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Khandro; is that meant to be a poem?
Khandro; I should have said - is that a poem? Sorry.
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Atheist // is that a poem? //
To suggest August Kleinzahler doesn't write poems, would be like suggesting Christiano Ronaldo doesn't play football !

Instead of transcribing it I took the link from where it had been published in the Times Literary Supplement, a journal which appears in most University English department libraries throughout the world.

It is taken from a collection of his called, The Hotel Oneira which I have in front of me, & on the cover there are accolades from The Guardian, The New York Times & The Washington Post. The one on the front cover is by the distinguished critic, Michael Robbins who says simply, " August Kleinzahler might be the best poet in America".
Khandro; I've got a blind spot when it comes to poetry.
I shouldn't have questioned the right of these words to be poetry, but | don't realise what poetry is really all about. It seems to be manipulation of words in a clever way, and manipulation of words in a way that has some resonance in the soul of the reader, but I rarely get it. My loss, I think. Is it something that a poetry fan could explain so as to convert an ignoramus? What do I look for?
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Atheist: Well that's certainly an honest self-assessment :0)

I think a lot of people approach poetry (& all art for that matter) as though it was some kind of 'problem' which needs to be 'solved'. You are the kind of person whom A.K. would love to 'speak' to I think.

He has a kind of 'tough-guy' demeanour, hates the namby-pamby, but loves the sound of language with its rhythms & cadences. Of one of his earlier books it was said, "His work is a modernist swirl of sex, surrealism, urban life and melancholy with a jazzy backbeat".

This poem is mostly about a middle-aged man, himself, in a N.Y. supermarket/ store with Witney Houston blaring out over the speakers and musing over the fact that as an 'adult male' he's spent a lot of time in his life wandering around the aisles next a strange array of women fellow shoppers, he feels a little ashamed of the fact that he's "about to weep among the avocados and citrus fruits in a vast overlit room next to a bosomy Cuban grandma with her sparkly extravagant eyewear".

He goes on to think about the woman writing these songs & imagines her, " Sitting alone in her studio all day, shades drawn, two cats, writing these songs of tortured love".

That's poetry not prose, - marvelous!

Why don't you try reading it once more, - out loud & unhurriedly & listen again?

Well you did ask!
That paints,a picture Khandro. I love that you still post poetry, I'm interested to read them.
I was a song-writer and I am currently writing prose fiction. Song-writing involves poetry-like versification and prose does not. I think that I find poetry so short that it doesn't go anywhere (apart from the likes of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, or the Charge of the Light Brigade) and so it concentates all its cleverness in a way that doesn't appeal to me. It's a personal thing.
Poetry-like versification with accompanying music I find attractive. It is very unassuming and unintellectual; poetry, I feel, considers itself to be Art, and I have a great suspicion about Art.
That one doesn't speak to me.
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Mind like parachute, only work when open.
Charlie Chan

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