Thursday, September 10, 2009

Forget Spicer – Part Three

Hailed as having plopped forth “some of the best [poetry] ever written by an American” (Ron Silliman), included “among the great poets of our time" (Robin Blaser), and revered as “a prime mover of American verse,” (Lisa Jarnot), we honor this great writer, who if nothing else was undeniably an American.
For readers on the go, Plainfeather’s Blog fearlessly presents a mash-up of his collected works so you don't have to read them.
Remember, in the unforgettable words of our author: "This isn't shit, it is poetry."


I loved him. I loved him. I loved you.
I loved him. I loved him. I loved you.

After you have told your lover goodbye
And chewed the cud of your experience with him
Your bitter experience:
What else?

The dancing ape is whirling round the beds
Of all the coupled animals: they, sleeping there
In warmth of sex, ignore his fur and fuss
And feel no terror in his gait of loneliness.

Shredded wheat, paper mache,
Nobody believes in you
Least of all us trees.

You become fixtures like light
Balls. Drug
Walter O’Malley, Horace Stoneham, do you suppose
somebody fixed Pindar and the Olympic Games?

They have stolen my bicycle and my alarm clock and my heart.

Nothing but the last sun falling in the last oily water by the
They fed the lambs sugar all winter
Nothing but that. The last sun falling in the last oily water by
the docks.

The rind (also called the skin) of the lemon is difficult to
It goes around itself in an oval quite unlike the orange which, as
anyone can tell, is a fruit easily to be eaten.

The difference between Dada and barbarism
Is the difference between abortion and a wet dream.

For you I would build a whole new universe around myself.
This isn’t shit it is poetry.

---from Spicer, my vocabulary did this to me, pp 234, 199, 25, 361, 287, 418, 407, 46, 382


  1. This is of course unfair.

  2. Stravinsky once said that a good artist is incapable of producing bad art -- which in turn defines why s/he is good.
    I'm afraid that may be setting the bar a bit high as far as poets are concerned, but in his capacity as “a prime mover of American verse” (Lisa Jarnot), Spicer wrote some of the most embarrassingly awful lines of poetry I've ever read.