Kenneth Patchen (December 13, 1911 – January 8, 1972), American poet and novelist. Photograph by Chester Kessler, circa 1952: via wkipedia.
Poem in extended entry
Ten Reasons Why I Refuse To Be Poet Laureate of These United States
Nobody asked me…
Lawrence Ferlinghetti should get a lifetime appointment (and then some!).
I don’t want to hobnob with the Secretaries of State and Defense and pretend I like the Kiplingesque poems they like. I don’t want to talk about the objective correlative with the President and Vice President, nor explain oxymorons to smart-bombing generals who only know how to kill, kill, kill and lose war after war after war! (Note: “Poet Laureate” Robert Pinsky–who appoints these guys?–used to brag about his friendship with Secretary of Defense William Cohen–they would share poems! This was during the 78-day US-NATO bombing campaign against Serbia and during the medical-supplies sanctions on Iraq that resulted in the deaths of 500,000 children. Neither of these Empire-approved “poets” deigned to comment on that illegal war, nor other US/NATO atrocities.)
I’d have to go on PBS and read Christmas poems!
I couldn’t say “fart” in public!
The shortest distance between 2 points is a haiku. American poets are too busy with #3 above to spend any time on haiku (or direct, focused, non-self-promotional thinking)!
It would take the edge off. An artist ain’t crap without an edge.
The enemy of the best is the second best. This would be second best. Vox populi, vox Dei is best.
Who ever heard of Robert Southey?
Kenneth Patchen wrote: “It is the duty of the artist to consort forever with the runaway.”
Gary Corseri has published novels and poetry collections, his dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he has performed his poems at the Carter Presidential Center. He has taught in US prisons and public schools, and at US and Japanese universities; his work has appeared at The Greanville Post, Uncommon Thought Journal, Cyrano’s Online, Counterpunch, Village Voice, The New York Times, and hundreds of periodicals & websites worldwide. Contact: email@example.com.