In this day and age when most people are so politically apathetic and so many writers (especially the deadbeat young) are loth to mix beautiful politics with their beautiful poetics it’s more refreshing than a Mexican Coke (you know the ones with extra yummy sugar) to find a True Poetry Patriot like Paul Cunningham who sits squarely in American’s Great Big Bulging Heart:
And, so, following but surpassing Joe Hall’s Poetry Road, Reb Livingston’s Poetry Home, and Carina Finn’s Poetry Youth in sheer American Joy, Industry, Charity & Greatness this is the 4th such photo shoot/interview where, again, the only rule’s that Paul has to answer in language from his manuscript-in-progress, The Stylets of Paul Sorbet
Besides Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” Rammstein’s “Amerika ” (wunderbar!), The Ballad of Davey Crockett and all the rest of our beautiful and gauzy anthems what sort of ditties, aural-elevation sequences and rabid-hunting drum-beats (we have the right to bear! Yeah! we have the right to bear!) have you been listening to in the burning heart of your Poet Patriotism??
When you’re abroad on goodwill and peacemaking missions (yeah! fuck those bastards!) how do you deal with the indigenous populations (all the suicide bombing monkeys, Euro-trash-pickpockets, small-eyed strangers, magician-beauticians, island cannibals, dark primals, twisted radicals and the rest of those generally-retarded less-thans which obviously have nothing to with Art, Literature and a truly enlightened worldview)??
Poetry Patriotism’s notorious for its incredible verbal fireworks, its glam, glitz, glitter, fast food temples lit with grease and sordid-twitching wealth, theme park cesspools of turgid language—but tell us about any instances and flares of green, earthly magic, any ficus-statue stanzas, any deep American Garden Sonnet powers (o, fuck the earth! man, yeah! fuck the earth!) that you’ve deigned to embrace and choke in your unbounded Poet Patriotism’s infallible fist ??
Ok, I cant take it any more (fireworks, fireworks): we have to address the crazy, annihilating elephant in the room. And, so what contributions–in the name of Country and of God–are you going to make for next year’s National Poetry Month?
Pablo Neruda was at his best, some say, when he was singing and bemoaning the fate of poor dead exploited souls who suffered in the stone and altitude and blood-drains of building the cruel and beautifully phallic Machu Picchu (it was worth for the camera opps, tho! in the misty tourist dawns! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!). And so would you be kind enough, please, to highlight some of your empire building?
Whitman, great Patriot, made many mistakes. First, of course, is the matter of too much tongue. And then there’s the sad indulgences (tsk, tsk) of too much cum. What sort of errors (well meant, no doubt, and also, I am sure, the stupid rest of the world’s fault) have you made in the Holy Lands of America, the greatest country, of course, in the history of the universe ?
Bio: Paul Cunningham likes to sing in his local church choir, man the booth at Faith Fairs, and spend every moment of his precious spare time building houses for poor unfortunates in countries like Zimbabwe. Paul believes all people are created more-or-less equally. And with the right amount of coaxing that you can make a Coke can out of a starved child’s ear.