Monday, October 29, 2012


Every poem starts with possibilities
and then wends its undetermined way
through the nooklets of thought
The surreal possibilities narrow
until we reach the

This poem was something related to a poem by Frank O'Hara titled, "Why I am not a Painter". O'Hara was from the New York school who were influenced by the surrealists.

His poem is below:

Why I Am Not a Painter

by Frank O'Hara

I am not a painter, I am a poet.

Why? I think I would rather be

a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg

is starting a painting. I drop in.

"Sit down and have a drink" he

says. I drink; we drink. I look

up. "You have SARDINES in it."

"Yes, it needed something there."

"Oh." I go and the days go by

and I drop in again. The painting

is going on, and I go, and the days

go by. I drop in. The painting is

finished. "Where's SARDINES?"

All that's left is just

letters, "It was too much," Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of

a color: orange. I write a line

about orange. Pretty soon it is a

whole page of words, not lines.

Then another page. There should be

so much more, not of orange, of

words, of how terrible orange is

and life. Days go by. It is even in

prose, I am a real poet. My poem

is finished and I haven't mentioned

orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call

it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery

I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.

Help The MBSPoet fund his poetry

The Poetic Mathematics

Like mathematics, poetry is capable of building another world. Mathematicians often live in a theoretical construct, an alternative mathematical universe which they find to be very satisfying. I believe that poetry also can be used to build a theoretical world where we can escape to. The connecting thread is idealism. Both mathematicians and poets are looking for a perfect world, a world of the ideal. This drive for the sublime is what makes poetry special for me.

Agree or disagree?


Help The MBSPoet fund his poetry

Modern and Contemporary American Poetry

I am currently one of 30,000 people taking the paper, "Modern and Contemporary American Poetry" by Al Filreis of the University of Pennsylvania. This is classified as a Massively Open Online Course or MOOC and it can be accessed at .

The course content is excellent and many poems are covered. Of special interest to me are the tutorial sessions that Al has with his TA's and that open up the poems in the course.

I have discovered a new (or new to me) poet: Frank O'Hara of the New York School.

If you love poetry you will enjoy this course and it's free as well.

Many thanks to Al and the ModPo team including the technical folk behind the scenes who help to make the top quality video productions and readings.

Help The MBSPoet fund his poetry