When Ms. Hathaway spies “Perfesser” Bodine hitting his head with a board, he says, with genuine dismay, “We artists have to suffer for our art, and I haven’t done my sufferin today!” He would not look at the milk scum but, during the performance, ate (or drank) it and thereby produced involuntary dis-gust on the part of the onlookers: not de gustibus but ex gustibus; not economics but economimesis. Having never brushed his teeth, he complained that Society scorned “its” poets, allowing their teeth to fall out. You don’t know what it’s like to be down and out in Paris and London and New York and San Francisco if you haven’t, like St. Francis or the Buddha, voluntarily set aside suburban parents in Omaha or nouveau riche in Beverly Hills to eat ramens among roaches, when young (the “you,” not the roaches). Yo, so how can you call yourself a 'sthete? For this reason, even while dribbling subjectivity across the page, Jethro nailed his palms, yelling, “Ecce Corpus! Et tu corpus? Eat your coprus. Hey! Over here! I fall upon the nails of life, I BLEED, already!” Thereupon he ripped up his diploma into equal and equivalent democratic bits to paste together a collage that was “down” with “The People,” to “stick it” to “The Man,” whom, one suspects, was Fr. Drysdale, sub specie aeternitatis. Or he became a fry-cook or a street-car conductor. But anyway, people, the least you can do is to LOOK, even if you don’t buy nothin.
Author of Things Come On: (an amneoir) (Wesleyan University Press’ poetry series, 2011), earth day suite (Beard of Bees Press, Dec. 2010), Of Some Sky (Bedouin, forthcoming), and Poetry and the Public (Wesleyan 2002).