Poem-A-Day on HTMLGIANT
by Rauan Klassnik
People want poems about titties. Want poems that parody the Kill List (or the Fuck List). Want stalker hate poetry. Poems about dogs pissing on other dogs. Mosquitos fucking people in the ear.
Hi, I’m Rauan Klassnik and I curate and illustrate the occasional Poem-A-Day for The Academy of American Lunatics on HTMLGIANT because, well, it’s a whole lot of fun.
So far I’ve advertised my project as “a kind of homage and alternative (a companion series, if you will) to the incredible work Alex Dimitrov and the rest of the team at The Academy of American are doing” (if you don’t already know The Academy runs their own long-time Poem-A-Day service which, if you sign up for, emails you a poem every day).
I’m being little cheeky there because, well, most of what The Academy sends out are collections of empty clichés and pale images and musings. Maybe it’s because they have to keep their donors happy. Or maybe it’s because their target audiences are the really young, the really old, and the really dull. I dunno.
And what’s really bizarre about the Academy’s Poem-A-Day is that even when they feature a poet I like and respect they usually manage to choose what seems like that poet’s all-time worst piece. And since The Academy would never feature anything really naughty, decadent, conceptual and inappropriate, I thought by starting my own (& occasional!) Poem-A-Day series that I could kill two birds with one stone: ie, I could poke fun at The Academy (and maybe, thereby, nudge them to be a little edgier and smart about their selections) while serving up poems that lunatics enjoy. In other words, good poems.
Plus I really enjoy doing the crayon illustrations that go with each Poem-A-Day!
And, now, to give you a bit of a taste of my Poem-A-Day series here’s a bit of info on each of the 7 poems that I’ve featured so far:
The first poem, by Reb Livingston, a friend of mine and bona fide lunatic, isn’t just a poem about titties, it’s also a profound and brilliantly realized meditation on life’s marbled subtleties. Its valleys and shadows. (Or maybe it’s just about titties.)
The second poem, by Seth Abramson, one of the most notorious lunatics writing today, is a conceptual poem that speaks, in really creepy, masterful gestures, to desire, monsters, Poetry and the poet Dorothea Laskey. (Seth, for the record, is a man I once wrote “snuff porn” about. Or so he says!)
Jim Behrle (a poet, cartoonist and troll) was really upset with Josef Kaplan’s “Kill List” so he wrote a shrewd, thoughtful and delicate “Penis List” that comes right at ya. Jim would also be happy to sell you “Rich” and “Comfortable” T-Shirts. And he blogs a lot.
Sandra Simonds had (has?) a stalker who sent her some terrible emails filled with hateful and racist threats which Sandra mined for a poem. It’s a really disturbing piece in which Sandra turns the tables on her stalker…
Lillian Dylan was referred to me by Janey Smith. Her poem about desire, forgetful feminism, longing and mosquitoes is her first published poem. Her Poem-A-Day includes a picture of Lillian on a horse.
Danielle Pafunda’s poem is rife with viscera-vomit, violence inside and out, given and received, vomiting and vomiting. Danielle sent me two author pics to choose from. The one I didn’t use was of a beautiful prawn.
Sam Pink once wrote that when he grew up he wanted to “to bash Rauan Klassnik’s head into pulp.” And, I’m not sure if Sam’s grown up but his Poem-A-Day is a tear-jerker of a tale of one dog pissing on another one. Sam, according to his bio, is looking for a rich “big beautiful woman” to take him to AWP.
Thanks for reading about my Poem-A-Day series!
And, again, if you’re interested you can check all of them out here