We have again been overlooked

Pax Arcana

Last September I received the devastating news that I would not be awarded the prestigious ($500,000!!!!!) MacArthur Fellowship. Today, things got even worse.

According to the Washington Post, California poet Kay Ryan was named the nation’s 16th poet laureate. Ryan replaces Charles Simic in a move that poetry insiders call an affront to both poetry and laureatism. Actually I’m the only one that says that, because clearly my application for the position was too incendiary — nay, too genius — to be considered.

Let’s do a little comparison. Here’s Kay Ryan’s poem “Death by Fruit”:

Only the crudest
of the vanitas set
ever thought you had to get
a skull into the picture
whether you needed
its tallowy color
near the grapes or not.
Others, stopping to consider
shapes and textures,
often discovered that
eggs or aubergines
went better, or leeks,
or a plate of string beans.
A skull is so dominant.
It takes so much
bunched up drapery,
such a ponderous
display of ornate cutlery,
just to make it less prominent.
The greatest masters
preferred the subtlest vanitas,
modestly trusting to fruit baskets
to whisper ashes to ashes,
relying on the poignant exactness
of oranges to release
like a citrus mist
the always fresh fact
of how hard we resist
how briefly we’re pleased.

And here is Pax Arcana’s “Death by Death”:

Aw fuck
Aw shit
Here it comes
‘Tis the Reaper?
NAY! ‘Tis the zombie!
The undead shuffle at me like a thousand shuffling things
Their zombie eyes a-blazin’
Their zombie hands outstretched
Oh, it was just the dog
Gotta feed the dog soon so he stops biting me I guess
I wonder if I should get him some of that expensive dog food that
Aw fuck
Aw shit
Zombie dog

Verse of the Turtle [Washington Post]


1 Comment

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One response to “We have again been overlooked

  1. Pingback: Friday Random 10: Zombie Haiku Edition «

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