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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Poetry, Marquess of Queensbury Rules


Okay, Cleveland. Check this out:



I know there have been some grumblings about the scene, so I'm wondering if this wouldn't shake things up a bit? The first question is, of course, does anyone know a place where we could set up a ring? Does anyone know of a a ring already set up somewhere--a gym, a school or someplace similar?

After that, I say we get a few teams together and duke it out. It could be a charity event for The Lit or someplace similar, but the idea of Salinger or McNeice hopping around in boxers and a robe going off on an improvisational rant tickles me to no end. I'm thinking team uniforms, tag events, an short announcer in a tight suit, the whole works.

This also reminded me of Steven Jesse Bernstein, and the fact that I haven't listened to Prison in a while. Great stuff, that. Check it out if you're not familiar with it. It should make it to Word Play, but I doubt the FCC would condone it. ;-)

7 comments:

michael salinger said...

This is very reminiscent of the heavyweight poetry bouts started at the (I believe now defunct) Taos Poetry Festival which some lay claim as the inspiration for Marc Smith’s inception of poetry slam. I’m not sure who would win a verbal battle between me and McNiece but I think I could take him in a street fight.

Jesus Crisis said...

Where can I get tickets? ;)

Bree said...

at first i thot u meant boxing itself--only poet in my weight class is probly vladimir.....

i know a guy al simmons who started fight poetry in chicago. he's a pacifist.

pottygok said...

It's just the idea of the costumes. I know it might bring the "image" of poetry down a notch, but I'd love to see some flamboyant capes, big belts and props, etc. Oooh...and nicknames! Cool, boxing nicknames. Like bree could be "The Coventry Stinger" or "The Green Panda" and Vlad could be "The Molitov Cocktail" or something like that. I'm really digging this idea, if only because I want other people in the scene in robes. ;-)

sara holbrook said...

I participated in the 1997 Poetry Olympics in Stockholm where we did in fact perform in a boxing ring. It was fun, but performing in the round is a challenge that can leave the poet in a bit of a spin. It was fun -- and totally co-ed btw.

Jesus Crisis said...

I keep thinking about how without the Marquess of Queensbury, Oscar Wilde would not have had the inspiration or opportunity to write his greatest poem, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol." ;)

Bree said...

so ironic--i knew fight poetry had its origin in Chicago, because i met Al Simmons in Berkeley this past may at a poetry festival, and he told me he was the first judge. what i didn't realize is the first fight poetry took place in a bar in Chicago, in order to prevent a fist fight, between two drunk poets, who asked Al to judge, as he was the bartender. he later was invited to be judge and moderator of the Taos Circus bouts. i happen to be copy-editing his book of poetry, and the last couple days i hit upon some of Al's poems regarding Fight Poetry. he writes about Sherman Alexie's match and Mr. Gregory Corso's--both in Taos. the poems are a riot. they do not save the poets' faces. maybe if this book gets published i can post the finished the poems.

Cited...

The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau