Ban My Book, Please

In a desperate attempt to achieve my twin goals of becoming obscenely rich and obnoxiously famous, I became a poet.  It didn’t work.  But I was reading Luisa Zambrotta’s Words and Music and Stories yesterday, and she had a post about James Cabell and how he rose from obscurity overnight all because he wrote a book the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (Oxymoron Alert) achieved in getting banned. (http://wordsmusicandstories.wordpress.com/2022/04/14/fantasy-optimism).  Perversely, writers become rich and instant celebrities whenever people try to ban their books.  It makes me wonder why folks would want to ban anything they don’t like.  If “offensive” books were only ignored (like any other book), those writers would remain impoverished and die alone.

My second thought was that’s brilliant!  I’m going to do that.  I started thinking of all the obscene topics that would get a book banned:  war, cruelty, rape, adult diapers, hatred, and Coldplay.  But when I went to various media outlets to conduct research, I found everyone was talking about these issues. The people in favor of obscenity (whatever that is) weren’t banned, and neither were the people who opposed it. Instead each side was treated with the same amount of contempt.

So now I’m bereft.  If those topics won’t get my book banned, what will?  Writing about people who want to be treated with dignity?  About people who want to love each other without being assaulted?  You can see how desperate I’ve become.  Why would anyone ban a book for those reasons?

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief.

Thoughts on the Dangers of Pretending to be a Poet (Part 4)

You get lots of rejections. Here is the relevant half of the third rejection I received today – only a quarter hour ago.

Hahahaha. No . . . just no. But please submit to us again if you are so inclined.

So inclined? What does that mean?

If you are so inclined to get rejected again?

If you are so inclined to annoy us again?

If you happen to have some free time, and you are so inclined to waste it?

Or are they paraphrasing my favorite poet, Monty Python? Now, go away, and if you come back I shall taunt you a second time.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief

Blood Diamonds

   When it comes to comprehending numbers,
   don't listen to the poets -
   if they understood basic math,
   they wouldn't be poets.
   Listen to the accountants, instead.

   A poet will sing how 
   13 is an unlucky number
   (no feat of the imagination there).
   She may even pull out her license
   and irrationally rhyme 
   how some numbers are unethical.

   As if ethics applies to math and money.

   An accountant will cogently observe
   that no matter what 13 may be
   it is not a big number.
   17 is bigger - though still not big.
   27, 32, 50, and 59 are big
   but no bigger than a modest PR problem.

   13 does not make a synagogue a concentration camp.

   Especially when 13 is actually 12
   because the killer was 1.

   The accountant will clarify 
   that 12 is much smaller than
   billions.

   The poet will protest:
   billions is the sound of 
   outdoor concerts becoming killing fields
   and classrooms becoming slaughterhouses.
   Poets call those children and concertgoers
   blood diamonds.

   An accountant now concerned about the bottom line
   will counter that "blood diamonds" is
   a misleading and malicious metaphor
   manufactured by malcontent poets
   to cynically incite the sympathies of simpletons.

   There hasn't been a market for blood diamonds in years.

   So children and concertgoers are not blood diamonds.
   They aren't even innocent bystanders - 
   because they were terrified,
   when the shooting started,
   and tried to run away.

   If you must name them,
   the accountant will conclude that 
   the children and concertgoers were
   coal ash or feathers
   or other unavoidable byproducts
   of businesses worth billions.

   What, the accountant would like to know,
   is a poem worth?

   Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief

   First published in The Broadkill Review

Thoughts on the Dangers of Pretending to be a Poet (Part 2)

The dangers are legion, but I will focus on the primary ones. This post deals with self-loathing.

There is one constant when you pretend to be a poet – rejection. 117% of my poems have been rejected by poetry journals I have never heard of. I don’t think I even sent a poem to some of them. Have poetry journals joined the military-industrial complex? Do they use blanket rejections as pre-emptive strikes?

It takes a massive ego to suffer these slings and arrows. I forget who coined that phrase. It was probably McDonald’s. Fortunately, a massive ego is the only thing about me that’s big. Wait, that came out wrong. Good thing I haven’t posted this yet.

Luvgood Carp, Editor-in-Chief