If you stop and think about it, poetry is completely out-of-date. To my knowledge there aren’t any poetry apps available for smart phones. And the poetic version of iTunes – iVerse – is nowhere to be found. Venture capitalists won’t touch it with a 30-foot stick. There’s simply no demand for downloadable poems.
Yet for some reason, poets keep writing the stuff and teeny-weeny boutique publishers keep publishing the stuff. Which proves my original point: poetry is out-of-date. It’s just that the poets and their publishers haven’t caught on yet.
‘Cuz I like poetry. I like poetry because it makes my brain do funny things. As I read poetry, my brain receives impressions which are unfamiliar. My brain translates the impressions to the concept most closely related, usually a feeling. And feelings feel good, for the most part. So since I like feeling feelings, I continue to seek out new poetry to read. I haven’t caught on either.
My latest ‘find’ is Joannie Strangeland. Her latest book of poetry is Into the Rumored Spring, published by Ravenna Press (one of the teeny-weeny publishers that haven’t caught on yet). Joannie is what I call an ‘evening’ poet. Evening poets are interesting because they have given up on thinking and have begun to search for happiness. In this sense, then, evening poets are like Evangelical Christians. They’ve died to one thing and been re-born. Born-again poets!
What’s so cool about evening poets is that they free their readers (those who haven’t caught on yet) from authority. It’s a kind of poetry anarchy. Because they no longer believe in anything, anything goes. Happiness is all that matters.
This type of poetry is very therapeutic. It provides plop-plop fizz-fizz relief from all the restrictions of prose (grammar and syntax). For example, Joannie’s ‘Intermezzo, 6,’ a four-line poem: