Archive for the ‘Rick’ Category

A Poem about Frat Girls

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

This is a poem I wrote about frat girls, the ones who you always see at the frat parties on other campuses and this campus. I wanted it to be funny, but somehow it just ended up making me sad and almost pitying them, but here goes:

Nights on Stupid                        by Richard Vasquez




As they go hand in hand,

giddy and carefree with their purses engorged with

loose cash,

flavored, ribbed, glow-in-the-dark condoms,

credit cards, fake IDs that say they are 25 and from East Lansing,

makeup from Sephora,

birth control pills, and sparkly lip-gloss.

This is an old mission, the same as every

other weekend.  Perhaps play some Beirut, get some numbers,

generally forget about any sort of manners or

moral upbringing.

An elitism that

gets written about too little

these days

is imbedded in the psyche of

every made-up trollop.  It doesn’t matter

whether each is rich or destitute,

pretty or putrid,

a vestal or a vacancy.

In the recesses of each mind

is a goddess persona, put on this earth

for the sheer purpose of being a bimbo who

thinks she is something sacred to behold


Which one carries the camera tonight?

How many

will she take of herself holding the camera away from her

face?  How many will be of her

friend chugging cheap sweaty beer with one of the frat guys?

Will their eyes be able to decipher the visions

between the agglutination of caked-on make-up?  Will the drunken

swaying of their young bodies somehow

make them feel they are the womanly wonders

of the world?


Will they ever get a clue

or will they continue being cliché?


The Dissident Student

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

For years he listens to me
Like the trees listen to the seasons.
With me he crossed the current
To the fountain . . . He never lets me rest, even during my siesta,
Dictating into my tired mouth the most confusing gibberish.
Yet always mindful, as if he was holding back.

One day in my old age, he, blue like a diamond, bursts onto me
Strips off my turban,
Throws my ink and my tattered papers into my face,
And takes off as if for a rendezvous with fate.

For years people never stopped visiting
To console me. I used to indulge them
Without any conviction.
For even now, ever since he destroyed my isolated perch
And left,
I see in his footprints
A path for wisdom beyond my inkpot and my paper.

I don’t know what this poem is supposed to symbolize.  The best I could guess was a storm or some sort of natural occurence.  The most interesting part is the title, dissident student.  The footprints indicate that an actual person existed but its still difficult to tell.  Him being “blue like a diamond” confuses me, because I do not usually see diamonds as blue.

From VerseDaily

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

How Long Do You Think the Human Race Will Exist?

I don’t worry much about humanity,
my wife replies. I think that we’ll evolve.
Ecclesiastes tells me all is vanity,

that nothing new will happen for eternity,
and yet. . .I think we’re starting to dissolve.
I don’t worry—much. About humanity:

what will be lost, if we’re lost? Not infinity.
What now revolves around us will revolve.
Ecclesiastes tells me all is vanity:

one person saves a mint, one saves a manatee,
ho-hum go on—do something, get involved,
don’t worry much about humanity,

decide upon some charity, a sanity.
But there are sweet things: sex, worship, resolve. . .
Ecclesiastes tells me all is vanity.

Science predicts that bees or giant ants will be
Earth’s next bigwigs. No egos, none to solve
for “I.” Don’t worry much about humanity,
Ecclesiastes tells me. All is vanity.

While I liked the poem’s subject, I don’t much like the line repetition (not much a Dylan Thomas fan for that reason either). I think that so much more can be said with new lines and that the reptition may have some point in structure it has never done much for me.

A Poem I don’t like

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Jim Morrison was often referred to as a poet and he was one. He would write poetry and the rest of the doors would compose a song around it, much in the same way that Elton John composed music around Bernie Taupin’s poetry in their early career.

But one of his poems that always bothered me was Horse Latitudes:

When the still sea conspires an armor
And her sullen and aborted
Currents breed tiny monsters
True sailing is dead
Awkward instant
And the first animal is jettisoned
Legs furiously pumping
Their stiff green gallop
And heads bob up
In mute nostril agony
Carefully refined
And sealed over

I simply just don’t like it. To listen to it is bad enough. Its basically Morrison screaming while some crappy music plays behind him. On the entire Strange Days album it is the only poem and the only track I will skip over. As opposed to his good stuff, like The Severed Garden, this one seems to lack any real imagination. The poise, delicate, pause ,consent just make the poem boring and as if Morrison was just trying to put interesting words in it. And what is “mute nostril agony” anyway?

Inspiration for Poems

Monday, September 18th, 2006

When I write poems sometimes memory is not enough for inspiration. When was introduced to a thread on a forum for Improv Groups and their goofy photos I came across this one of a bunch of women in hats. I liked it so much that I made it the desktop background on my computer. In the few days that my internet was recently down, I grew to miss the crazy smiles of these women and vowed that once I got the computer and internet back up I would write a poem about them and post it here. Naturally I know nothing about these women, but I thought of a group of friends who met occasionally, almost like a Sex and the City type ritual and thought I would give them a peom to describe their lives. I number all the women, but do not name them and who is what number is for the reader to figure out. I would love suggestions on this one.

Five Girlfriends by Richard Vasquez

1 smiles widely but the pain in her eyes shows that life

is sometimes too much to bear. She wants someone near her

to be a shoulder to cry on.

2 smiles also but hers is genuine. Her son

bought her flowers just because he was her boy

and there being no special occasion.

3 doesn’t smile because a muscle in her face

doesn’t work. Sometimes she just tries to move her lower

lip to show teeth, but today she is content with a scowl.

4 smiles because she is on Zanex. All she does

is smile these days because from seven A.M onwards

she throws one in every other hour.

5 is the most spectacular. She used to have a husband

who cheated on her and abused her. Her smile is the largest

because she is dating a man in his twenties who just happens to be rich.

Every Thursday they get together and discuss what went on in their weeks.

Every Friday they go to the bar and drink whiskey sours, but 3 drinks

cosmopolitans. 4 occasionally goes outside to smoke a joint or two

with the bikers, who simply refer to her as cutie pie except

for an exceptionally fat biker who calls her pumpkin tits.

On Sunday they all show up to the Episcopalian church

on Loan Street, except for 1 who no longer believes in God.

The only thing she believes in is her vegetable garden

which has been failing her lately. Also there is 5, who occasionally

misses church to go to temple with her twenty-year old.

2’s son always goes to church with the ladies and they tell

him that he needs to settle down and meet a nice girl. But

little do they know that he actually wants to be a girl. In fact

he is soon going to ask his mom for money for the surgery.

On Mondays they sit around and play bridge with

one of the ladies making lunch while the other four play. It’s usually

1 since her biggest satisfaction comes from pleasing other people.

Sometimes 1 goes outside and looks into the Calimesa sky, wondering

where her husband is at, how he could have left her,

what she did to make him leave, but its always 5 who comes outside

and tells her that she can’t blame herself and that some men

will be men,

and some men are rich and in their twenties.

Triggering Town, Page 15

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

“If you are a private poet, then your vocabulary is limited by your obsessions. It doesn’t bother me that the word “stone” appears more than thirty times in my third book, or that “wind” and “gray” appear over and over in my poems to the disdain of some reviewers. If I didn’t use them that often I’d be lying about my feelings, and I consider that unforgivable. In fact, most poets write the same poem over and over.” – Triggering Town, p. 15

I like this quote because I feel it applies to my writing style. It seems that every poem I write is about the same girl, requires that I either do or don’t use the word “shit” somewhere in the body of it (I usually choose to), that I actually usually write poems in the same place (in whatever vehicle I am driving at the time, but not while actually driving). I even used to write mostly in black composition books and still have a stack of them at my parents’ house. But if I were to read over them I would find a common feeling and often, similar words in each. Although I really don’t use the same words that much, I can definitely find a feeling of loss. I think this has a lot to do with being nostalgic. Its hard for me to write a poem about something I have just been introduced to but if I am writing about something that happened in the past anything can trigger it: a scent, a sound, a view of a landscape. But it ends up being the same poem that I have written over and over again. It’s the way my brain works.

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Dead Critics Society by Michael Dockins (from Verse Daily)

Zooks! What have I done with my anthologies? I’ll need a
year of sleep after writing my millionth review (with aplomb).
XX bottles of moonshine litter my bedside table like arsenic.
Why no lilting iambics in contemporary poetry? Only dead,
vermin-ridden prose riddled with autobiographical treacle.
Under my bed, the skeleton of Browning. I use his broken-off
tibias as walking sticks. For hundreds of scenic miles I drag
sensitivity, & marvel. Content must be pounded into a rich
risotto of form—evident rhyme scheme & equal stanzas. I
quote Keats: “Gasp! I’m dying!” Were he as prosperous as J.
P. Morgan, he may not have suffered so. These days, a black-
out of good taste, a dimming of metrical etiquette, a dismal
nerve of postmodern surrealism, whatever that means. I’m
mad! I raise one of Browning’s femurs in revolt! I’ve a notion,
ladies & gentlemen, that our language has crumbled into
kindling—a few tiny sparks, maybe, but no thick log to keep
joy in prosody truly alive. Meantime, I’m just about up to “Q”
in my encyclopedia of literature: Quixote, etc., but still I gather
hives hunting hopelessly for my beloved poetry anthologies.
God knows Browning would have understood—what a saint.
Five finger bones claw the floor under my bed, searching. You
entertain such a relic, you pay the price—each knuckle a shiv
digging for inspiration in the floorboards, scraping shallow
crosses into my skin as I slumber. I should lock him in a box!
But then nothing would remind me of my own bones—O my
awaiting death—the only theme suitable for a poetry buzz.

Any poem that begins with “Zooks!” is one worth reading. Dawkins captures the pressure poets feel to write something that will be seen as worthy of poetry as the predecessors, his “awaiting death” being the only thing that is worth writing about, since he is the critic. What is so fun about this poem is that it is about poetry itself. It makes me laugh to see the way this poet views the life of a poetry critic. Using XX instead of 20 works is showing the pretentions of some critics as the narrator of this poem would feel the need to use whatever poetic devices possible to create a poem or critique one, namely Browning’s tibias. Exclamations are used a lot in the poem, but probably mostly to point out the critic’s love for them as a poetic device.

The one thing Dockins did that particularly struck me as being amazing was his seperation of J and P in J. P. Morgan. It was a clever device to show how poets want to be different and show some sort of meaning behind their poetry and it works to make the narrator look completely out of wack with what good poetry is supposed to be. Then the “I have a notion, ladies & gentlemen” shows us that the critic feels he is speaking to a large audience or should be.

Mostly it is the comedy that makes me enjoy this poem, but it works so well that I had to post it.