an aria to a porcupine's ass
I kissed a porcupine's ass
as each spine
pierced my lip
I sang an aria
and all creation
for the pain
digital art & poetry © Stephan Anstey
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Who are your favorite poets?
Amongst my friends, Jim Benz is one of my absolute favorites. Leanne Hanson, Julie Cook, Ruth Eliot, David Hirt are all fantastic and not recognized as they should be. Renata McCormish is another wonderful poet. Over the years I've really enjoyed reading Pablo Neruda, Basho, Buson & Issa, e.e. cummings, Anne Sexton, W.H. Auden, Lewis Carrol, Martial & John Donne.
I was absolutely floored by Major Jackson, W.D. Snodgrass, Martin Espada and Robert Pinsky. Hearing them perform, reading their books, and listening to them talk about their own poetic journey and process was instrumental in my development.
In terms of poets who have influenced me that maybe no one would know, I'd have to say some local (and internet community) artists like Ed Marshall, Paul Marion, Dave Robinson, Lori Trierweiller, Matt Miller , Harris Gardner, Anthony Febo, Patrick Pierce, and Patrick Shaugnessy have had a huge influence on my work.
Patrick Pierce, (and his wonderful wife the Gourmet Gal), has spent a lot of time really pushing me to think and rethink my entire concept of art and the world around me. His sculptures and poetry are out of this world, and his mind is devestatingly sharp.
Febo's passion, Ed's kindness, and Patrick's courage are a constant source of inspiration to me as I try to break into the local scene a bit. Without them, I go no where and get no where. I can't give them enough credit.
I realize a lot of people look for the 'big names' the 'famous' poets - but truly and honestly, the most important and immediate influences on me and my work are these local artists who take the time to really engage me in a dialog.
I would be really remiss if I didn't single out Leanne Hanson here. She is, without any doubt, the most important single poet I know. I don't just mean for me either - she is certainly that - but the sheer number of poets she pushes, bullies, and saves from suck is mind boggling. Her standards are world class, her criticism more valuable than gold, her friendship more generous and loyal than anyone could possible deserve and if there is a living saint of poetry I am convinced it is that beloved hysterically funny, curmudgeonly Aussie Goddess. Anyone that gives a crap about poetry that doesn't own her book is missing out on something special. Buy it here.