Tuesday, July 31, 2007

NEW! Two poems by Daniel Pinkerton

Daniel Pinkerton


Codgers regale one another
with tales of the lodge's origins:
in the fifteenth century, it is said,
a herd of elk, weary of steppe-hopping,
dismayed by the moth-eaten stature
of their coats, the plaque on their antlers,

their vicious halitosis, claimed a beer hall
cleared out formerly, presently abandoned,
by wandering marauders or Vikings
(who were plentiful in those days).
There’s something quaint and really
quite charming about this beer hall--

let's keep it a secret, the elk agreed.
And should we initiate mankind
into our rites of poker and drinking,
the mounting of animal heads on the wall?
Sounds all right to me.
Can’t see what it could hurt.


In the fifteenth century
kings held chariot races
to decide the fate of the youngest daughter
and many suitors were flayed alive,
which made for great sport.

Chicken dinners were quite fashionable.
Monks and jesters and everyone, really,
had excellent abs, very good maces,
decent lice and head colds.

Ancient history?
I can't believe you said that--
I've a mind to take away
your internet privileges for a week.

In the olden days it was the shin vice,
the rack, the heretic's fork,
a frontal lobotomy,
then some time alone in your cell
to think about what you'd done.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Wm Logan watch

In the June issue of The New Criterion, William Logan treats readers to a group review of John Ashbery, Frieda Hughes, Cathy Park Hong, Henri Cole, Frederick Seidel, and, of course, Robert Lowell.

Or, to put it another way, three books published by FSG, two by HarperCollins, one by W.W. Norton.

"When a critic stops making discoveries, it's time for him to hang up his pen." Willam Logan, New York Times, April 8, 2007

If he didn't dismiss Hong's book, one could argue that he's making a discovery in this review (which is available online at http://www.poems.com/special_features/prose/essay_logan.php).

Has Logan made any discoveries as a critic in the past few years? If not, should he follow his own advice? Or is his bad-boy reviewing style sufficient reason for him to keep plugging and pot-shotting away?