Genre is a bookstore problem, not a literary problem.
Trying to write books with a subject matter or in a genre or style you're not familiar with is the best way to find the Big Block looming.
A Letter to My Aunt
A Letter To My Aunt Discussing The Correct Approach To Modern Poetry
To you, my aunt, who would explore
The literary Chankley Bore,
The paths are hard, for you are not
A literary Hottentot
But just a kind and cultured dame
Who knows not Eliot (to her shame).
Fie on you, aunt, that you should see
No genius in David G.,
No elemental form and sound
In T.S.E. and Ezra Pound.
Fie on you, aunt! I'll show you how
To elevate your middle brow,
And how to scale and see the sights
From modernist Parnassian heights.
First buy a hat, no Paris model
But one the Swiss wear when they yodel,
A bowler thing with one or two
Feathers to conceal the view;
And then in sandals walk the street
(All modern painters use their feet
For painting, on their canvas strips,
Their wives or mothers, minus hips).
Perhaps it would be best if you
Created something very new,
A dirty novel done in Erse
Or written backwards in Welsh verse,
Or paintings on the backs of vests,
Or Sanskrit psalms on lepers' chests.
But if this proved imposs-i-ble
Perhaps it would be just as well,
For you could then write what you please,
And modern verse is done with ease.
Do not forget that 'limpet' rhymes
With 'strumpet' in these troubled times,
And commas are the worst of crimes;
Few understand the works of Cummings,
And few James Joyce's mental slummings,
And few young Auden's coded chatter;
But then it is the few that matter.
Never be lucid, never state,
If you would be regarded great,
The simplest thought or sentiment,
(For thought, we know, is decadent);
Never omit such vital words
As belly, genitals and -----,
For these are things that play a part
(And what a part) in all good art.
Remember this: each rose is wormy,
And every lovely woman's germy;
Remember this: that love depends
On how the Gallic letter bends;
Remember, too, that life is hell
And even heaven has a smell
Of putrefying angels who
Make deadly whoopee in the blue.
These things remembered, what can stop
A poet going to the top?
A final word: before you start
The convulsions of your art,
Remove your brains, take out your heart;
Minus these curses, you can be
A genius like David G.
Take courage, aunt, and send your stuff
To Geoffrey Grigson with my luff,
And may I yet live to admire
How well your poems light the fire.
- quotes about art
- quotes about paintings
- quotes about France
- quotes about poetry
- quotes about Switzerland
- quotes about novels
- quotes about illness
- quotes about work
Part 3 of Trout Fishing in America
SEA, SEA RIDER
The man who owned the bookstore was not magic. He was not a
three-legged crow on the dandelion side of the mountain.
He was, of course, a Jew, a retired merchant seaman
who had been torpedoed in the North Atlantic and floated
there day after day until death did not want him. He had a
young wife, a heart attack, a Volkswagen and a home in
Marin County. He liked the works of George Orwell, Richard
Aldington and Edmund Wilson.
He learned about life at sixteen, first from Dostoevsky
and then from the whores of New Orleans.
The bookstore was a parking lot for used graveyards.
Thousands of graveyards were parked in rows like cars.
Most of the kooks were out of print, and no one wanted to
read them any more and the people who had read the books
had died or forgotten about them, but through the organic
process of music the books had become virgins again. They
wore their ancient copyrights like new maidenheads.
I went to the bookstore in the afternoons after I got off
work, during that terrible year of 1959.
He had a kitchen in the back of the store and he brewed
cups of thick Turkish coffee in a copper pan. I drank coffee
and read old books and waited for the year to end. He had a
small room above the kitchen.
It looked down on the bookstore and had Chinese screens
in front of it. The room contained a couch, a glass cabinet
with Chinese things in it and a table and three chairs. There
was a tiny bathroom fastened like a watch fob to the room.
I was sitting on a stool in the bookstore one afternoon
reading a book that was in the shape of a chalice. The book
had clear pages like gin, and the first page in the book read:
The owner of the bookstore came up to me, and put his
arm on my shoulder and said, "Would you like to get laid?"
His voice was very kind.
"No, " I said.
"You're wrong, " he said, and then without saying anything
else, he went out in front of the bookstore, and stopped a pair
of total strangers, a man and a woman. He talked to them for
a few moments. I couldn't hear what he was saying. He pointed
at me in the bookstore. The woman nodded her head and
then the man nodded his head.
They came into the bookstore.
I was embarrassed. I could not leave the bookstore because
they were entering by the only door, so I decided to go
upstairs and go to the toilet. I got up abruptly and walked
to the back of the bookstore and went upstairs to the bathroom,
and they followed after me. I could hear them on the stairs.
I waited for a long time in the bathroom and they waited
an equally long time in the other room. They never spoke.
When I came out of the bathroom, the woman was lying naked
on the couch, and the man was sitting in a chair with his
hat on his lap.
"Don't worry about him, " the girl said. "These things
make no difference to him. He's rich. He has 3, 859 Rolls
Royces." The girl was very pretty and her body was like a
clear mountain river of skin and muscle flowing over rocks
of bone and hidden nerves.
"Come to me, " she said. "And come inside me for we are
Aquarius and I love you."
I looked at the man sitting in the chair. He was not smiling
and he did not look sad.
I took off my shoes and all my clothes. The man did not
say a word.
The girl's body moved ever so slightly from side to side.
There was nothing else I could do for my body was like
birds sitting on a telephone wire strung out down the world,
clouds tossing the wires carefully.
I laid the girl.
It was like the eternal 59th second when it becomes a minute
and then looks kind of sheepish.
"Good, " the girl said, and kissed me on the face.
The man sat there without speaking or moving or sending
out any emotion into the room. I guess he was rich and owned
3, 859 Rolls Royces.
Afterwards the girl got dressed and she and the man left.
They walked down the stairs and on their way out, I heard
him say his first words.
"Would you like to go to Emie's for dinner?"
"I don't know, " the girl said. "It's a little early to think
about dinner. "
Then I heard the door close and they were gone. I got
dressed and went downstairs. The flesh about my body felt
soft and relaxed like an experiment in functional background
The owner of the bookstore was sitting at his desk behind
the counter. "I'11 tell you what happened up there, " he said,
in a beautiful anti-three-legged-crow voice, in an anti-dandelion
side of the mountain voice.
"You fought in the Spanish Civil War. You were a young
Communist from Cleveland, Ohio. She was a painter. A New
York Jew who was sightseeing in the Spanish Civil War as if
it were the Mardi Gras in New Orleans being acted out by
"She was drawing a picture of a dead anarchist when you
met her. She asked you to stand beside the anarchist and act
as if you had killed him. You slapped her across the face
and said something that would be embarrassing for me to
You both fell very much in love.
"Once while you were at the front she read Anatomy of
Melancholy and did 349 drawings of a lemon.
"Your love for each other was mostly spiritual.Neither
one of you performed like millionaires in bed.
"When Barcelona fell, you and she flew to England, and
then took a ship back to New York. Your love for each other
remained in Spain. It was only a war love. You loved only
yourselves, loving each other in Spain during the war. On
the Atlantic you were different toward each other and became
every day more and more like people lost from each other.
"Every wave on the Atlantic was like a dead seagull dragging
its driftwood artillery from horizon to horizon.
"When the ship bumped up against America, you departed
without saying anything and never saw each other again. The
last I heard of you, you were still living in Philadelphia. "
"That's what you think happened up there?" I said.
"Partly, " he said. "Yes, that's part of it. "
He took out his pipe and filled it with tobacco and lit it.
"Do you want me to tell you what else happened up there?"
"You crossed the border into Mexico, " he said. "You
rode your horse into a small town. The people knew who
you were and they were afraid of you. They knew you had
killed many men with that gun you wore at your side. The
town itself was so small that it didn't have a priest.
"When the rurales saw you, they left the town. Tough as
they were, they did not want to have anything to do with you.
The rurales left.
You became the most powerful man in town.
You were seduced by a thirteen-year-old girl, and you
and she lived together in an adobe hut, and practically all
you did was make love.
"She was slender and had long dark hair. You made love
standing, sitting, lying on the dirt floor with pigs and chickens
around you. The walls, the floor and even the roof of the
hut were coated with your sperm and her come.
"You slept on the floor at night and used your sperm for
a pillow and her come for a blanket.
"The people in the town were so afraid of you that they
could do nothing.
"After a while she started going around town without any
clothes on, and the people of the town said that it was not a
good thing, and when you started going around without any
clothes, and when both of you began making love on the back
of your horse in the middle of the zocalo, the people of the
town became so afraid that they abandoned the town. It's
been abandoned ever since. "People won't live there.
"Neither of you lived to be twenty-one. It was not neces-
"See, I do know what happened upstairs, " he said. He
smiled at me kindly. His eyes were like the shoelaces of a
I thought about what happened upstairs.
"You know what I say is the truth, " he said. "For you
saw it with your own eyes and traveled it with your own body.
Finish the book you were reading before you were interrupted.
I'm glad you got laid. "
Once resumed the pages of the book began to speed up
and turn faster and faster until they were spinning like wheels
in the sea.
- quotes about Spain
- quotes about tomb
- quotes about New York
- quotes about girls
- quotes about drawing
- quotes about Israel
- quotes about time
- quotes about China
That's Not My Genre
The only ones that might be offended...
Are those who know I am Black.
Speak the truth.
And know they seek ways,
To renovate the plantations.
And I am not surprised,
By those who are working overtime,
To realize that effort.
I don't care how many calls for unity they make.
Those just barely able to read.
Have no comprehension.
Nor ambition or discipline.
And expect to get paid for doing nothing.
No one has to be a detective,
To search for that evidence.
Other than that...
I can not understand 'why'
People may get upset by my poetry.
My writings depict their lives.
Much like what a landscape artist does...
When recreating what is seen to apply to canvas.
Some may not like the colors I use,
To brighten up what they believe...
Needs more enthusiastic touches of embellishment.
I am not into black face wearing and banjo playing!
That's not my genre,
Life a mystery, not a problem
Life a mystery not a problem
Is a situation
Which does not allow you
To reach your goal or
To get things done
As per your original schedule
Once perceived as a problem
You make use of your
Skill and resources
To come over it
And you may reach your goal or
Get your things done
Even if delayed
And even if falling short of
If a situation is perceived as a mystery
It becomes a riddle
Likely you take it more as challenge
Not just a problem solving requirement
You wonder at the
Natural ways of things taking shape
You wonder at the
Variations in the perceptions of
Others and even among people close to you
And very likely you end up
With out-of-the box thinking
And get beyond traditional ways of
Looking at things
You may even set a trend
For new and innovative approach
To the problem, nay mystery
And this mindset will help you
And expand your knowledge base
With regard to human behavior
And natural laws
Which only shape your future
And carve your life style
Take life as a mystery
And do away with the thinking
That it is a problem
The novel is not so much a literary genre, but a literary space, like a sea that is filled by many rivers.
Iceberg problem there.
No body think
He is not fare.
It is similar
Man is unipolar.
War Is Not
message to uni bomba man
news flash war is not
part of noble solution
war is part of vile problem
war perpetuates crimes violent
wisdom learn might is not right
The Problem With The Problem
the problem with sorrow
is that it eats tomorrow
the problem with our problem
it does not believe on a dream
the problem with lamentation
is that it thrives on its own
Problem problem problem
Problem problem problem
You are here to solve them.
I am not telling it is easy
I am telling it is not impossible.
Try try try and try
till tomorrow and
Tomorrow never comes you know.
The Problem With God
The God Problem
Is mans guest to live forever
Not only of flesh
But superior to other life forms
Spiritual and advanced
He seeks a deity
In his own vain image
Insist he’s right
Ready to kill for his icon
And askew timelessness
Will not accept
He’s no more than a weed
Or a dandelion
Forever seeking assurance
That life offers more than death
Those Who Find No Problem Telling It
People are not accustomed,
To hearing the truth.
Only varying versions of it told.
And when someone is bold enough,
To tell it like it is...
People become offensive.
It is a moment that comes,
That strips bare with no regard.
Truth stuns those who shun it!
And those who find it hard,
To accept truth for what it is...
Find those who have no problem telling it,
That's Not The Issue
You've got a problem, I think you know
I'll tell you mine before you go
You've been thinking about somebody new
That's not the issue
Secrets, I have some too
I'll tell you mine before I say goodbye to you
I've been thinking 'bout leaving too
That's not the issue
I'm leaving, I'm leaving now
I'd say goodbye, but I don't know how
You've been sleeping with somebody new
That's not the issue
biography ***** FEAR ME NOT, OH PLEASE, FEAR NOT ME
I am not the poem
you read in hunter's web
i am not the simile
you read in rhythmic melody
i am not the methapor
nor personification nor hyperbole
eventhough my tounge can speak
literary language's soul
and my mind can blink
mystery of endless imagination
still i am not what you are thinking
yes my hand writes
from veins run the
blood of pen
to spell in solemn way
I AM A POET
with young strength of joy and pain
That's The Problem
A wrong direction taken,
Does not correct itself...
Or by accusations made.
If ones' refusal to self examine,
In a reflective sense not defended.
And take suggestions as criticisms to reject...
To interpret as envious interjections.
That's the problem.
An immediate introduction,
Of a stubbornness wished to be perceived as right...
Enters the picture.
With a blindness that heads one towards,
An encounter with disaster.
Your silence does not surprise me
Does not surprise me
Inability to meet me
Is keeping you away
From saying anything to me
You have tried your best
Without any success
Nobody has bothered
Nobody has listened to you
Distance between us
Has not decreased
Agony on both sides
Day by day has increased
Left without any option
Talking or speaking
Would not solve the
Life now has to be lived
Like a living dead
Accept the poison of
Not Kafka Joyce Proust
Not Keats Yeats Wordsworth
Not Hopkins Dickinson
Not I.B. Singer
Not even Philip Roth
Updike or Salinger.
Not any of the writers
Whose work I love and admire.
Not even the living names now
Who will cease to be
Names In Time.
Like the great mass of mankind
When I die
I will not be in the Consciousness
Of future generations.
I will not be.
I will be ‘not’.
Do Not Be Afraid of Failure.
Do not be afraid of failure,
Most people do not even try the picture,
Let your life become a happy adventure,
When you go on and solve all your venture.
God is not punishing you; everything is caused by your own ignorance,
Figure out what to do to solve the problem, instead plan a vengeance.
Poverty, riches, problems and all sickness belongs to malediction,
Learn, wise up, choose life and when you believe,
Health, wealth and true happiness will be your resurrection.
My Mind Will Not Allow You To Escape
Don't ever use me to lie,
To defend your insecurities.
Is not appreciative of that.
Do not get yourself entrapped,
By the use of those acts.
You will not enjoy the outcome,
If done! And that is a fact.
Or the consequences,
I decide to apply.
That turn the other cheek business?
God knows I have a problem,
In the doing of it!
My mind will not allow you,
To escape unscathed.
As if what you have done to me,
Has my endorsement.
And is okay!
To Do a 'We' Not a 'Me' or an 'I
There is no 'me'...
To experienced alone,
In a you and I relationship.
There is a 'we'.
And until we see it that way,
There is no 'us' to be discussed.
I've tried that 'me' business,
Too many times before.
Only to use a 'key'...
To find myself alone once more.
On the other side of an opened,
And closed door.
To know if I have to do a 'me' again...
I have no problem in the doing of it.
But I'd rather not.
If you and I can see what we've got,
To do a 'we' not a 'me' or an 'I'.