It's the new year and everything is sort of back to normal. Luis is normal. Willa is normal. Peter is slightly perverted. We've hired two men who seem decent and hard working. Bob is pleasant and thoughtful and the customers are relatively quiet. In the land of poetry I did my time at the New Years Day gig and now am on a hiatus till February when the poetry mill kicks in again. But at least now I have a good car to drive to gigs in and a book and even new poems.
Today I went a googling and found that Bob Holman on his about.com poetry space had made mention of my book in his summary of poetry in 2006. I was flattered and delighted. Here is what Bob said:
"The joke, of course, is that Jack Wiler thinks his life is not fun so he invites the reader to have fun, Fun Being Me (CavanKerry). The fun is no irony. It is the glint of real that sparks every line in his new book, in his face, in his decision to live it straight, not fancy. Wiler is one of our most underrated poets, and if you haven’t read him yet, here you go. In this book he even broaches his time with AIDS, a topic till now verboten for him. The bleakness, the searing truth of it, stops you cold. But, as he says about his brother (us) in “The Taste of Beer in Late Fall,” “He needs to know. / I need to tell.” "
That's not too shabby. Most of us poor schmoos dwell in the outer darkness wondering whether anyone reads our work or likes it or whether it's any good and it's always a rare treat to hear such high praise from a man who knows of what he speaks. Bob has done yeoman work in the trenches of poetry for decades. Besides being an accomplished and brilliant writer in his own right he's also responsible for nearly singlehandedly saving poetry in NY. What a nice thing to have a man like him say such nice things about me.
More than that, how nice is is to know so many great poets and to have heard them over the years.
Performances rich or silly or dull and desparate but always from men and women who cared about the word. Where would one go to pick the best ones? To say this was a night so bright that poetry owned the world. I must have had the chance to hear dozens of nights like that. Thanks to folks like Bob, and Miguel Algarin, Danny Shot, Andy Clausen, Eliot Katz, Joe Weil, Jim Haba, Bruce Isaacson, and a hundred more, a thousand more.
So, let's make 2007 a year of words and verse and cantankerous, verbose meanderings. Blessed be the poets for they shall never inherit anything. They wouldn't know what to do with it even if they did.
Let's make this the year we all try to be Jack Micheline or Allen Ginsberg or Gregory Corso or Charles Bukowski or Elizabeth Bishop or Anne Sexton or Sylvia Plath. Let's be mad crazy saints. What the fuck, it can't hurt. Ha ha.