Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Feature: John Burroughs Day 4


Beer is a beauty
Beer is a bitch
Beer is a scratch for my vilest itch
An itch for my finest scratch
A down the hatch batch of high satisfaction
A recipe for extreme stupefaction
A flood disguised as a dream panacea
And whether or not I want to see it
A slow tide of suicide

The blue moon is high
And the beer sea is strong
As I down another and continue this
Song swell without a tune
This sickeningly sweet I scream sundown
Melting as I search
For a silver spoon that does not exist
In a glass of whatever's on tap
Getting pissed
Fancying myself an inimitable wordsmith
While I wanly regurgitate yesterday's news
My blues rhyming with brews
And still thirst unquenchably
For the deluge to deliver me
To low dry land
And sober death

© John "Jesus Crisis" Burroughs

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Tell us one fact about yourself we might not know.

According to older members of my biological dad's family, I am a descendant of Jesse James. Though the official story is that Jesse died young and had only two children, my family's story is that he didn't really die (recovered from the shooting, went into hiding) and had more - and we came from one of those. But who knows? Even if you don't count that, the dad who adopted me descended from the famous Indian-killing general "Mad" Anthony Wayne - which is interesting because I've also gotta lot of Native American blood flowing through my veins.

Is there any one dead poet’s writing you particularly don’t like? I mean really don’t like.. like grates on your nerves don't like .. and why?

There's more than one. But I don't want my lack of preference to be taken as a put down -- I don't believe in putting down poets. And anyway, I find poems I like by everybody. In the past there have been several poets I didn't "get," or whose work I didn't like, and now they are now among my favorite poets. (Hart Crane is an example.) That's happened often enough that now when I don't like someone's poetry I consider the possibility that the problem might lie not with their poetry but with me. Who knows? Maybe in 10 years I'll love their poetry, too. And maybe when I'm much older I'll be much more comfortable in the role of critic or judge. But I'm not sure I want that.


  1. sober now by the grace of JESUS for FIVE long years i liked beer too much ( the drinking) part this is a great poem OH sir

  2. This made me really want a beer. I like the "Bier" thing. Reminds me of Freud's death wish deal. And of Sartre's nausea. The weight of being, the claustrophobia of embodied containment. Sweating out the long, mysterious years, we need some cold ones (heck, just plug in the morphine feed).

    Irony: fretting over mortality to the point that we anesthetize ourselves to death.

  3. The lilt of the poems carried me like a floaitng beer can across the waves of your poetry! I like how you start with a voice of irreverence and then gradually raise your "sober" tone :)

    " I search
    For a silver spoon that does not exist
    In a glass of whatever's on tap"
    is my favorite portion!

  4. Well you see .. that's why I specified "dead poet" so you wouldn't have to feel bad about trashing someone. :-)

    I'm not sure there is one I even dislike that much... but thought it would make an interesting twist. I guess I was was thinking of T.S Elliot... who was it that really disliked him.. quite openly? Was it Joyce or someone else....?
    Anyway.. you gave a diplomatic answer.... gotcha...

    Like seeing the text of your bier poem.... Struck me as much sadder than the version when you read it out loud. Could see more of the connections in it... It did not make me want a beer though.

  5. I very much appreciate your feedback! Though I've read this poem aloud in public a couple of times, this is first time anyone's seen it in print.

    If I have to admit I dislike any dead poet, the first one to come to mind is the biblical psalmist David. ;)