Ben John Smith for “Plan 9 Magazine.”

by Horror Sleaze Trash on August 23, 2012

Piece by Ben John Smith for “Plan 9 Magazine.”

Kerouac said he started writing so he could fuck pretty girls.  He was an exception. Most poets are really self absorbed wankers; into flowers and trees and waterfalls and shit… And that’s cool, you know – do your thing, there is a place and a time for everything.  I, however, had an ulterior motive when I started to pretend I could write poetry.  I started writing poetry so I could get away with acting like a mad man.  Pretending to be an artist lets you get you away with so many things that would normally get you locked up or divorced.  Plus being a hopeless drunk pretty fit the “writer” persona; so I filled up a glass and hoped to it.  I bought an old type writer and set it up on a chest of draws near the window…

Then I stuck my foreskin into the opening of a beer bottle.  The poems seemed to just come from then on in.  (see poem attached).  I read that poem once at a reading and every one would cover their drink with their hand when they saw me coming.  I liked that.  I liked that I had effected their perception of me; not through any actions of my character, but through words on a page.

It’s almost as if the secrets we keep make us who we are, but we never tell the ones we are really embarrassed of.  We squirrel ‘em away in a delusion that everything is “going to be okay”  and while it may not last forever, for now, this project of mine seems to be working in some way.  I feel less burdened.  Even if it is just booze stained perception, I feel “freer”.  Like a remix to a version of a Tom Petty track –“Im Free Balling”; if you will.

I figure if I can distinguish exactly who I am under years of external influence, I might be getting closer to some kind of cosmic honesty.

Aside from scaring the shit out of me, who I really am, interests me.  Poetry somehow develops that search.  It helps me make a fool of myself in the hands of company, and pass off being a creepy son of a bitch in the holy name of art.

But shit, don’t get me wrong, I’m still a douche bag ass-hole; there is no denying that; but the fact that I know and am consciously aware of this is a call for celebration in its self.  Not the whole “I hate myself but I’m better than you all” complex, more like “I really like the way we are all pretty stupid and don’t know what we are doing”.  I have no idea what I mean, because I have no idea what I’m doing.  No one does.  And it’s the pretenders you gotta watch out for.  The Art Fags.  I fucking hate art fags.  It’s all love and passion with them stale fuckers. I once remember a guy trying to buy a can of coke for my Vodka with a flower.  The Asian at the counter couldn’t afford to fix the teeth in her head and this dude was trying to rob her profit of a buck fifty for a flower she could pick herself.  He said “isn’t this more beautiful than money?” – No mother fucker, petals aren’t going to buy me a new grill, I’ve been eating mushy peas for months, my kid is out back watching television and eating cat food;  put your flower in the end of a shot gun and shoot yourself in the face!

Critics are the same. Politicians.  Most academics.  Know it alls. I want to know – that we know nothing.  I want to prove it if possible.  Religion has been a cosmic fuck up and we are as much deserving of a God as a clever rat is to a slice of cheese.  Poetry is pretty much a waste of time as well; well – as much of a waste of time as anything else.  But at least it knows it selfish – and claims it with a roaring ego.  Most art is the same, but nothing is more selfish than poetry.  Poetry is a money robbing whore.  No one ever made it rich of poems, asides maybe Bukowski, but that son-of-a-bitch earned it, dueling it out in skid row alleys, hustling his roses down the avenue’s of the dead.

At least painters give you something aesthetically beautiful to look at, Photographers can take nudes, sport is entertaining,  a chef can make you lunch, a whore can tickle your willy.  But poetry just sits around in letters and lines of the same words you use to say “Give me the hose here, you’re doing it like a bloody wog!” or ‘does any want still want the bath water, I just accidently pissed in it.”  Maybe they can be re arranged but they are still simple. Static. Boring. Every day text about someone who thinks he’s got it all figured out.

And it’s all either extremely narcissistic, or it’s not.

I’m not terribly well published or grounded. I have maybe sold 100 books.  But I was never in this game for the cash or fame.  Something else however evolved.  Everything became a poems to me eventually. Things like “We hug with our feet” when I was in bed had to be scribbled into a pad.  Or “Her small hand on my pot belly” after sex had to be typed into the notes on my phone.  And beside the constant anxiety, self awareness and hemorrhoids, maybe it’s worth all the madness.

To make your life a poem, the mundane into poetry, and god forbid, yourself into a poet.

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