David Shaprio verbatim, from Harriet:
My mother a Reichian and communist used to say to me that "bad words" were "love words," andso I grew up learning about the body from Joyce's soliloquy and Penelope's and Tenderness.Onew day Allen Ginsberg took us out to lunch, or we took him out. I was sixteen or so andmy mother was entranced. She asked him about opoverty in India, since he had just beenthere. He said, Mrs Shapiro, they're still fucking in the dust. I waited to see my motherflinch. She did not. When we left I said: Well, you didn't seem to mind HIS use of "bad words."She said, still in a trance, it';s different when he uses them.
Kenneth Koch in class once said of the word fuck with his sweet stutter:It's very hard to use wordfs that may emnbarass you, like fffuck. AllenGinsberg can use fffuck, but I haven't really. He later wrote a beautiful poemto orgasms. I have a sentence: And the centuyry I live in turns out to be the centuryof infibgulation and fuck.
OSay if a painter rather than painting the word The painted the word Fuck.I found some people liked a poem of mine inspired by a Picasso nude. I put inphrases like cunt and spine or sucked. I was told it was my best poem by Timothy Lieu.But I purposely decided to reprint it when it wouldn't seem as if I were a paintersuddenly painting the word Fuck. Also, I noticed like anyone else that the words--despite them being pretty and sensual and, at least for me, pointedf(haha)didn';t really make it up to Picasso's painting--Sleeping Woman in l932 wherte he has almost nothingbut a few charcoal lines on a white or unpainted canvas. I don't mind sayingthat I learned most of the facts of love from the Penelope soliloquy, and so I'have to bend my knees to the words that are around us. Phillip Lopateand Kenneth Koch both felt thayt Rudy Burckhardt had too many nudes imn his work.Kenneth said his own analyst had told him to get rid of "gratutitous oranges.,"I have written a poem only of oranges. But to go back, is it really betterto know that the Polish ruudder in Frank's hands was Larry Rivers's penis. I thinkif Frank had wanted to he could. In some places like the end of Biothermcertain words turn wild =as if Turner were in the snow.
Maybe if we all treated every word as if it were an epithet (Mayakopvsky) we would be fine. And if you look at Jakobson he's very interested in what goes first, what goes secondin morphology. So I love all those discvriminations of mothgerfucka even more than in the sailor. All this was investigated by Proust and others and it was a study ofPushkin, thgat great pornographer, that also led to J's great studies of folklore,and why tic is less dark than toc, why we don';t say tic tock,m tock tic, why I like Ikeis so moving but Bush Mother doesn't do it like Johns's title Bush Baby which is not aboutthe President but is a nocturnal anaimal.
Bad words are nocturnal animals. Bad words is such a good word because itsprimary antithetical and like an animalist fuck in the good pages, I mean the good pages,Or what is called The good parts. If a poet isn';tr very attuned to the weight of a big word like'fuck or screw, he shoulkd abandon language, Presidents have.
To sum up, there are no bad words, but thinking makes them so.My student writes" Words are such toys."Between bad words and good words, oral and aural, we live and die.Excuse th typos. A typoo is like a bad word in scholarly company, Forgive!
RIP, Hayden Carruth. "One pick-up job was his stint as editor of Poetry in 1950. He was proud he never kept a poet waiting more than five weeks for an answer. But he riled the board—he was trying to revamp and amp up things with more challenging poems and feistier prose—so within a year he was out." - W.S. DiPiero, in the summer issue of Poetry
"You bring it all back in." - J.H. Prynne on Olson!
Lowell's (Self-) Portrait of Jarrell - a Poetry web exclusive by Peter Campion.
"A poem, not just poetry. That's what our era is lacking, claims a growing chorus of pundits." - Jason Guriel on why the Great American Poem is so hard to write.