Thursday, October 14, 2010
While talking to a good friend of mine the other day, I discovered that he was not familiar with the work of Kenneth Patchen. What an opportunity, I thought. My friend is a writer, musician, poet, and artist. A match for Patchen if ever there was one. With that in mind, I decided to review some of Patchen's books and collections of picture poems. Next thing I knew, I was thinking about writing a poem, sort of a homage to Patchen that I could read at my favorite open mic. In the collection entitled Poems of Humor and Protest, resides a most unusual piece.
Using that a a model, I wrote the following:
The Wounding and Ultimate Assassination of a Culture by an Unlikely President Wearing Crimson Colored Gloves
(For Kenneth Patchen)
Don’t, Don’t, Don’t
Don’t Don’t, Don’t
Don’t Don’t Don’t
Patchen's work must be seen to be fully appreciated. He was writing in a difficult time and his aesthetic response to World War and inhumanity leave a deep impression on those who find and appreciate him. Sad but inspiring that he was writing with much physical pain. He had major back problems that often left him unable to travel much.
Patchen with Charles Mingus
Still, he was cutting edge. He knew all the innovators, the Beats, the Be Boppers. Kenneth Patchen is an American treasure that we need to polish up right now.