53 min

Episode #174 National Book Award Winner John Keene and Punks - SPECIAL EPISODE Close Talking: A Poetry Podcast

    • Arts

In this special episode, Connor and Jack discuss the 2022 National Book Awards — the long list, the finalists, and the winner "Punks: New and Selected Poems" by John Keene. They read and explore a marvelous poem from the collection, "Folks Are Right, My Nose Was Wide Open," which also appeared in BOMB Magazine.



Listen to the National Book Awards Award Ceremony, here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hNtsKasx5U&ab_channel=NationalBookFoundation

Get Punks here: https://the-song-cave.com/products/punks-by-john-keene




Folks Are Right, My Nose Was Wide Open
By: John Keene



Folks are right: my nose is wide open. I left one man and fell for this one, he’s not the one, so what am I to do? I don’t. Instead, I stand in the doorway of the New Age café on Newbury Street waiting for Kevin, because we’re going to talk about poems. All the poems I haven’t written, because I spend my waking hours talking about them, reading the work of others, trying to remake myself as Essex Hemphill or Neruda or Celan. For example, I can’t write poems about this crazy dude I’m seeing, how he writhes in bed like a loose hose when he comes, how he stands for hours in front of the mirror admiring and caressing his muscles, saying nothing but “Looking good,” the yelps he serves up when I enter him. I don’t write poems about how he silences me with certain looks, his lies about being from “Black money,” how he laughs at the serious things I say. How often when I’m with him I feel more alone than the hardest years of high school. Rather, I write down lines towards poems, abstract pronouncements about unhappiness and being scared and unknown and misunderstood and death, which makes me think I’m addressing the problem. Love is a dream where both of us are trying, at the same speed, without quitting. Then Kevin shows up, and I’m not so sure, because before I can get a word in about my plight, before I can pass today’s halfstarts and failures across the table, he starts telling me about last night’s fight with his girlfriend.



Check out episodes of Close Talking on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking

Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
Find us on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
You can always send us an email with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

In this special episode, Connor and Jack discuss the 2022 National Book Awards — the long list, the finalists, and the winner "Punks: New and Selected Poems" by John Keene. They read and explore a marvelous poem from the collection, "Folks Are Right, My Nose Was Wide Open," which also appeared in BOMB Magazine.



Listen to the National Book Awards Award Ceremony, here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hNtsKasx5U&ab_channel=NationalBookFoundation

Get Punks here: https://the-song-cave.com/products/punks-by-john-keene




Folks Are Right, My Nose Was Wide Open
By: John Keene



Folks are right: my nose is wide open. I left one man and fell for this one, he’s not the one, so what am I to do? I don’t. Instead, I stand in the doorway of the New Age café on Newbury Street waiting for Kevin, because we’re going to talk about poems. All the poems I haven’t written, because I spend my waking hours talking about them, reading the work of others, trying to remake myself as Essex Hemphill or Neruda or Celan. For example, I can’t write poems about this crazy dude I’m seeing, how he writhes in bed like a loose hose when he comes, how he stands for hours in front of the mirror admiring and caressing his muscles, saying nothing but “Looking good,” the yelps he serves up when I enter him. I don’t write poems about how he silences me with certain looks, his lies about being from “Black money,” how he laughs at the serious things I say. How often when I’m with him I feel more alone than the hardest years of high school. Rather, I write down lines towards poems, abstract pronouncements about unhappiness and being scared and unknown and misunderstood and death, which makes me think I’m addressing the problem. Love is a dream where both of us are trying, at the same speed, without quitting. Then Kevin shows up, and I’m not so sure, because before I can get a word in about my plight, before I can pass today’s halfstarts and failures across the table, he starts telling me about last night’s fight with his girlfriend.



Check out episodes of Close Talking on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
Find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/closetalking

Find us on Twitter at: twitter.com/closetalking

Find us on Instagram: @closetalkingpoetry
Find us on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCSpjZcN1hIsG4aDrT3ouw
You can always send us an email with thoughts on this or any of our previous podcasts, as well as suggestions for future shows, at closetalkingpoetry@gmail.com.

53 min

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