Friday, July 26, 2019

Brian Beatty On Kenneth Patchen

Borrowed Trouble: Micro Tribute to Kenneth Patchen (1911-1972)

I wouldn’t write at all if it weren’t for myriad writers before me whose works showed me what was possible. The poems of this series are small offerings of respect, of thanks, to those muses. – Brian Beatty

Kenneth Patchen

Your declared war
on war all but killed you,
I’m afraid.

Your oft professed love
of love didn’t save you either.
Or so I fear. 

California, wherever it is, 
always sounds far away. 

I hear some people find it 
peaceful there.

You don’t say?

You don’t say.

– Brian Beatty

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Brian's recent collections of poetry are Dust and Stars: Miniatures and Brazil, Indiana

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  2. In the early days of the Internet I tangled with a Patchen biographer because I published a review of his book that proposed Patchen deserved to be remembered for more than his social activism and health issues. I still believe that. Though I return to Patchen's poems and drawings less than I used to, he remains a powerful example of a poet who never lived in an academic glass house.


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