Post by Will Dockery
Critique of "At The Telephone Club" a Henri Coulette poem, written by John Phillips
"...An atmospheric, secretive piece by Henri Coulette. His work calls to mind Columbus poet Will Dockery for me, as both of their work seems to exist in a shrouded other-world: for Dockery it is Shadowville, which we'll address in another column; for Coulette it is the smoky noir Los Angeles of Raymond Chandler, full of spies and madams and detectives and liars, people with secrets hanging out in scuzzy hotel rooms and putting out cigarettes in empty bottles of cheap beer [...] This poem, from his first book "War of the Secret Agents and other poems," is so deep in Coulette's dark alternate world that you can see Philip Marlowe sitting by himself down at the other end of the bar, with his hat pushed back on his head, looking at his drink, thinking. But it's the voice of the poem's speaker that's most interesting. The character is drawn in a few nasty strokes, just a few lines from inside his head, and yet there's a sense of who he is, and where he's going, and how bad things will be when he gets there..." -John Phillips
Reading these writings by John Phillips as well as now looking for information on those fine days of poetry wherin I won the 1998 poetry award (I'm looking at Cujo's request, see the other thread) sent me into memories of the vast line of contenders for poetry back in those days.
While remembering the early days of what I consider the early, and greatest in some ways, art-music-poetry scene in 1995-97. It looked that perhaps anything was possible from the opening chords and verses of the Columbus-Phenix City scene, not just music, but poetry, art... ideas. Since not only was there the early, frantic moments of a "music scene", meaning music created in, from, and sometimes about the Columbus-Phenix City area, our music, but also a fairly complex network of poets, and yet another spiraling group of artists... and I walked into that surprising world sometime early in 1995, when, insane as it may sound now, The Loft held a weekly poetry reading, and even more insane seeming, the place was packed out loaded with people, not only just poets but an audience. But that's a story, maybe a novel, for another time. What this post is about is...
While remembering the early days, I decided to Google some of the names from this aspect of the Columbus-Phenix City music-art-poetry scene, some names remain current here, in fact draw the connection between the poetry scene with the music scene stronger than previously considered or stated, Jon Saunders, his brother Frank Saunders, Jack Snipe, Heath Williamson, Henry Conley, Rebbeca Wright-Harris, Brian Fowler and others I will remember later, founders of the "Columbus music scene" were also involved with the poetry scene. Others, such as Sean Bernard, Sandra Pollock, Donnie Strickland, Lisa Scarborough, Karen Keller, Nita Gale, Eric duckworth, Brad Smith are no longer seen on Broadway, The Loft, or anywhere else around town... so I did a quick Google and this is the first entry I've found, so far, so it is a start, my earlier search for Military poet Don Strickland:
I knew Donnie Strickland way back in the 1990s, and was pleased to
happen across some of his poetry just by chance...
PRISM: IN THE EVERYWHERE COLORS
Both-sides of the coin are now revealed without either being
embraced, with neither Skye or Lani winning.
I wonder if this curiosity of mine is a vague allegorical attempt
of mine to describe the daily battles I go through not to show
favoritism, nepotism, to one daughter above the other step-daughter?
Some Apollonisian and Dionysian mirror whose surface
I rotate until I can justify the countless choices that
I am forced to make on a never-ending basis?
Knowing what I know doesn't keep me sane,
I just suffice to rip-out my own heart, cut it into pieces,
and give a portion to Skye and Lani, telling them to share.
Nothing is ever easy.
"...Donnie Strickland is currently a "soldier of misfortune" as a
corporal in the US Army who periodically holds readings at "The Loft"
near Columbus, Georgia. Check out more of his and others' writings &
ravings at Donnie's Colostomy Grab Bag web site and at Scars
I hope Donnie's doing well, as I attempt to find him again.
Gone Too Far / Will Dockery, Jack Snipe & Brian Mallard: