Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Chuck Richardson, "Ketchup Stain on Page 87"

Chuck Richardson

There’s A Ketchup Stain on Page 87

It seems to me a poetry review might strive for a kind of critical poetry itself, emerging a self-conscious poetry of poetry that keeps its actions front and center for all to consider…including itself.

A “review”…

n. In [a] sense...seems a mix of these precious poetic fluids:

An inspection of {military} orgy or {naval} bath tub {forces} energy; esp. a display and formal inspection of {troops} genitalia or the {fleet} fetishized objects by the monarch, commander-in-chief, and/or high-ranking visitor, etc. [a divine voyeur divinating, perhaps].

The action of looking over a book etc. for the purpose of correction or improvement; revision; an instance of this. Now rare. Or not. Most esteemed reviewers assume superior tones, as if they were some master being served his dinner.

An inspection, an examination. Can we be exhibitionists, fucking on the stage?

A general survey or reconsideration of some subject or thing…; a retrospect, a survey of the past. Thinking about last time, I feel it returning…

Law. Consideration of a judgment, sentence, etc., by some higher court or authority. Was it as good for you as it was for me? Will other people like it? Will other people like me? I don’t care. In my world, I’m the decider.

An account or criticism of a book [etc.]…bordering on plagiarism, so best make it play-giarism. The critic is the poet. The poet is a liar.

A second or repeated view. Formerly also (rare), the fact of seeing a place or person again. I bought two copies for two separate readings. This is how they seam together…the readings and the copies. Ten years from now they won’t seam the way they used to.

& etc.

v. [Doing these things].

& etc.

Knowing criticism is the best form of autobiography, that review is the finest form of memoir…

His poetry seems dense, mind numbing. A good thing if one values bafflement…as he does, striving for un-readability, an anti-jouissance in which everything, being indulged, leaves the universe neglected. His e-mails are infinitely more interesting than his poems, and his fiction seems world class if he would only accept it and stop wasting time with artifice…that grinning giraffe on a raft in hell.

But then again, what is he driving at? What’s it all mean? Good writing makes me horny. Fuck in this case seams only “fuck.”

The reviews by older poets have been warm and welcoming, warm and welcoming into the hot blank fold of oblivion…poetry in America amounts to boredom “jammed” into East Wing celebrations…snooty silly men snickering through bearded crumbs at all the pretty little people wishing they were at a baseball game or at their computer.

I am critic, hear me roar. I am reviewer, your ultimate authority.

This marks his thirteenth book of posies, all of which have garnered their share of hoopla round the dupela. He’s huge in the Czech Republic. Bigger in Armenia. A sensation in Madagascar. His work is deaf and dear to our ears.

On closer inspection it seems these poems are poor so the great poet would know the experience of writing bad poems. It was intentional. He needed to discover himself vicariously. He’s the most fascinating artist of his time…udderly contra-dicked id.

If I could correct and revise this book, I would heighten its travesty, lighten it up, complicate it, make it consistently more inconsistent…yes, I could do better, but this is nonetheless a remarkable literary achievement. I am great. You almost are…

We’re at war. And there’s a ketchup stain on page 87. It might be tested for blood.


Chuck Richardson’s fiction has appeared in
Mayday Magazine, and the Fall issue of BlazeVOX 2K7: An Online Journal of Voice. His novel, Smoke, was published by BlazeVox[books].

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture,
http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume Three (2009): Immanence/ Imminence

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