Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Waiting on Hold for Tech Support

As I was waiting on hold for tech support
I was browsing The New Yorker's site
and found an MP3 file
with Paul Muldoon speaking
about "rock and roll and the state of poetry"
for seventeen minutes
and a couple seconds.

He's the magazine's poetry editor
and he talks about the submission process.

He's no Pound
but he's not averse to editing a line
"to get my hands dirty," he says.

He also talks about poetic form
or its lack.
It matters not to him.
"I belong to the school that is against schools,"
he says with some conviction.

In writing lyrics for his rock band
he aims to write the kind of lyrics
found in pop music prior to rock
(Gershwin and Porter are cited)
and in country music
and rap.

Perhaps not wanting to give offense,
he gingerly allows that rock music
"has tended not to foreground the lyrics,"
curious predication
no doubt carried from his days
producing boob tube
for the Beeb.

His judgment of American poetry:
it's "very, very various"
with no single mode
or poet
"to the fore."

Just like America itself, I thought.
Everyone's aft,
and the devil take the hindmost.

He finds that "really healthy."

But why should I report
when you can listen too?

No comments: