The greatest living poet

is Mark Rendina. He tells us so:

We [that’s a royal “We”] never publish a poem unless it contains at least one line that will live forever in the language. That is a bold statement - but read on. It declares that poetry is the irredeemable element in human communication, and cannot be expressed or replicated in prose. Our poems contain just enough stasis, or internal architecture of number, to maintain its monumentality impervious to age…

After five years of introducing my concepts across America, Europe, Australia, Africa and New Zealand I think the goals of my first book were successful. It forced a re-examination of how and why we write poetry in English. Those who responded with aggression or ridicule were soon discovered not to have read the book at all. They had a prior agenda with the way poetry has been written the last 50 years of the 20th century - and were not prepared to welcome a new beginning - or a different perspective. I can say with complete honesty that I never had a negative response from any person who took the trouble of reading the book over at least twice.

I can say with complete honesty that I’ve never read even one of Rendina’s poems, but the titles alone are enough to get me hard:

Supple-Boned Gods

Star Miner

Adult Faustus

2012 (damn our copyright laws - he’s obviously a Rush man)

Strange Gods

The Creature in Our Bone

Mark Rendina is now my favorite poet, because he is our greatest living poet. The odd thing is, he shares his name with a serial litigant who doesn’t appear to be related, and is the only reason I googled the name “Mark Rendina” (he sued a client). And this serial litigant is himself famous. Political junkies may remember him from the 2000 election as the man who registered a domain name that should have gone to Pat Buchanan, and used it as a link site for porn.

What are the odds?

I thought it was John Ashberry?

What a crappy looking website for the supposed greated living poet in the world… and that’s coming from someone who makes crappy looking websites! (me)

Reading that guy’s poems only reaffirms the fact that, my fondness for Shakespeare and Keats and Yeats notwithstanding, I understand fuck-all about poetry. I don’t think it’s good but if it had the name of a famous poet on top of it I would probably assume that it was, so I apparently have no independent judgment of such matters.

How badly do I want to punch this dude in the neck?

The joys of self-publication. isn’t taken and would also make a nice book title.


Who cares about live poets? For people to feel concern, poets must die!

Living Poets Society?

My faves are dead.
Gwendolyn Brooks, Former Poet Laureate of Illinios
Langston Hughes, I hope my life is half as interesting as his was.

I also write poetry. Seriously, it’s a hobby of mine. I’m not the greatest living poet though, although it appears that is still available, which would trump this guy in the way that a ninja trumps a pirate, because, y’know, the ninja is just more awesome while simultaneously being just as great.

The part of me that enjoys posting pictures of my paper-blind windows also wants to post one of my poems, so that I can be ridiculed on the interweb.

Go for it, Reldan!

Icehole - Langston Hughes has written some great stuff. A Negro Speaks of Rivers is amongst my favourite poems.

This guy though? I’ve only briefly checked out the samples on his website. It looks fairly dense, which can either mean depth and complexity or disguised banality.

I vote for Velvet Jones:

All alone on a summers night,
kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Watch dog barking do he bite?
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Slip in his window, break his neck,
Then his house I start to wreck,
Got no reason, what da heck?
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
C-I-L-L my landlord.

Velvet Jones?

You are quoting “Images” by Tyrone Greene, philistine!

(sheesh. What, are they no longer teaching the classics in school?)

Very well.

Well, Blake was self-published too, as was Whitman, but this guy isn’t in their class. Same kind of craziness they had, perhaps, but not the talent.

Damn the school system! I should have looked it up. Kudos to you! (And Mentos too.)

By that standard the greatest living poet is Lightnin’ Rod. He even had Kool and the Gang backing his poetry.

…is my mum.