Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Poem: "Lament for Lost Literary Comfort"

I thought I'd do something a little different this week...Poetry with Pictures. A bit like Bob Dylan's early video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues", but with a poem instead of a song.

In case Photo Booth has not captured all the sound for you or I am stumbling over the words here is the text plus appropriate images shown below:

Once I looked to the Bard for words profound;

ageless, his wisdom ran unabated.
Yet Hamlet is now ideologically unsound,

“the slings and arrows” historically Iocated.
I wept for the creature of Frankenstein,

spurned by his master, forced to roam the Earth.
But I’d been subjectively positioned in a paradigm
by Mary’s anxiety about childbirth.

I read Balzac, Hardy and Henry James

describing “worlds” which seemed quite sensible.
Now Eagleton’s exposed their bourgeois games

I find them morally reprehensible.
I dreamt of being Robinson Crusoe

or proud, fierce Hawkeye in his buckskins dressed,

but Fenimore and Defoe have to go,

they’re culturally encoded and empirically obsessed.
Inspired by Guinness, did James Joyce sit down

to see what magic flowed when he was pissed?
The stream of Ulysses floats Bloom-about-town

dreamthinkingnever : “I’mamodernist”.

I’d gladly give Woolf a Room of Her Own

and be one of the boys with Hemingway,

but sensitive guys leave their bulls alone
say de Beauvoir and Luce Irigaray.

No more fun with Wordsworth being daffodilly,

no simple pleasure reading Mickey Mouse;

Steamboat Willie can’t help but look silly

dissected by Foucault and Levi-Strauss.

The Bible shows intertextuality

says the two Jacques, Lacan and Derrida.

Judas, a construct of bisexuality?

The anal fixations of Herod are?

It’s got so bad I deconstruct a holiday brochure.

I can’t even fart without Roland Barthes and Ferdinand de Saussure.


  1. Andrew, a commendable clearing of rubbish. Not an easy task, either -- protecting one's shores from the passing tankers of literary theory, universities, creative writing courses, arts committees, circles, clubs, the social sciences and so forth. They spill, they sully. Can take years (but worth it!) to scrub off all the oil, to dispose of all those plastic scholastics in the recycle bin, and enjoy, at last, the pristine pleasures of reading a masterwork.

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth and Zireaux. Have been enjoying the tale of Kamal, Zireaux. There's not enough satirical poetry in this world so Kamal is a valuable contribution to the oeuvre. Lord knows, there is no shortage of subjects to satirise in this increasingly crazy world.