Tuesday, January 13, 2009

George Carlin in Twain and Swift Territory

Dali/Quixote Napkin by Tom Kane (w/tea stain)

The following is a small excerpt from the 2007 George Carlin special "It's Bad For Ya." In some ways it is a humorous take on similar territory explored in the recent Robinson Jeffers post. Once again, Twain and Vonnegut and Swift come to mind, the great satirists who cared enough to rip their beloved fellow travelers a new one for the sake of redemption. The pitch Carlin builds here nearly takes him out of comedy all together; though he might have lost a step or two physically in his later years, he was never more scintillating, acerbic, and spot-on as in this portrait of the human condition. (It's hard to imagine that a language disclaimer is necessary at a small press poetry blog but here you go: George uses many of those famous seven words and more, so you've been warned).

As I mentioned in last Thursday's weekly post, due to schedule changes at my paying job, the archival posts will now be on Tuesday and this is the first. This week it's issue #57 of Lilliput Review, from June 1994. Hope you enjoy the selections, including a poem by the late Michael McNeilley, author of the Lilliput broadside 15 sexual haiku/senryu, a visual art/poem, and one for Kurt Cobain. Has it really been 14 years?

down they came

down they came and I wiped
them out ----the bastards
-------they'll be back I know
-------sit over there ---so don't then
they'll be back I tell you
you'd better listen ---we'd better
-------hurry we've just got time
-------to get one in
we'll be ready for them next time
won't we but we'd better hurry
-------shit here they come ----here
-------take this no wait
Michael McNeilley

The Light Above It Is Burned Out

The stepladder's closed,
leaning against the stacks.

If it were in Humanities,
symbolism would shine all over.

In Government Documents, it waits
for the maintenance man to get off break.
H. Edgar Hix

More InSerts

Richard Kostelanetz

Global Village

The noon spider
spins a porch-web,
silk lines snaring
my thought. I see
5.5 billion humans
in a single fly
abuzz by the dusk
Walt Franklin

Brautigan and Bukowski
------------i.m. kc
With first light and your sigh,
the heavy dew evaporates
from the pane.
K. Shabee



Charles Gramlich said...

I better wait till I get home from school to listen to that vid. :)

I like the "Global village" quite a bit.

Anonymous said...


Thanks much for the Robinson Jeffers post - truly a magnificient and now rather neglected poet. I have been to Tor House in Carmel a number of times and remember my visits there fondly. I bought my "Selected Poems" omnibus there some years ago. "Robinson Jeffers, Poet of California" by James Karman (1996) is a good, rather short biography with lots of photos. As to misanthropy, in addition to your selections one could add Robert Frost and H.D. Thoreau, to name only two. Many of our greatest writers had a "lover's quarrel with the world" and I think of Robinson Jeffers as part of that elite group.


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Charles, do hope you got a chance to see the Carlin at home, quite powerful - glad you liked the "Global village" ...

J. L. S. Very true about Frost, I haven't gotten enough of a feel for Thoreau beyond a couple of essays, but I can see what you are saying. Thanks for the Jeffers bio note, good to know. I would imagine Tor House as being pretty overwhelming.