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Peter Davis
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Here’s the thing about the demolition derby: cars catch on fire, cars get lodged on concrete blocks, cars smoke, cars are carried off on forklifts. Also, even though it mostly appears to be every man for him self, there are, in fact, teams of cars who gang up on other cars. Sometimes an axle breaks or a giant chunk of bumper comes off and they halt the derby and clear the debris. At some moments, certain observers in the grandstand feel the need to stand up and yell, or just clap kind of hollow in his or hers seat. I’ve found myself clapping, but I do not believe that I have yelled. Some young women who sit behind you may feel the need to say repeatedly, "Them Burgess Boys are bad ass. They're bad ass!" It is a beautiful act of absurdity. If the demolition derby did not exist, an artist would invent it. The car races are different because it almost makes sense. But, in the end, when you watch a mutilated car, pushed from the track by another mutilated car, you are struck by the impotence of victory and the silliness of winning. It is very close to being as absurd as the demolition derby. If you have a seven year old son even he will acknowledge the similarities. They are both beautiful because they are ridiculous. They are brilliant because they are dumb. I would hate to be smarter because I wouldn’t understand the dumbness that makes them so beautiful. Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
Turns out, a Muncie painter, Jerry Cool, had a dream in 2008 of a grey-haired, dark-bearded man killing Osama bin Laden. When Jerry Cool saw Gary Faulkner on the David Letterman show he was “shocked.” After all, Gary Faulkner was the grey-haired, dark-bearded American who was recently detained in Pakistan “for trying to hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden.” Faulkner came through Muncie on Monday to pick up the painting that Cool gave him. Apparently, Cool knew “that was (Faulkner) in my vision.” Also, Faulkner “had these visions myself.” No word on why Faulkner appears to be Roman and why bin Laden appears somewhat Christ-y. Visions are mysterious-y. These photos make it clear that the Hog Wrestling at the Delaware County Fair was not “New and Improved,” as promised. It was the same old teams of 4 people or so capturing a hog in a mud pit and setting it atop a stack of tires. The stands are packed, as you can note in some of the photos. But, that fullness of people is not a fullness of satisfactory entertainment. It’s hollow, people of Muncie! Turn away! Besides, the pig squeals bring to light a sick inequity. ******* Roger Miller medley including the song "Dang Me," in which the chorus calls for his own lynching and contains such lines as "Roses are red and violets are purple / sugar's sweet and so is maple surple." Also in here is "My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died." Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
I imagine they write other things too, I just can't think of them right now. What's more important to me is whether my kids will entertain themselves long enough for me to finish this post. I can hear them growling upstairs. "Growling" is not metaphorical in this case. They are actually growling. I can't tell if they're pretending to be babies, or some other kind of animal. Now, they are asking me if they can turn on the TV. Now they are asking me if they can have a popsicle. I said yes. Now they are digging in the freezer. Now their footsteps go pound, pound, pound, across the floor and into the living room. Here is Roger Miller being great beside Andy Williams! Lyrics to the song "Reincarnation" If I was a bird and you were a fish What would we do I’d guess we’d wish for Reincaration Reincaration Wouldn’t it be a sensation To come back to Like in reincarnation If I was a tree And you were a flower What would we do But wish for the power of Reincarnation Reincarnation Wouldn’t it be a sensation To come back to Like in reincarnation I love you And don’t you know I always will You’re a girl I’m a boy But suppose you were a rose And I was a whipper will. *************************************** Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
We will be attending the Motocross today at 4:00. We will not attend the Hog Wrestling on Monday, we have attended hog wrestling before and it's not particularly impressive. They are claiming it is "New & Improved," but I don't buy it. We will not attend the Truck and Tractor Pull. Hell Yeah we will attend the Demolition Derby and Truck Derby! Hell Yeah we will be attending the Stock Car Oval and Figure 8 Racing! We will not attend the High School Marching Band Contest. You would think that'd be good, but it's overcrowded with parents and the bands can't really do their routines because they only have a narrow space to work in (the rest of the area being car/motorcycle track). We will definitely go down the big slide and we will certainly check out some of the 4-H animals. We may ride some rides. We may buy a Sprite, but we will not buy the food, mostly. And there's this: Roger Miller singing about the county fair and then joking and playing with Johnny Cash. They seem stoned and it's beautiful. I can cry when I watch him sing the county fair song. Especially how he sits on the fence and how he briefly loses his voice in the last line. Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Jul 15, 2010