Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I really just loved the Kevin McFadden poems in the current issue of Poetry. He's a man after my own heart, with his anagrams and word play. In the poem "Art," each line is an anagram of the line "The poem is a self-portrait always," from Charles Wright. And the poem, "It's a Cue, the Name," is composed entirely of anagrams of the Ginsberg line, "America, when will you be angelic?" I loved these, and want to imitate them right away.

The third poem in this issue, "Tone Deficit," plays with word pairs in which the the "oh" and "ah" sound is interchanged, in delightful and surprising ways:

Tone Deficit
by Kevin McFadden

Can't tell your oh from your ah? Go, go or else
go ga-ga. What, were you born in a barn? Oh.
Ah. What do you say when the dentist asks?
No novacaine? Nah. Then joke's on us, Jack:

we gnaw ourselves when we really ought to know.
Can't tell the force from the farce, nor our
cores from our cars. The horde works hard in this
new nation of shopkeeps, moles in malls, minding

our stores when we should be minding our stars.
Harmony, whoremoney—can we even tell
the showman from the shaman? Or are we
the worst kind of tourists, doing La France

in low fronts, sporting shorts at Chartres
and so alone in our élan? Nope. We're Napoleons
of nowhere, hopeless going on hapless,
unable to tell our Elbas from our elbows.


happy reading . . .

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