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January 19, 2007

Zzazzip. Old Gladhappy here. Another
year. A window on the Thanatopsis
Express and you the engineer with a
whistle, a party favor, its zzazzip.
“Vamoos,” you spit at the photographer
until photographer gets the picture:
the cowcatcher’s on the caboose, the train’s
stopped, this shot of you with the look of a
Ray Carver under the weather, on the
q.t. about where you’re coming from (the
pane of a phone booth?). What’s there but to dial
O, though slow to do so, to disclose woe
no noble plotter ought to opt to pose;
moreover, was it not John Gardner who
laments, Sure death for the poet is to
keep the wound closed
? Chivas in one hand, Georg
Jensen briar in the other, there you are
incarnate, austere, Sir Carver Gardner.
Holy steak and cake! Holy omnivore!
Great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher!
For what? For the gusto? Or for “it,” what-
ever it is sits in the gut so low,
drives you to chug and smoke, and causes the
camera to capture by missing it—point
being the point of being’s not to quit,
addict of the rush in hissing, “Screw it.”

by Karl Elder

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  1. January 19, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Is there a single bodily function Karl Elder hasn’t included here? Along with all that terrific wordplay and soundplay that occurs so often in his work? This poet never, ever disappoints, and deserves all the recognition he continues to win.

  2. January 20, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    If I’d been resisting this poem, which I wasn’t, I would have given in when I got to “Sir Carver Gardner” and the orgy of “g”s that follow, right through to the final sibilant exhalation.

  3. January 22, 2007 at 9:24 am

    This is glorious.

  4. Laura Gross
    January 22, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Skillfully done, as usual. I especially enjoyed the references to Raymond Carver and John Gardner.

  5. William Doreski
    February 1, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks, Karl. A wonderfully energetic and verbally gritty poem.

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