Friday, April 13, 2007

National Poetry Month Recommendation: Russell

Russell Edson is my favorite prose poet. He may also be my favorite poet poet.

His work is dream logic, fable, psychology, mischief, tragedy, comedy, violence, and love. They never fail to amuse and astonish me. They never fail to make me feel better.

The Believer published this fantastic look at his work. Read it to learn more about him.

This is a poem called "Super Monkey" from The Rooster's Wife:

He was creating a super monkey by grafting pieces of a dead parrot to a morhpined monkey.

When the monkey awoke he was covered with green feathers and had a beak. His first words were, Polly wants a cracker.

It's historic! No monkey will have ever said this before!

And so super monkey will be given all the crackers super monkey can eat, until super monkey sickens of crackers and says, Polly wants a banana. Which will be another historic quotable!

Then he'll begin work on superduper monkey who with proper grafting will be able to sing like a canary...

His poems tend to end with that ellipsis. (The Rooster's Wife has at least one that ends in a question mark.) I like the implications of that ellipsis. You reach the end of the poem, but not the end of the story. Instead, he provides readers with an opening.

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