Monday, February 21, 2011

un-dead poets society

why do poets have to die
to be famous?

i dont read poems
written by dead people
everyone reads those &
i am not everyone, no
i like my poets still living,
screaming as ink leaks from
their twitching fingers

that get as much
attention as a homicide
in section 8 housing, whats
new, slide it inside, a
small blurb on the curb
of page 6...nothing...new

names, they got them, never
known, til etched in stone
and then maybe only
by their absinthe minded
mothers, see when you get famous
you forget how to write, muse
choked on bulimic fingers
regurgitating the next big thing

now i lay me down to sleep,
pray the...


no wonder they drink, to lose
their mind & find again what
once resided inside, their fifteen
minutes finally catching up
to them, found dead in a recliner,
next weeks bestseller

why do poets have to die
to be famous? and is that
even the point?

70 comments:

Lorraine said...

right on Brian, I prefer my poets alive, Like you, Janice, Talon and Rod Mckuen...ah he is still alive right?

Raven said...

OMG, I adore this one! It is just fantabulous! I really hope that I don't have to die to achieve my fame and fortune. Or at least fame anyway. ;)

'i like my poets still living,
screaming as ink leaks from
their twitching fingers'

Though the whole poem is great, I love those lines. And the bit about the murder in section 8 housing.

Hilary said...

All poets/artists will be dead one day. But nice to know that some of the best are still alive and kickin'

Love the play on words with "absinthe minded."

Ruthiey said...

I agree! It's really a shame that some people aren't recognized until their dead! Then they can't be thanked.

Alan Burnett said...

My favourite lines are :

"names, they got them, never
known, til etched in stone"

Now if I were a poet
(and I'm not and you know it)
I'd have those lines alone
Carved on my cold gravestone

Austin said...

Fake your death, become famous!

HisFireFly said...

Beuatiful Brian!

And I pray that is His blood that leaks from my pen, leaving a light that shines....

TALON said...

This was really terrific, Brian. You can feel the passion in the words seeping right out. I like to read words from people I know that are living and breathing - it adds a whole different dimension to the writing. Makes the emotions viable and current.

Maggie May said...

Yes..... for Goodness Sake stay alive as like my poets to be still breathing!!!!!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Valerie said...

I like live poets too, but dead poets were very much alive when they wrote their poems. It would be a shame to miss some of the great works just because they're no longer with us.

TechnoBabe said...

There are some poets that have a special gift and they share their writing with others for the joy of it. I have met some online and enjoy their poems to the max.

Mom said...

I definitely like "my favorite poet" alive.

Teri said...

Love that part: when you get famous you forget to write! Is that because there is no more angst? No pain, no suffering?

Rhymetime24(aka Pat) said...

So if they're alive, you take the dive.
But if they are dead, they bring you dread.
Maybe they think dead ones are cool and the new ones drool.
Or maybe I'm just a fool, sitting on a stool.
But good points indeed, as it was a nice read.

Neva Flores said...

Brian, I am so glad you wrote this. I have been receiving numerous articles from people lately about how poet's die young, commit suicide, etc. It has been very depressing. Thank you for this!

kkrige said...

While I read and LOVE so much of the poetry that I find here in the blogosphere from the many live poets around, I have to echo Valerie a bit as well. People like Emily Dickinson had almost nothing published in her lifetime and was an absolute recluse by the time she died. She certainly did not have any fame in life, but does that make her poetry unworthy? And some poets, like Rumi or Basho, retain a sense of timelessness, despite being dead and gone for centuries. Neither of them cared for the trappings of wealth, although they certainly had disciples in their day.

And you my friend have disciples of your own. You are as alive as the computer makes you and are vibrant and modern as anything. I like you plenty, but don't think I would like you any better if you decided to step in front of a bus tomorrow.

And truly, I do love your poetry Brian. This one included. :)

Fireblossom said...

LOL I keep laying down in front of trains and buses in a bid for fame, but some do-gooder always saves me. Bah! ;-)

CM said...

So true! And your mom's comment is adorable!

I've never been able to get into the traditional poets that everyone reads. I like to read about people who are living life today, struggles and challenges, joys and sorrows, everyday life.

Jannie Funster said...

Brian, you are way way famous to so many of us. Please stay alive a long, long time!!

xo

ladyfi said...

I do enjoy some dead poets... they still live through their poetry. And I like alive and kicking ones too!

Sumit Sarkar said...

I am with you on this...
Very well said :)

tony said...

Poetry With A Pulse!

Heather said...

great thought...I agree, prefer them alive, like you! love this line...screaming as ink leaks from...awesome stuff, again..:) enjoy the day!

Scott said...

And with the advent of blogging Section 8 housing just exploded. Of course, for us poets that just means we have more neighbors to recite to.

signed...bkm said...

Wonderfully thinking and versing here Brian...we all have to die..just not by self-inflicted cause or drowning in sorrow and self denial and pity....a write that needs to well repeated over and over again....thank you...bkm

drybottomgirl said...

Alive is good :) It also extends to so many in the art world, famous artists, Van Gough thought he was completely untalented, and now look at his fame. Perhaps it's an unspoken price that has to be paid in order for that fame to happen...a sad thought....

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

You're words, from sharp quivers, cut, and my soul bleeds for more...

Sh@s said...

Why is it that some people's talent is recognized only after their death?
Loved this piece of yours.

Daniel said...

O.K., where did this come from? Usually there is a real life seed that sparks you.

Goofball said...

we usually only realize the value of what we have when we've lost it

annell said...

This is just a guess to your question. But other people find it hard to recognize the genius of the guy next door working on his computer, after all what does it say about them?

It's OK, because we do what we have to do....that is all.
But maybe we can make it our business to hug someone living? Thanks for your write........

Mama Zen said...

Choked on bulimic fingers . . .

You really nailed this one, Brian.

tattytiara said...

My absolute favorite way to enjoy poetry is right from the poet's lips itself in living performance (reading it on your blog being a very close second, of course)!

Nezzy said...

I'm sorry but your title "un`dead" just cracked me up. Kinda like my mom who told me she bought tickets to a Non~talent show yesterday! Heeehehe!!!

I like my poets still drawin' breath! It is sad that the arts a just that way.

God bless and have a marvelous Monday!!!

Eva Gallant said...

You are already famous! In blogland anyway!

I love the "absinthe minded mothers!"

Magpie said...

Alive or dead...makes no matter. Just has to speak to me. You speak to me...well most of the time. Sometimes you're way too smart and clever for me. :)

Kaylen said...

Isn't it one of those things where you don't appreciate something until it's gone? We don't fully recognize how great someone is until we break up with them for a stupid reason. Or we don't appreciate our kids every day when we are so busy being angry that they consistently leave their socks on the floor.
Poets are leaving their socks all around us... :)

Deidra said...

"absinthe minded"

You are brilliant. You realize that, right? :)

Dulce said...

You are right... lucky us who blog poems

secret agent woman said...

My grad school class was made up of older students. When I met a woman who became a good friend of mine, I asked her what she did and she said she was a poet. I was genuinely startled and said, "A poet?! Oh! I guess I always think of poets as...well..dead." (Fortunately she found that funny rather than insulting.)

rosaria said...

Brian, you never have to worry anymore.

sheila said...

Same with writers and painters. And some actors, look at James Dean. lol. Something about death makes us fascinated with the living.

blueviolet said...

I think poets have it especially tough.

ModernMom said...

It really isn't right! I prefer my poets alive:)

hedgewitch said...

'absinthe-minded' is classic, brian. I like my contemporary poets alive just fine, but I'm not giving up my dead ones. It's not my fault I wasn't around when they were starving and unknown and alive. ;_)

Melinda Owens said...

i think because we like to immortalize the dead. and because our society is so fickle that it takes a long time to recognize what is relevant to the era. and because poetry isn't reality TV or Jennifer Anniston movies so it doesn't get the attention it deserves. i like this one...the anger and the passion...i think you could leave off the question at the beginning and the end. it speaks for itself without explanation.

Asobime said...

This is the ultimate thoughtprovoking poem. LOL~

Ack, though~ Most of the poets I read are long dead...maybe over a 1000 years and I can't get through them....too many of them...and all so damn good.

As for the live ones? Too many and all so damn good.

Great poem, Brian.

We just have to live long enough....for something....

Lady Nyo

formerlyonlyamovie said...

Wow. no wonder they drink...

Betsy said...

laughing at Austin. :)

I like my poets living, too. I like their writing with the ink still wet...fresh off their fingertips into their blog posts!

Pat said...

We are lucky enough to realize YOUR talent while you are ALIVE! Yeah!

adeeyoyo said...

Oi, Brian, I am flabergasted (sp?)!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I would so much prefer to be famous and be around to shout it from the roof tops, than be a corpse and shout it from the grave.

CJ xx

otin said...

Poetry, unfortunately, is not very marketable. The same goes for short stories. People usually get their poetry read after some other aspect of their career finds fame. Now put a screaming guitar behind it and that's a different story.... lol

Stacy Uncorked said...

I've often pondered the same thing...not as eloquently as you, of course. ;)

Natasha said...

Like all good things, we seldom realize what we've got till it's gone. I've a funny feeling my fingers will continue to twitch long after I'm dead and buried...it's my therapy, my calling, my passion. I write for me, and if someone happens to relate or enjoy, I think that's fantastic. I think there is a humility to writing poetry, and many of us shy away from sharing...until we are no more, and someone decides to do the sharing for us. But I happen to know for a fact their are some wicked awesome poets round here that are alive and well, and writing fantastic verse...much like this :)

Syd said...

It seems to be the same for some writers and painters. It may be good that fame doesn't come too soon.

trisha said...

i too prefer my poets alive.

beautiful poem brian.

trisha

Stranger said...

I agree with your sentiment and think of it often. When it comes to "art", it might be easier for some to ride the emotional reality, the hard true words of a dead person they cannot save than a living person they are afraid to care about. It's easier to swallow reality if one feels distanced enough from it to keep your empathy reigned in? And the dead are easy to market to the masses. Describe a life of strife and ceaseless effort to get the art out there only to die unrecognized is as attractive to consumers as the success against all odds stories.
Or maybe I'm just babbling. Good poem by a great living poet.

Adrenalynn said...

Fantastic. You are truly a poet!

lori said...

This is so true, and one of the reasons I avoided poetry for such a long time. I always figured no one wanted to hear it. However, it isn't about everyone else anyway, right?

Favorite phrase: "screaming as ink leaks"

Ténèbres à la lumière... said...

Hi! Brian...
This poem ring so true...Why do people (artist, poets, writers, etc, etc, etc...) have to die in order for their work to be noticed and then they are placed on a stamp too!
Thanks, for asking the question...why do poets have to die
to be famous?

DeeDee ;-D

Kat_RN said...

I have to agree, in most cases, yours for instance, I do prefer my poets alive. But, then again, there are exceptions, like Poe.
Kat

Katherine said...

Would be nice for one to enjoy ones fame at least a little bit before ones name is etched in stone. This was great Brian!

mairmusic said...

In many countries poets are jailed as revolutionaries. Here, as someone famous said, we just ignore them to death. Love the "absinthe minded mothers"!

mama-face said...

My real opinion? Poetry has to be read several or more times to really grasp the true meaning. Well written. poetry anyway. Maybe people just don't understand until they've digested it fully, and by that time Poets are dead.

Also, Poetry is only understood by the poetic heart. There are so few of us around. (Yep. I just claimed to have a poetic heart.) You can feel it even if you can't express yourself in the succinct way, every word infused with meaning, of a true Poet.)

Cad said...

absinthe minded
mothers

Genius!!! LOL

Shewriting said...

ha, I have often wondered this as well...love the bulimic fingers line. Reminds me of a post (7 days in the life of one writer) that I wrote on my writing blog about the upside of being unknown by the masses :)

Olivia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Olivia said...

Very well written Brian!

Infact a movie was also released long back "Pyaasa" now considered a classic of Hindi cinema that was on the similar lines.

One more thing, one has to have an alternate way of supporting himself before he makes it big with his words for him to keep going till then.. sad!

Hugs xx

sorry, that was a typo- had to correct it!

Marla said...

I don't want to die in a recliner either.

How does that brain of yours keep coming up with such great stuff?