Warren Falcon

(04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)

'There are times when one must play the gallena to the cock but Mr. Straw pricks' - A Rumble About Critics, Rhyme & Bad Poetry


Dear Mr. Milnieves,

You are quite welcome regarding my taking old Straw to task in his criticisms of Paul Dunbar. I am rare to pen such things to writers/poets but Mr. Straw pissed me off...I do have a VERY mean streak, suffer arrogance, hubris, and assorted puffed-up top gallo tendencies but have battled enough in coop, front stoop and arena (the word used in the both English and the Spanish meaning, sand, 'place of combat, ' from L. harena 'place of combat, 'originally 'sand, sandy place, ' The central stages of Roman amphitheaters were strewn with sand to soak up the blood) bloody enough to know that there are times when one must play the gallena to the cock...but Mr. Straw pricks, and straw's a prominent feature of hen houses, prick Straw laid an smelly egg and, well, my ire came out of retirement for a stuffy Brit to go after one of our own, honorable Dunbar...'e brung out the warrior spurs hid in my claws which would rather write poems or caress a bony bonny love.



Such a stupid 'review' he gave, Straw, so uninformed, as if Dunbar was still alive and penning mere froth which, having read at Straw's 'fodder poems' they are indeed pompously foam and form words, poorly so. I mightily spit at his muffin self.And mimic his own style henceforth and here froth polyglotally.

So much for my humility as I counseled to Mr. Straw, about an old saint calling his life work of writing, 'Straw. All Straw.' That goodly Saint Aquinas sits on my stooped shoulder whispering. Fortunately my good ear is on the other side. I've no pretensions to sainthood. Just plain 'hood' 'scribes me. Every sinner knows the good is in the steerage and not what is pushed out front ahead. But the best listeners are the bad guys, I've found. I can't shake the good from my head as much as I try. Good sticks. Bad pricks. Or is it the other way round? Still, either or both, each to each depends.

Having said all this and that, I try to keep silent but for my pen, try to be humble enough, not be too 'god a'mighty' who, in spite of press otherwise, does indeed suffers fools, and a goodly or badly amount at that, of which I am one, perhaps chief though to say so is a conceit bare, deserving of an eye roll. But being chief one is most certainly chaffed which is a form of chastening, yes? Raw in the crotch one's gait is wide though 'narrow is the Way unto the Pearly Gate' where hopefully talcum waits for soothing. Hallelujahs then shall be all the louder for the relief, belief rewarded at last not discounting scratching.

I have read some of your work and find much therein to like. And I am a happy sucker for a limerick, one of the greatest art forms ever. As a bored waiter in my wayward 'yoot' (as they still say here in New York City, in some parts of it...I am of South Carolina born but none too proud of that) always waiting for deliverance (usually meaning, a good lay) , I and my fellow waiters would compose dirty limericks the shift entire much to the anger of managers who did have to laugh when I raised a filthy ditty loudly over their 'be good' din, 'Are we not all horny men? ' I'd scream, 'And god's very own? ' A pink slip to me was given. But pink was the horny point, I thought. The limericks pinkly did not stop.

I am particularly fond of your poem tribute to beloved parents intent on warming a child, body and soul. Seems you've made good from what I read in your biography, and read in your poetry. In the boxcar car poem I found a little haiku (there are more) and please forgive if I o're step my poetic bounds. (Sic) the hounds on me if need be:

Little Birds

Just inside on the rafter studs
Hundreds of them coming in
From the cold.


And Old Uncle Walt (Whitman) would give thee embrace for rhyming is no disgrace and spring does winter thaw, season after season follows in time, thus does rhyme imitate. Old Graybeard would sit at your campfire, or crawl through your window and take inspiration. But I'd tell him to wash his beard, his playing too much the Bard with his obscene 'yawp'. Things can stink hard so I'd send him to a sink with soap in hand, tell him to scrub fiercely as if his very poem depended on it. What might fall out of that beard the more? True the air would be all the better for the foaming soap.

As I told Straw, old stagger-puss of the halt rhyme, said rhyme is a difficult thing to pull off artfully, and free verse can oft amount to what Truman Capote accused poet Charles Bukowski of, 'He just types.' Art, or ars poetica, to get fancy, is that Drive (one must produce drivel on the way to better, not purer, forms) and the comely shaping of that impelling thrust which hopefully does not call too too much attention to itself but, rather, to its saying/song. Any fool can push and pull but there's more to poetry, writing, than that. But much bull is gained as byproduct. Good poets like good farmers know what to do and make use of such and become, one hopes, the better, more skillful 'shaper' from the barnyard or pastoral nutrient.

Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite rhymers who actually teaches, perhaps unknowingly, happy surrealism to children which is often enough where they live, and why not? green eggs and ham a feast do make. Along with some of your abuela's solidly pressed empanadas, sweet pumpkin made the more savory by her constancy...

Here's to your continued feasting. And fie on Straw.

Submitted: Saturday, March 19, 2011

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