Charles Bernstein Poem

Bernstein's style is perhaps a little to close to my own preferred mode of writing poetry for me to be posting it. I mean, if I can write like that, why not post my own? Point taken. So instead of posting this as a way of submerging my own voice, I will post it as a memo to myself: Trust your own voice and write your own poems. I'll set it to recur everyday at 3:00 -- pm I guess. In the meantime I'll go ahead and share "Gertude and Ludwig's Bogus Adventure." Sure, he's doing pop culture free association. But it's the kind that moves forward with each phrase or sound or idea (all are equal) linking to what came before while pushing forward. This is actually what Ornette Coleman did with his innovative approach to jazz improvisation. By ditching the chord changes he was liberated from the need to keep circling back as each chorus comes around. So the improvisation isn't illogical, as critics suggested. No it's perfectly logical, but it just keeps playfully extending out instead of resolving based on a predetermined pattern. I encountered Bernstein in the most recent edition of Provincetown Arts, but I pilfered this from the Poetry Foundation website.

for Gabriele Mintz
As Billy goes higher all the balloons
Get marooned on the other side of the
Lunar landscape. The module’s broke—
It seems like for an eternity, but who’s
Counting—and Sally’s joined the Moonies
So we don’t see so much of her anyhow.
Notorious novelty—I’d settle for a good
Cup of Chase & Sand-borne—though when
The strings are broken on the guitar
You can always use it as a coffee table.
Vienna was cold at that time of year.
The sachertorte tasted sweet but the memory
burned in the colon. Get a grip, get a grip, before
The Grippe gets you. Glad to see the picture
Of ink—the pitcher that pours before
Throwing the Ball, with never a catcher in sight.
Never a catcher but sometimes a catch, or
A clinch or a clutch or a spoon—never a
Catcher but plenty o’flack, ’till we meet
On this side of the tune.


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