Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Gobbledygook (Protest Poem)
for Professor Price

where I come from the plant is growing

I see it

at night
from my bedroom window
burning the sky's red glow

I inhale black smoke hot
like a cigarette and hack
caffeine arrogance
streetlight poetry


when I walk by they all flicker
like birthday candles: how I know
this is my neighborhood
my town
my polluted sky


my friends and me
we sip beers in basements
we cliff sit and smoke dope
we watch the clouds


we drive 95 and 202

'this is romance,'
we think but don't say
over homecoming shakes
at the Charcoal Pit


in time
the creek will lead to the ocean

for now
I catch tadpoles in the slime


gobbledygook wins every time


where I come from
I am the power plant
this is my polluted sky

with thanks for the sweet comments on my last submission, i offer up this up. wrote it yesterday, tweaked it this morning. professor price teaches my poetry in performance class - which is not a writing workshop, mind you - and is the man who circled my poem (specifically What's More Important) and wrote 'no,' as well as other helpful comments like "prosy" and "distant" and "gobbledygook." and no, these aren't fragments of comments, they're the comments in their entirety. he's a self-professed "blues" poet, so i tried to do him some "homage."

in the end, he's a guest lecturer, so i really don't give a damn. i just needed to respond to the outrageousness of his critique and out came this.

besides, now i'm really good at spelling gobbledygook.



sovietturkey said...

'Homage' like Paris bringing Helen back to Troy.

I think the final stanza is particularly badass, if it's an appropriate way to describe it. So assertive, so ominous.

I always hate when people say this (to me, it implies a certain amount of inconsistency on the part of the author), but this is my first choice of all the things you've posted here.

Serves its purpose well.

Gunter Heidrich said...

Hah, not sure how much this speaks to me, but your point is well taken, it is the things which truly don't matter in life that are for better or worse that often become the most significant (drinking group, smoking group, sewing group, poetry group etc).

I'm curious about the recurring theme of the polluted town. I think that muddles the main point a bit (although it could be argued that that's fairly fitting of the poem in itself), it's a simple enough metaphor in the end though.

Also I suggest switching the order of these two lines:

"in time
the creek will lead to the ocean

for now
I catch tadpoles in the slime"