Darling dumbfucked Darling grumpers Darling
goddess of regret and every graywinged whoring
after longwronged Darling Darling now newer
now improved a sad song played in chords of D
minor oft burgled Darling Darling even oftener
endangered or objectified Darling in the artstuffs
~ ~ Complete poem available online at Thrush.
I have no idea what makes anything a poem. Some poems seem like they might work as prose, so why are they poems? I might think of something as a poem, but if someone just got up and said those words, would I recognize it as a poem or would I think it was a terrific paragraph? I’ve never claimed to know anything about poetry, remember.
But when it comes to this poem, sure, I’ll call it a poem, because it does seem to play with language, repeating words and sounds. I also think it’s a poem because it’s part of a trio of poems that seem to have some unifying theme, different voices, and that grouping makes a kind of literary sense to me. But this individual poem: here’s where we enter into the WTF portion of our program: I have no idea what’s going on here.
Maybe it’s some sound thing, and I’m tone deaf. Maybe it’s an homage to some school I’ve never heard of (it isn’t like I’ve heard of that many). Maybe it’s a Gertrude Stein thing (I often fight with my mooc buddy Richard about what is a poem and what isn’t, and about Stein, because I simply will not sit still for another run-through of Tender Buttons though I adore some of her other work, and he’s really into that at the moment). But this just seems like random phrases, with some off-color words to make it interesting.
Whatever it is, it’s not my thing – it’s nails grating on a blackboard, if anyone remembers what a blackboard is – and I really have little to say about it, other than I’ve always hated the endearment “Darling” because it’s one of those stiff wooden words out of those 40s-to-60s movies where no one was anything like a real person. Even with the dropped –g, it’s more of a signal than an actual word with meaning. Maybe that’s the point.
But at least it gave me the opportunity to use some fascinatingly strange art that came up when I googled the poet and poem title. It has as much connection to the poem as anything else, I’d say.