Letter to Sam Hunt by J.K. Baxter, verses 1 to 4
Dear Sam, I thank you for your letter
And for the poem too, much better
To look at than the deary words
I day by day excrete like turds
To help the Catholic bourgeoisie
To bear their own insanity;
And if in Paremata you
Should find a weta in your shoe
Ugly, hard-shelled, with snapping jaws,
A Hilter who has lost his cause,
Don't hit it with a shovel - No,
Christen it Jim and let it go.
Though it may do no good, in rhyme,
To look back on the fucking-time,
I do recall one evening, drunk
In Devonport on Dally plonk,
Endangering my balls and marriage
With someone's darling in a garage,
Upright and groaning, breaking eggs
Until the yolk ran down her legs -
One of the best of Venus' nuns,
A girl with tits like ack-ack guns
Who sighed and screwed and screwed and sighed
While her grim husband sat inside
The house and meditated death
For her and me with every breath,
Journalist, tombstone-maker or
Some other kind of social whore.
Last year we met again and she
Not screwing sighed and looked at me,
A swaddled deathshead old and dry,
But there was life in that blue eye.
"Honey", I said, "You're thinking of
Another time when love was love".
"You've struck it, brother", she replied,
"But now I find the gap inside
Is cold and dark and hard to carry
And Buddha is the man I marry;
He teaches me that love is love
Only when it's past thinking of".
Dear Sam, if you are twenty-two,
why should I foist my gall on you?
The answer is that poets live
By a refusal to forgive
The mighty Bog of social shit
That has no use for sex or wit
Or art or hope, but simply is
Internally its own abyss;
At twenty-two or forty-one
You need your gumboots and a gun.
I try, I really, really try to be a cultured person but it just won't stick.
Although there are quite a few metaphors that appeal to me, I just can't stand poetry. Likewise with the ballet and modern dance (uuhhhrrrgh). I keep trying to watch and read, thinking there must be something wrong with me, but no matter what I just can't bear them.
I love opera and classical music, so I'm thinking that my mind is too analytical. It can't deal with the subtleties of dance and poetry and needs the in-your-faceness of something like prose.
Ballet and modern dance (except some contact improvisation) doesn't do it for me either. Classical music and some pieces out of opera I do love.
But sitting through a whole opera? - I've lost fingers biting on them trying to avoid death by boredom.
I'm hoping we don't have to do the whole hog to be cultured - surely opera and classical music are enough by themselves for you? Don't tell me I will be condemned to "The Simpsons" level of hell just cause opera is, I think, trying to kill me?
Anyway, thanks for replying - even "I can't stand poetry and why" is part of poetry appreciation.
Little doses of poetry do things to me - if I can find great interest in the poem.
The verses above set up an image of the poet, dis-illusioned but determined to continue, cynical but still believing, still hopefull for pleasure, that prepares me for the next verses. It like spirits - the taste reminds you of whats to come if you continue.