Friday, February 19, 2010

Poetry Tips: An Unusual Perspective

I credit Patricia Smith with this idea. She wrote a poem from the perspective of a skinhead, she’s written many poems from a perspective unusual to her personally. This week, I urge you to embody someone unlike yourself and spin a poem from their perspective. You could be the worst kind of person, such as a murderer, the best kind of person, such as a philanthropist. You could be dirt poor, filthy rich, incredibly narcissistic, or full of self-doubt. Take yourself to an extreme and explore it, read an autobiography of someone very unlike yourself and imagine writing a poem from their perspective. This will not only help you walk in another’s shoes but expand your horizons in writing.

For more enlightenment, read this interview with Patricia Smith at Torch to get an idea of how she goes about it:

Good luck to all who try, please stop in next Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Upstreet Open Submissions

You may submit three unpublished poems by March 1st using the electronic form available on-line here:

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“My Lover Gave Me Green Leaves” by Josephine Dickinson
“You, Therefore” by Reginald Shepard

Thanks for clicking in, please drop in tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

David S. Pointer's Triggertopia

David S. Pointer has a wily collection of poems in his chapbook Triggertopia, complete with artistic drawings, and family photos in this chapbook published by Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press. His poems range from insightful to disturbing depending on the subject matter and I am happy to share several with you:

Major CEO:
Basic Job Description

The preferred candidate
in addition to authorized
attire must wear an
overexpression of
innocence when answering
questions, must wear
collegiality and situational
reality like a clip-on candy
dispenser to be passed
out to all Presidential
administrations as well
as communicating to them
the need to do the same,
must be able to secure
supersizasaurus subsidies
before they are designated for the poor,
must be expert
at creating the image of
false job creation while
using the money to move
overseas, must assist and
instruct the President, senators
and lobbyists in dismantling
worker compensation and
safety laws while manipulating
legal and medical research
while simultaneously ignoring
the collective chemotherapeutic
cough of the common workers.
Most of all must occupy space
where truth and lies intersect
on a consistent basis and like it
while going up the backside of
humanity like a giant grapefruit
reamer while still playing rounds
of golf with foreign economic
gophers through the international
gauntlets of diplomatic goodwill.
All compensation and benefits
will catapult past all experience
or anything previously imagined.

I like the quirky and inventive words and phrases Mr. Pointer brings about such as “supersizasaurus subsidies” which highlights how ridiculous subsidies can be with his invented word, and the idea of wearing “situational/reality like a clip-on candy/dispenser” which is unusual and eye-grabbing. As for the message of the poem, I’d say he nails it splendidly, the idea of large corporations saying one thing while doing another.

Banjo Dan

He cut his first 30-bracket
aluminum rim right out of a
hubcap found in a milofield
off Missouri Hwy 13.
Just hybrid homework for
a banjo-playing boy destined
for Uncle Dave Macon Days
in Murfreesboro, Tennessee,
where clawhammer hooks
and modern creativity creep
around each sacred mountain
of melodic frost, as mythical
bootleggers get their
jangling comeuppance or
hard lot fair pay for
exquisite cornliquor.
No musical matter, some
more depression era mug-
shot men may escape a
straight razor romp through
custom shop strings only to
be gunned up good two
fast frets down on this
hazardous homemade
narrow stretch of maple
neck needed in the next
town now like the tenant
farmer wearily walking to
an obsolete oil field near
Sequoyah County,
Oklahoma, in the next song’s
smoldering breeze.

The title captures the essence of what is guaranteed to be a person you could only classify as a “character” and brings us into the imagery of a banjo player’s life in lines such as “hard lot fair pay for/exquisite cornliquor” which brings to mind a backwoods feel to the kind of music that is played. I also like the visual language such as “tenant/farmer wearily walking to/an obsolete oil field” which brings about the idea of a solitary man facing a potentially bleak future, an idea that all things are impermanent. David Pointer has some wonderful alliterations that bring some speed and rhythm to this poem as well such as “razor romp,” and “hazardous homemade.” It’s a well-paced attention-holding poem.

The following short poems have no titles but are also excellent:

hubcap dinner plates
holding bountiful stew
in the hobo camp.

This poem immediately brings about our powers of imagination and I can easily go into tangents about the lives of the people eating stew out of hubcaps in a hobo camp. Much is brought to the mind from relatively few words.

ceiling fan blades
coptering over kids
playing war

This is also an interesting and arresting visual, turning a ceiling fan into a much more ominous subject of an army helicopter hovering over children at play.

David S. Pointer’s poems in Triggertopia are well thought out and hold my attention all while reading. If you enjoyed this sample of poems you may purchase a copy through Alternating Current, which is one of the few small presses able to allow poets to make some money from their collections of poems, for $5.00 (plus $2 US shipping or $3 out –of-US shipping) by using the link below:

You can also e-mail Leah Angstman at for more information.

Or you may send check or money order to:
Alternating Current
PO Box 398058
Cambridge, MA 02139

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, February 15, 2010

Poetry Dispatch and Other Notes From the Underground

Alan Caitlin is not only a wonderful poet but he also has a wonderful website of all things poetic, check him out at:

Thanks for clicking in, please drop in tomorrow for another featured poetry anthology…