Thanks, Tom, for interrogating this dubious "character"! My own
suspicion is that if "Mr. O" has e-mail, it will prove to be
@hotmail or some such site-of-origin obscuring e-address. The
poem was done rather too broadly to be convincing or amusing to
me, at least (tho' I did enjoy the "Dick Tranter" bit and the
sloppiness of the reversed initials in the faux copyright notice).
Where the joke goes sour (if joke it is) and becomes something
rather more distasteful (especially if joke it's not) is in the
last (thank god) of those quizzes, the tediousness of which had
long since killed my interest in the topic, unfortunately, because
the topic is potentially interesting. Maybe if a real discussion
had emerged from the performance art (using the term loosely),
and thanks to all those who tried to get one going.
The use to which Kent put "Mr. O" in this final "exam," though,
regardless of his status qua being-in-the-world, was so class-
value-loaded it wasn't, er, funny. What it revealed about Kent's
tastes, however, was a bit more amusing on a cinematic level. The
last time I saw an Elvis-on-velvet as part of any "interior design"
was in the film version of _The Commitments_, where it hung next
to another notoriously lowbrow bit of (Catholic) iconography, the
Sacred Heart, on the wall of an honest-ta-god working-class home
in which nobody was drinking cocktails.
What struck me as hilarious (the relativity of tastes and values
being the point here) was Kent's placing Julian Schnabel at the
high-cultural pole, diametrically opposed to the real or contrived
poet (i.e., person), "Mr. O" and his presumably to be inferred mass-
cultural tastes. Crikey, Kent--and people thought _Schnabel_ was
"cheap"! (No offense, though, if _Basquiat_'s your favorite movie.)
And thanks to Mark Weiss for his _Messiah_ post, on all the opposite
Tom Bell wrote:
>is this real? does Mr. o have an email address?
>> (To: Mr. Kent Johnson)
>> Dear Mr. Johnson;
>> I have been answering the tests you have given on the british-poets
>> discussion group, which I read through the Archives pages at Jiscmail. I
>> also read other lists on a daly basis there-- there are a good lot of them
>> at JiscMail.
>> I live in the desert in Australia. If you do not mind, I would like to
>> you my answers. But I cant do so on e-mail since my answers have the
>> diagrams and constructions where you have required them. But I don't know
>> your adress, of course. So: Could you mail if to me Please? I think that
>> even although your questions are sometimes funny <grin X 7!> I have done
>> best to be serious because architecture and poetry is important.
>> Do you know how I would mail my poetry to Mr. Dick Trantner at Jacket
>> Magazine? I know he is in australia, but with the internet what are
>> countries when you think about it?
>> I am sending an ARS POETICA I have written, for your enjoyment. And below
>> is a poem, as a sampel, one of over probably 10,000 that I have composed.
>> John R. O'Brien
>> My Reasons For, My Love of Poetry
>> My Poetry is written for two main reasons, one is to express my feelings
>> the other is to tell a story.
>> Expressing my feelings with poetry is probably the easiest way I can tell
>> someone I love and care for them, also, at the same time I can relate
>> my poetry my innermost feelings of what matters most to me in life.
>> Telling a story within my poetry is a unique way for me to tell a story of
>> something homorous or dramatic that I have experienced in my life.
>> My poetic antidotes of fictitious people, places, strange animals and
>> creatures are mostly built on fact,
>> (but I have of course stretched the truth a bit).
>> So for these reasons, I believe that, correct spelling, proper punctuation
>> and good grammar is not necessarily a requirement for the writing of
>> humorous, light hearted or serious poetry.
>> John Rodney O'Brien (Australian poet)
>> ~~~ A Red Rose ~~~
>> My dearest darling I reveal,
>> Within my heart the love I feel,
>> For you my sweet I do suppose,
>> Your beauty is a red, red rose.
>> The red, red rose you gave to me,
>> It gave to me the ecstasy,
>> The ecstasy of pure bliss,
>> Whence my love we first did kiss.
>> That was the most amazing thing,
>> Within my heart that kiss did ring,
>> It rang into my very soul,
>> My emotions, I'll not control.
>> I'll not control my greatest fear,
>> My fear is to lose you dear,
>> For if I loose you I should cry,
>> Within my heart then I shall die.
>> I shall die and not return,
>> To let my heart forever burn,
>> For if my heart should burn and fade,
>> I'll not be there to love again.
>> It's not right to love and stray,
>> Too another every day,
>> I must keep your love so true,
>> And give my love to only you.
>> I'd need to give you all my love,
>> The love it comes from up above,
>> I send it darling straight to you,
>> Like a bolt of lightning from the blue.