Greenville, South Carolina
You'll have to excuse my absence; I've had the flu. Perhaps now I shall "try" to respond to your (Brad's) essay or whatever on my poem. (Don't expect it to be in depth though, I'm still a bit sick and don't wish to invest too much time into it.)
[Let's look at the title: The Academician
I understand the meaning, but what's wrong with "The Academic" or even better "Academic"? The latter title lets you play with a double meaning: 'academic' meaning someone who works or is associated with the academy and 'academic' meaning divorced from real life, practical considerations.]
Not a bad point, I’ll think about it.
["A lunate mouth ajar"
On a first reading, I liked this first line. A moon shaped mouth that is stuck (The Scream). The problem is that on that first reading I didn't really read it very well. A crescent shaped mouth that is stuck leaves me with the Cheshire Cat or Jack, the Joker, in the first Batman movie. If that is the image you want, I don't think you've exhausted the potential of 'lunate'.]
Well first off, I never said it was 'stuck'. I said it was “ajar” (as in open).
“Be that as it may, we have a picture that I hope we can agree is already unattractive.”
Yes Brad, that is correct. My poetry is the same as my films and my plays: unattractive. Because life is unattractive and the majority of people are unattractive (or at least human behavior tends to be ugly). I like making my readers and viewers uncomfortable by showing the more unattractive things in life. That’s just a “me” thing I guess.
["in simplified stupor"
The use of alliteration here emphasizes 'stupor' but what would a simplified stupor be? What would a complex stupor be?]
Hmm, good point.
“Jack as the joker drawn by a political cartoonist?”
haha, good one.
[Why drop the indefinite article?
"awaiting a fly to enter"]
I didn’t drop the indefinite article in that line.
”But doesn't this imply anticipation, even the wanting, of a fly to enter the mouth.”
Perhaps. I never said the mouth didn’t want the fly’s company.
“A Spanish fly?”
I’m not sure what ethnicity the fly was. Russian maybe?
”So, from the first three lines I have a picture in my head, not of an academic (tweed jacket, beard, pipe, volvo), but of a drunk or drug addict awaiting, anticipating his next 'fix'.”
Yes, I suppose you could say that. But what is an academic? A person addicted to knowledge maybe? Don’t academics need a certain “fix” as well? Their “fix” being knowledge maybe?
“yet again would seem to indicate that the speaker and the character are both in the same boat.”
That is a high possibility. Many poets write about others while referring to themselves. I admit to being a tad narcissistic.
“(Why does the speaker remind me of the Hulk?) “
Because I have green skin and only wear ripped jean shorts? Haha. No I purposely wrote this piece with a “primitive” diction to differentiate the speaker and the subject of the poem, the latter being the academician.
”Okay, following the first sentence, we get a confirmation that the fly will, at some time in the future, enter the mouth, and presumably fly down the esophagus.”
Ok, here is where we’re having problems. This poem is a metaphor Brad. Don’t think of it like “the fly will enter the mouth, down the esophagus, through the stomach and intestines.” No no. The fly enters the head. The fly like an idea, enters the head. Don't think of it so literally.
["into’s the deep,"
And you lose me here. A Cummings-like exercise in concrete poetry, a bizarre use of the possessive, a contraction of God knows what? Here, I plead guily, I sometimes get confused with the apostrophe -- an idiosyncrasy of mine. Others don't seem to have this problem so it seems a weakness that I'll just have to live with.]
Yes, I like adding the unneeded apostrophe sometimes to add a sense of sinisterness to the piece. It’s just a little thing I do from time to time. I actually wrote a whole piece using that “technique.”
I’m sure you’ll all hate this one too.
”I don't get it. So, as far as I can tell, you double your line for emphasis. What I here is a kind of dialect, 'Intooz da deep'.”
Yes it sounds like that. But not “da.” It’s “intooz the deep.”
”At the very least, not the voice traditionally associated with an academic.”
I know, the academic isn’t the speaker.
Oh and happy belated birthday Brad. Cheers mate.
Head Cheese & Chicken Feet