Monday, April 28, 2008

word of mouth anthology

Last night I finished reading Word of Mouth, an anthology of Gay American poetry edited by Timothy Liu. Centered on the back cover is the final paragraph of the editor's preface. The first sentence of this paragraph reads: "After all is said and done, I still question the notion of a 'gay sensibility'." Left of this are 29 names, and right of this/ 29 more. Fifty-eight poets. Many were new to me. The anthology appears to be arranged by birth date, but only the birth year is revealed. 1903 is the earliest birth year and 1969 the latest. The poems deal with many topics. Perhaps I should have known, but the number of poems dealing with AIDS--Tim Dlugos's "D.O.A." (being about his own death) was especially telling. I had seen on TV the D.O.A. movie his poem refers to, and as I was saved from the AIDS sadness by a syphilis scare which moved me to stop my slutty ways, this poem and others deepened my sorrow and thankfulness. Two poems by John Giorno struck me, one which is what its title is: "Pornographic Poem"; and one which describes a horrid death and a death of great peace: "None of Them Wanted to Go". Several poems by Edward Field were humorous, but several poems by Jonathan Williams were even more humorous. In general I was more impressed by the poems of poets I didn't know, but that may be due to practical restrictions the editor had to face. The following link may take you to a Google results page. If so, choose the result. The interview is the best place to learn about Timothy Liu, and excellant poems of his are there. tliu - Tim Liu's site The full title of this book is: Word of Mouth an anthology of gay American poetry - Copyright © 2000 Talisman House, Publishers = Rho00067

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