Don’t you like ANYTHING?

I’ve been stewing about this for several months, but perhaps my problem could be alleviated by not hanging out on litrachoor blogs, where it’s the nature of the beast to say what you don’t like about a particular work.

Anyway, at one niche blog I hang out on a lot (but don’t post much because I have nothing constructive to add, whether positive or negative), there are a couple of posters who comment on each and every literary offering (whether they’ve read the work or not) with a *sniff* and variations on a theme of “I don’t like this.” Usually for weird X reason.

I get that. I don’t like everything I read, either. Whether I say so is a function of A) how lazy I am that day (I can’t be arsed to sign in and comment a negative), B) how confident I am in my own scholarship (as in, I’m not a litrachoor type nor an intellectual nor even a pseudo intellectual), C) whether I actually liked the work or not (I can be arsed to sign in to make a positive comment or to take a counter position to the negative poster if I feel strongly enough about the negative comment).

Aside: Oh, I forgot. Good litrachoor criticism means you are not allowed to A) like it and B) say anything positive about it.

However, what I don’t get is the constant not liking of everything that’s posted and feeling a need to say so. And! Worse! When the commenter enumerates how the work lacks everything s/he thinks it should have, that it isn’t what s/he thought the work would/should be, i.e., “Why don’t you people write what I want to read?” while yet not actually writing anything him/herself. Especially in a niche that has precious little to offer the world to begin with. If you don’t like what’s there, write it your owndamnself.

Another aside: Why am I stuck on having been instructed in novel-writing techniques by someone who’s never written a novel (nor, as far as I know, a novella, or a short story)? And teaches an adult extended education class on the subject?

The latest offering was a poem. I liked it, and while I’ve not traditionally been a fan of poetry, Th. and Tyler (and Tyler again and Th.’s posting of May Swenson) and some dude named Danny Nelson are all seducing me to the dark side.

This was not a constructive post. I realize this. I try to offer some solution to whatever I think is a problem if I start to bitch, which is why I’ve kept a lid on this for so long. But, look, not every work that’s posted or linked is a piece of crap.

And if you think every work actually is a piece of crap, do something about it instead of hanging out on litrachoor blogs and trashing everything that walks by.


“Little Lion Face”

Thmazing posted this poem by May Swenson (1919-1989), Mormon poet, in April. I don’t usually “get” poetry, but I sure as heck got this and it is…beautiful. I’m going to have to invest some time in her work.

Little lion face
I stopped to pick
among the mass of thick
succulent blooms, the twice

streaked flanges of your silk
sunwheel relaxed in wide
dilation, I brought inside,
placed in a vase.Milk

of your shaggy stem
sticky on my fingers, and
your barbs hooked to my hand,
sudden stings from them

were sweet.Now I’m bold
to touch your swollen neck,
put careful lips to slick
petals, snuff up gold

pollen in your navel cup.
Still fresh before night
I leave you, dawn’s appetite
to renew our glide and suck.

An hour ahead of sun
I come to find you.You’re
twisted shut as a burr,
neck drooped unconscious,

an inert, limp bundle,
a furled cocoon, your
sun-streaked aureole
eclipsed and dun.

Strange feral flower asleep
with flame-ruff wilted,
all magic halted,
a drink I pour, steep

in the glass for your
undulant stem to suck.
Oh, lift your young neck,
open and expand to your

lover, hot light.
Gold corona, widen to sky.
I hold you lion in my eye
sunup until night.