Magazine article The Antioch Review

Phonetics

Magazine article The Antioch Review

Phonetics

Article excerpt

Talking on the phone to a friend - there are not supposed to be phones in poetry because poetry is supposed to be of the transcendental and the sublime and phones are not this. Too many phones in your poems and they will accuse you of being a fiction-writer. Nor are there supposed to be trips like the one my friend was planning to take to the video store (Why not get Bells Are Ringing with Judy Holliday as a frustrated phone-operator?) after she got off the phone - an entirely unpoetic conversation. I told her I got hit by a car and that the man who called the ambulance on his cellular phone was named Angel and she said, "There's a poem," but I did not agree. How pat a poem would that be about me getting hit by a car right by Bryant Park and a man whose name was Angel calling 911 on his cellular? It's interesting, a little, but I think it belongs in fiction, probably a Gabriel Garcia Marquez fiction in a contemporary setting. I dislike Marquez, though this surprises and ashames everybody because they know I write poems. If you ask me, Marquez should have stuck to poetry and left the rest of us here writing poems with phones in them. …

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