, LF Celine come to mind. Sometimes one leaves the politics aside, as long as it isn't Mein Kampf or stalin-like writing.

J said...

That said, I'm more of a non-fiction person, preferring history, journalism, economic matters, or essayists (even do-gooder ones, like Thoreau).

Literature may dazzle at times--as with say Conrad's stories, or EA Poe. It may deceive at times, as with the usual commerical potboilers or latest space opera dreck. I contend Lit. deceives more often than it dazzles (or informs, teaches, instructs, etc). That's not such a radical view--Bertrand Russell for one thought literature mostly a sham (--Hamlet is not Napoleon). As did Plato.

(scuzi rant)

Jazzbumpa said...

Are you kidding? I love a good rant.