Friday, April 05, 2013

The Conceit :: The Concept

The first poem(s) that I'm sharing for my National Poetry Month activities are Jeff Bridges poems by Donora Hillard from Hobart online.

You tell Jeff Bridges you fear
your dying breath will be just like
the whimper you make when trying
to remove glitter polish from your
toenails. He sets his guitar down on
the fur rug. Baby Sister, he says,
live like youre already dead.


You are sitting at my kitchen table
and Jeff Bridges is in California.
It is either very late or very early.
I am sorry for shaking the table,
for shaking so many legged things.
I kiss your ear and your ear is cold.
I hope Jeff Bridges is wide awake
and writing songs about gnats.

What I like about these poems is the humor, the pop-culture references and the way those are used to access emotion. I think using pop-culture references in today's literature is like dropping Shakespeare or the Bible or Homer a hundred years ago. Pop culture is readily accessible to all levels of society and it's just another form of intertextuality; not anymore or less sophisticated, just different.

It seems from the few bits of the project that we see, that the poems use or treat Jeff Bridges as a sort of mediator, an interlocutor, for a relationship, but also a sort of third wheel wrecking the relationship or a ghost haunting the relationship. It's hard to say from a little section of what is obviously a larger project.  Like, what's gonna happen when the poems start channeling Lebowski, or the old guy in that Laser Tag movie? And I guess that's where you run into potential problems with sections of a project vs individual poems: is the conceit bigger/better than the writing?

I'd pay money to find out how Jeff Bridges actually functions in the full project. By that, I mean, I'd purchase a book of poetry titled, Jeff Bridges. Jeff Bridges would look super sweet on a bookshelf too. I think maybe Jeff Bridges' Greatest Hits would also be a pretty cool title. Jeff Bridges: Unabridged would be pretty cool too, except the pun, but that might be the coolest part of that title.

No comments: