Letter to the Editor —
Mitch Corber responds to Lehman Weichselbaum’s
review of Corber’s Weather’s Feather
Up front, your reviewer, Lehman Weichselbaum, notes the difficulty to “interpret” the language in most of my poems, that a new reader would be mostly baffled by my assault of word clusters.
In his review, though, he does prep the reader to not dismiss my work for its seeming obscurity, urging the reader to yes, get the surface music, but also to go further upon second and third reads to soak up more “meaning” each time….like how one reads big names such as Thomas, Stevens, Hopkins, over many times to glean more meaning.
Mr. Weichselbaum doesn’t seem to get past the theme of impenetrability, and neglects the inherent comic/slapstick element of my word juxtapositions (at times a kind of Keystone Kops romp).
Yet he does imply through his brisk journalistic style that my poems are bubbling too. I appreciate and am grateful that he praises the music and charge of my work. He nails the idea that words give me joy when I “play with them,” only I disagree that words are my “toy” and that I am but “an overgrown boy.” I have a serious take on all my poems, that they often express the pain of alienation, and in doing so, incorporate a kind of limbo language.
To quote my poem Inner Ear (p.39):
“Let us be society’s cripples
the dimple over the rock its buzz
in the nuance of a rage in whirling thirsts.
….I speak a special lurid logic
of damnations, dizzy angers,
the sweep of prayers upon the inner ear.”
Through poetry, I seek an outlet. Yes I can be envious, one of the 7 sins. At times I’m a “Hard-luck Harry” who uses “a special lurid logic” in writing to get out of the hole I’m in. I confess, and yearn—many times utilizing poetry as a sincere form of prayer.
I offer odd psalms praising a higher power. Or poems out of dearth desperately seeking good fortune. I also write poems of thanks, as well as poems of desire (which most always suffers the inbred trauma of being delayed). And I express the power of the act of singing, and find my teetering voice many times reassured with a musical (and meaningful) gift, and thus I pray thanks for this talent.
Also, I feel that reciting (or singing) my poems aloud gives them deeper thrust and, yes, joy.UG
Mitch Corber has recited his lyrical sound-poetry throughout the city. His work has appeared in Blackbox Manifold, Columbia Poetry Review, ditch, Blazevox, E-Ratio, tight, Polarity, First Literary Review-East, Mirage and others. He founded the Thin Air Poetry DVD Archives, which includes DVDs of Ginsberg, Corso, Ashbery, Di Prima, and Cage, as well as 200 contemporary NYC poets. Corber is an awardee of the New York Foundation for the Arts, and director-camera of NYC’s Poetry Thin Air Cable Show. Mitch Corber’s Weather’s Feather is available at Amazon.com.