Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Daily Poetry Show: Snake Dance and Moon Ball

There Are Whistles and Heat by Faye Kicknosway
The first two stanzas are really muscular. I think things weaken a bit after that. I’d be lying if I said I knew what was going on at every turn. But I have a suspicion that grows with every reading. “How fleshy the moon is, / its testicles, its pianos,”: how splendidly unnerving those lines are for reasons I don’t begin to enumerate. But the next-to-last stanza falls and burns half-a-snap in the process. Two and a half snaps.

Love Nips of the Boa by Laurence Lieberman
It’s one hell of a natural science snake tale. And it’s certainly in the shape of one, but is it really a poem of a snake? Or is it overworked prose worked into that strange shape of a poem. “Amazing it be.” That’s when the problem really sets in for me. At that point, what had been somewhat lyrical turns way too technically prosaic. And that might be something of the poet’s plan here. It’s a very tough thing to pull off. And if that was his intent, Laurence deserves some credit for the attempt. I’d be rooting for its success. I’ve tried the same thing a time or two and failed miserably. So I’d definitely steal a little of that. But, unfortunately for both his poem and my appropriation, Lieberman fails unhappily. The last stanza (baby rabbit maybe) attempts to return to form. But gets hit over the penultimate temple with ungainly “pipe lengths.” One and one-half snaps.

NOTE: No-Tell Motel is not updated on weekends. (And I probably won't be on Sunday.)

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