Thursday, April 30, 2009
John Koethe cures reading
In another life I might have the time and inclination to stand up to Koethe's daunting allusions, but after attempting, more than once, to overcome the skim, the glance and the cursory read and engage the poems, I became listless and depressed; it was like one of those odd moments of bleak -yet- hackneyed literature of the most unremarkable sort where the hero, me, is alone in some government office waiting my turn to speak to an official about something and discovering that I couldn't understand a word that was being said. Worse yet, though, was the fact that didn't care what anyone was talking about. A book of poems that creates torpor and apathy, the urge to crawl back into bed with pretend flu symptoms, does not encourage a recommendation. I might as well extend the analogy and suggest these poems are without music--inert and supine is their rhythm and position. Maybe I'm just stupid. Or maybe that poems really are that dull and dulling. I suggest that Koethe could not outpace the tendency to ponder and get to the poetry portion of his resume.