Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicago Poet J.J. Tindall - Good Ear and Great Heart

I love Poetry and there is a heap of very bad poetry - thanks to Slams and HBO.

Poetry is exacting work - The Sound must seem an echo to the Sense*. It is not something one tosses off when fully Kreuzened and touched by the Red Bull Muse.

One of Chicago's best practicing poets can be found in the pages of Steve Rhodes' wonderful Beachwood Reporter. J.J. Tindall has a great ear and a wonderful heart that shouts out wonderfully humorous lines.

Here's a bit:

Son of St. Francis of My Ass

I'm just trying to have a good time.
Hurt is Hell. Let's have a bell!

And a crow.
My Hell is a deep Christian
well in a raw field

just beyond
the edge of the last

A raggedy-ass crow,
nothing noble, no Narcissus
of wire. A red crow

Chicagoetry: Confession To The Future
By J.J. Tindall
Confession to the Future

I strove for wealth and sorely failed,
I did not save a single whale.
I did not raise my children well,
I told my friends to go to hell.

I did not know my neighbor's name,
I juried love a callow game.
I scorched the earth to fight for fame,
I stole a march on any shame.

I greeted fools with charming grace
then wiped that smile right off their face.
I cheated on schoolwork, taxes, wives,
then pleaded innocence all my life.

I sold the farm for booze and coke,
I relished vicious ethnic jokes.
I bought the biggest car I could,
I dumped my garbage in the woods.

I sold insurance on people's health
then prayed they'd die to spare my wealth.
I proffered bonds on people's homes
then jacked the price and rigged the loans.

I razed the forests to drill for oil,
I fouled the air and drugged the soil.
I said anything to get elected
then assured my interests were protected:

wildlife crushed to bone and ash,
mountains scarred with gouge and gash,
rivers poisoned drop by drop,
farmland rendered fetid slop.

Thus your Martian tundra reigns,
deserts, bog-holes, acid rain.
Thus you needn't send to know
which rake made your world of woe.

Always me. It was me. It was me.

* I always bow to Pope in matters poetic and the Pope in matters spiritual, moral and liturgical.

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learned to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offense,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense:
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar;
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labors, and the words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise!

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