Tuesday, October 24, 2006

World's Greatest Poet?

ULA poet Frank Walsh is currently in training to adopt the much-needed role of "World's Greatest Poet."

He already has the writing. He's long had the writing-- in sound and meaning creating better verse than any poet alive today. Through analysis of his work, I intend to show what Frank Walsh does which places his poetry on a higher level than that of the legions of fakirs present on all sides right now.

In fact, I will challenge poets of any stripe or brand to dispute my arguments. (Stay tuned.)

In the last three years Walsh has steadily improved as a speaker and performer (he was already good) until now there are few who can touch him. (You no doubt witnessed the strength of his voice on our "Howl Protest" video.)

Coming soon: Frank Walsh taking the totality of his art to a whole other level. Tour and bookings to follow.

25 comments:

Alan Lastufka said...

Where can one see your "Howl Protest" video?

M.D.G. said...

hahahahaha!

M.D.G. said...

hahahahahahahahaha!

Pat_King said...

The video should still be up in the multimedia section of Literaryrevolution.com

Pat_King said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
M.D.G. said...

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

- Leopold said...

Alan, the video can be see here:

http://ia300237.us.archive.org/1/items/ULATVEpisode2/ULATV2.mp4

It's quite a large file, but it's decent. Frankly, I think the pre-howl announcement Frank did was the best example of Franks performance skills, but I'm not sure that's online anywhere.

M.D.G. said...

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Alan Lastufka said...

Thanks for the link, Leopold. It was good to see. I wish more people got stirred up. And more often. So often you hear/read/see people complaining about or mocking those creating something new. Very infrequently do you see them out there trying to do something themselves. It's good to see you guys out there.

M.D.G. said...

hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

M.D.G. said...

okay, okay, okay, i think i'm done laughing now at the official corination. i seem to remember a trip to chicago. what is this? a u.l.a. sanctioned event. a big showdown. a read off. the worlds greatest poet and i one on one. the main event of the evening. i thought i remembered whiping the floor with the worlds greatest poet. so what does that make me? i know, i know karl didn't say we could dispute his claims yet but this is too good. i've never been one much for rules anyway. so yeah, if the worlds greatest poet would like somemore of that buttkicking, come south. i'm not that hard to find. just go about as far as you can go. really karl we can go see the space shuttle. how exciting! just let me know ahead of time. i'll ready the venue before the circus comes to town. i know this is all namedropping and hype. it really has nothing to do with the craft or anything for that matter. so what was that the worlds greatest poet had to say about unfinished business? let's finish it man.

Bruce Hodder said...

I don't even want to be the world's greatest poet. I just want to be a better poet than I was yesterday. And I am. Though tomorrow I might not be.

King said...

First, Mike, as a pure POET-- a writer with a full knowledge of the history of the art-- Frank goes to more levels than any poet I've encountered.
You're good at a strictly limited version of the art-- a narrow segment of a twenty-year time period. What's your knowledge of poets as far back as Marlowe and Shakespeare? Ever read Coleridge? Ever hear of the man?
Re Chicago: We both know that the Read-Off there was a revelation. Frank was supposed to lose. he was merely the "opponent." Certainly at the time he was not as consistent a performer as you are. Few people are. (Your consistency was apparent in the callroom we worked in. Remember? You could give the same rap over and over again, the same way every time, even down to the same inflections. Always the same. But you never took things to another level. I was considered the voice of that room not just because I had the best voice there, but on a few calls I could dig out words, arguments, and ideas about the rap we gave which no one had heard before.
Frank does this with poetry, but better.
In Chicago you won every round except one. That one round when Walsh unfurled "Reagan's Brain" he won by a mile. Along with Leah Smith, it was the highlight of the event.
You never got over your own insufferable ego to admit this. You won't admit it now.
"Reagan's Brain"-- and a few other of Frank's best work-- is something I could never write in a thousand years. Neither could you. It piles on the allusions, jokes, humor, meaning, layer upon layer as the words come rushing out at the audience.
All you're doing here is demonstrating once again your envy.
After Chicago, it was YOU who were upset at Frank and myself; crying as you always cry like a two-year old. Grow up! Like isn't an endless supply of lollipops. "Sniffle snif! Frank did this, and Karl did that, and Eric did that, and that, and that. They yelled at me once! Waaaahhh!"
YOU were the person who said "Never again!" to any thought of another read-off-- so why pretend you want one now?
I'm not sure you could even beat me, much less Frank, who's much improved.
Your biggest problem is you have no grace. You're not just a sore loser-- you're even a sore winner! as you showed in Chicago. Nothing can satisfy you or will ever satisfy you.
Frank took his defeat there in good humor, with grace, because he's confident enough in himself to know it was only a show.
He's a big enough person to handle criticism-- he's handled it his entire life-- to absorb it and move on. Would that you could someday learn from his example.

M.D.G. said...

I'm with Bruce on this one. The worlds greatest poet doesn't even know it.

King said...

Yes, but the literary establishment would have us believe the world's greatest poet is someone like Louise Gluck! It's time to overturn their comfortable preconceptions about themselves and their art.
Can we agree on the point that academic poetry is killing the art?
As I said on another blog, I came to the east coast from Detroit for a reason-- to confront the Overdogs in their nests; to engage them in debate and defeat them.
I welcome any good poet or prosist (or clown) willing to stand side-by-side with me as I do this, whether you, Frank, or whomever.
Life is short. I don't feel we have a great deal of time to renew literature from top to bottom. It's time to get to it.

M.D.G. said...

As for Karl, you are showing your vast knowlege for Poetry. You say twenty years. I would say 30 or 40 years sir. What was important about that 30 or 40 years? Poetry was set free in those 30 or 40 years. I guess it has always been free in some cultures but I am speaking strictly from an american perspective. Whether it be the Beat movement, the Black arts movement, or the Hip hop movement. Poetry has been taken farther and farther away from the ivory towers and the restraints of structure and been given to the people where it belongs. Geeze Karl, have you even ever been part of a movement? Look it up. Late nineties Los Angeles. Larry Jaffe's Poetic Licence movement. Yeah I was a part of that. I'm gonna tell you with all honesty we had all the talent and the energy to create a new movement in literature. The Beats didn't have anything on us. Unfortunately that never got the recognition it deserved because it was real. I guess the Beat movement didn't get that much credit till after it happened huh? That's the thing about street art. You're lucky if you get recognition as an artist before you die. The way I look at it you have to see the way things work, you have to be part of something, in order to know how to make things work. You sit there and tell me that Walsh has this vast knowlege of Poetry Karl. Honestly when I met him he had no idea who d.a. Levy was. He had no idea who Bob Kaufman was. He didn't know Jack Michelline. Not until I showed him that shit. Hell he was just reading his first Bukowski book. Frank Walsh might have a vast knowlege of a bunch of stuffy old guys, but he has no vision of modern poetry. So therefore he writes like a stuffy old guy. By the way Karl since when have you become such a Poetry expert? Way back when we were workin' in that phone room and I met you, you didn't seem to be that interested in Poetry. And yes last year at your reading in Philly I did tell you no games, no read offs, I'm just gonna do my Poetry and that is it. Karl if I think back even you admitted that Natalie Felix and I stole the damn show. That would include a readoff with your worlds greatest Poet. So I was better than that, you said in your own words. You can sit there and say whatever you want about me. How I'm robotic and you can beat me now and you know Frank can. Back it up Karl. You said Frank's gonna be touring (god knows where.). Why don't you and Frank both come down here and I'll make you both look stupid. In closing I am gonna tell you what is wrong with Frank Walsh and why he will never be the worlds greatest poet, no matter how much you say it, it will not be true. Poetry is not something that you learn in Universities, Poetry is something that comes to you natural. The key to Poetry is unlearning and your man Frank is too learned. He's not willing to let go of that. I'm never gonna deny that Frank has talent, he does. He doesn't always know what Poems to perform. All of the time he reads these boring Poems in a boring way. That is just at opens. I must admit, as a former promoter in Philly (And almost the only promoter that would touch Walsh at the time.) every time I have given him the oppertunity he has risen to the occasion. I can remember giving him a reading at the Five Spot and being stressed the fuck out because my partner did not want him to have the reading and thinking, "Okay Frank you had better kick ass, or I'm gonna look real stupid all the fighting I did for you." And he did. Frank never fails when you give him the ball. He's a good Poet, and a good performer. But worlds greatest Poet? I think not.

King said...

Blah blah blah. What a case. Still exhibiting your envy for one and all.
"Stuffy old guys"???
Yeah, Shakespeare was just a stuffy old guy I guess. What a demonstration of ignorance.
Great language is great language, whenever it was written. If you don't understand that, you understand nothing.
Yes, I complimented you on your performance at the Medusa. Why not? You did a good job-- as did many others who were there. To think you "stole the show" is nonsense. The read-off with Frank and Brady was the highlight of the event. It's on the video.
(What does one do with a person like Grover? Compliment him and it goes fully to his head. Criticize him in even the slightest way and he'll be resentful about it for ten thousand years. A difficult person to try to work with.)
I'll just say that whatever you're saying here is talk. Nothing else. I invited you time and again to join us in ULA actions-- starting with the Housing Works visit-- and you always had an excuse.
You're a legend in your own mind-- nowhere else.
A rebel wannabe with Che posters on his wall and a Che t-shirt.
Now you've scampered away to the furthest corner of this country and ask us to find you? Ridiculous.
But I gladly will if you want-- I'll read against you myself and will uncork my voice.
Until then, stop the whining, chump. It's the sound of a crying baby-- little else.
"It's a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
Golly gee-- who wrote that???

M.D.G. said...

Blaugh, blaugh, blaugh, something really important. Karl all I want is for you to stop talking. For once in your life. All of this self promotion crap, telling obviouse lies and expecting someone to believe it like you're some expert on TV, like you're some real important person. And if you drop somebodies name, everybodies gonna listen. What does it have to do with the craft Karl? Absolutely nothing. In fact if you could write you would be doing that instead of this. But like you always said, you're just the promotion man. You're just lookin' for the next Jack Kerouac, for the next Elvis. And you wanna know why Karl so you can ride their back to the top, because you can't do it on your own. You parasite. The academic is only half of the problem as the art of Poetry is being hit from the right and the left. That is the right side. The left side, meaningless spoken word that is basically useless and is only written to evoke some emotional reaction. Oh and I told you the night of the Housing Works thing that I had tickets to see Saul Williams. Had to go man. Anyway yeah just continue to try to insult me or play me down. I'm gonna give this a rest for now. I got real things to do. My challenge is out there Karl if you feel like you or Frank can prove me wrong. Until then it's all talk. So continue to blabber. Talk louder than anyone else. Throw a couple of chairs. Whatever you need to do to draw attention to yourself.

King said...

Oh, I will continue to make noise. I will continue to promote writers. I believe there are some good ones out there-- including Walsh. Maybe on occasion I'll even do some writing myself! (Gee, if I "can't write"-- then what are all these words I've been posting? Essays small and large-- tossing in the occasional story and poem or two.)
See ya in Florida, chump.
To others: As you can see, the biggest problem with the underground is undergrounders themselves-- consumed with petty jealousies and grievances; unwilling to notice the bigger cause.
I'm an asset for undergrounders to utilize. I'm willing to make noise about writers-- more important, I know HOW to make noise and gain attention for overlooked artists. Use me now. I can do other things in my life, and won't be doing this forever.

M.D.G. said...

Karl your assumptions, steriotypes and petty insults are way off. Obviousely you don't know me like you think you do. I did not come here to insult anyone. In fact you insulted me by having the audacity that you know who the worlds greatest Poet is. And no it is not because I believe that I am the worlds greatest Poet. It's quite opposite. I know that I am not. I know the worlds greatest Poet is unknown. I don't know who it is and I know you don't. The best Poet that I know of that's alive today would be Baraka, and believe me Walsh cannot touch him. And Baraka does have a vast knowlege of the ancient craft. I know that you know that Walsh is not the worlds greatest Poet. That's just you talkin, doing what you call promotion as I said before that has nothing to do and no place with the craft. When I met you Karl you could care less about Poetry, but I do think the trends in literature are shifting. Anyway you know what? I have nothing to prove to the ULA. If you can do nothing more than lie and insult me rather than carry an intelegent argument I'm sorry for you Karl. By responding to your crap I am playing into your game by drawing attention in your direction. So you just write whatever you want. The earth is flat, Frank is the worlds greatest Poet. Whatever. Maybe some people drank enough of your kool-aid to believe it even. So I am out. You should do something about that anger problem and start by laying off the booze and getting out of that angry bitter city. I wish you the best.

King said...

Oh, but I am going to demonstrate with examples why Frank should be considered for the designation.
(Note the title of this post-- it's a question, which I'll try to answer.)
Btw, you're wildly inaccurate when you say Frank knew nothing about the Beats, Micheline, that whole scene. In fact Frank's had in his possession for years books on the Beat scene-- such as the great one about San Fran which includes a photo of dead Detroit poetry icon Jim Gustafson; or books by Kenneth Rexroth, one of the leading interpreters of the Beat movement. Frank has long known as much about the subject as anyone (excepting someone like Baraka, who's an important poet but isn't god).

M.D.G. said...

Yeah, he did know Rexroth, he knew Ginsburg, he knew Baraka. Other beats like Gary Snyder he did know. Like I said he was reading a book by Bukowski. I never said he didn't. I thought I specifically listed the ones he didn't know.

King said...

Frank also knew Philly Beats from that period-- the ancestors. All those guys whose funerals he was always attending.
He interviewed Ginsberg when you were in diapers.

M.D.G. said...

Yeah he did. Well he was around then. Here go the insults again. Later Karl

Stacy said...

Just curious - is there any element of tongue-in-cheek in this blog? You all seem so passionate about this topic that I fear for your health.

And if you could post a list of the criteria you used to select the World's Greatest Poet, along with a sample of his work (with permission,of course), I would really appreciate it. Please include a list of the also-rans: maybe the top twenty-five losers, just so I can get an idea of the kind of competition he had. A complete biography of each poet, complete with some indication of their social setting and contemporaries would also be a HUGE help.

Of course, I wouldn't dare to disagree with you; you write with such conviction, it must naturally follow that you are right. I just want to get an idea of the PROCESS, you see, because the PROCESS is endlessly fascinating to me.