Anti-intellectualism is the New Intellectualism

Juliet Cook

I am often thinking more imagistically
when I write poetry and Blake Butler’s poems are not
imagistic, but they did make me
picture him running on the treadmill
in women’s jogging shorts.

I don’t know exactly what
differentiates women’s from men’s jogging shorts.
Maybe the women’s are pinker and silkier?
Maybe it’s simply a matter of sizing?
Shorts don’t need to be complicated,
so why am I visualizing glittery piping
up & down side slits and special ruched pocket
for exotic chapstick, but enough about me.
Back to Blake Butler in pink shorts
on a treadmill thinking about the many times
he Googled his name this week.
This morning, I Googled my real name,
my blog name, and my press name
and scanned through ten pages each.

Reading Blake’s poems made me think
about jogging alongside him. Him & me
in glittery pink shorts on adjacent treadmills, jogging
and talking about Google searches and RSS feeds.
Some people might think this is not very poetic,
but who defines poetry? Maybe Blake Butler & I
would tell them to tone down their heightened language
and just run. Some people might think that sounds too easy.

This morning I almost cut my finger
on a neon green plastic egg with a warped seam.
I was extracting staples. I keep some
of my smallish office supplies inside colorful plastic eggs.
A mid-size binder clip is in the hot pink
and I’ve also seen binder clips on bedside tables
if you know what I mean, but enough about me.
Back to bright plastic eggs, some of which are empty,
some of which are filled with neato who-knows-what.

Some of them speak in child-like voices filled with fun,
slightly twisted tales. Some of them are kind of like a dream sequence/
music video. Some of them seem to be leaked by a quirky
human being filtered through an automaton machine.
Some of them are so matter of factly sexy, violent, bloody.
Some of them are so sensationalistically hyperreal
and those are my favorite ones.

Like the one where my saturated pink gym shorts
are stuffed into Blake Butler’s mouth
and then I make him pick a hand.
I make him guess what it will be.
A plastic egg filled with press-on nails.
A smallish horror story hidden in a cupcake.
A clipping, a crumb, a sweaty palm
empty except for its list of smeared passwords.

(after reading two poems by Blake Butler in ‘3:AM Magazine’)

Juliet Cook bakes sinister cream puffs and the occassional flat souffle. Her blog name is CandyDishDoom. Her press name is Blood Pudding Press. Her real name is Juliet Cook.