Jennifer Van Buren’s Comments

Disclaimer: While the roller coaster is an overused metaphor for any number of life’s adventures, damn it, it works, forgive me.

The poet designs and builds the rides. Good Lord, some of them build a slow uphill climb, motors grinding tracks straining, Jesus, I want to get out and push or leap to certain (and glorious) death... but no, you are left at the top, exhausted and too frustrated to even enjoy the view. You will not find those poems here at FRiGG.

Others design a perfectly smooth ride, it flows beautifully, every turn perfectly calculated as to not give the reader any risk of whiplash or chipped teeth and oh how the breeze does blow mmmm and gentle dips and a gentle surprise twist in the end that leaves the ladies in embroidered cardigans to giggle (with their hand over their mouth of course.) Oh how their lines blend perfectly into each other, all syllables and tones accounted for, not a participle left to dangle over the sides.

All safety bars are clicked tight.

We disembark with a glow.

These poems win lots of awards online and in print, and have no trouble getting published. You can find them everywhere. And damn it, no matter how much of a smartass I can be, I do admire people who can write them well.

I prefer a poem that jerks left when you were hoping for right, the kind that have health warnings posted every ten feet. The kind that make young mothers pee their pants for the first time ever, swearing, “No one ever told me this was going to happen to my body!” Sometimes my poetry frustrates the hell out of me. When I read it, especially after it has been published somewhere, I want to pull it down and smooth it out, grease the wheels, straighten the curves, but when I do that, I hear elevator music moving in... and sometimes panic.

Trick is to make the ride bumpy and unpredictable without losing the passengers at the second turn. This is a lot to ask of a poem.

I like reading FRiGG because it gives us a nice mix of rides. Some you get off with a stiff neck and half a hard-on, swearing, “What the fuck was that, crazy motherfucker Dennis Mahagin” who writes:

“During insurgent ambush when 44th mortar round hit,
Angel of Death appeared between my legs as Loretta Swit.

She sucked my half-soft cock, with wind sock sighs,
Mouthfuls of platitudes and morphine syrettes.”

and then we are led to a shaded area for some coffee and maybe funnel cake with ahhhh the beautiful Tamie Gaudet, what a wonderful world she weaves, I wrap it tight around me...

“Barefoot at breakfast, topped
with the casual curl
of bedroom hair that drapes
a little smile that says the bed
is rumpled and still warm.”

And then on to Jai Britton, whose fast-paced swerves, sexy curves and intellectual oui la la leave me with perma-grin and a laugh that bubbles out when I step back onto the platform.

“I’ll wish to have an ass
the size of an office chair
that swivels and rolls (yes,
both my ass and the chair).”

Everyone needs some time on the sky ride, feet dangling above the craziness, remembering to breathe, slow down, reflect on the experience and... and...

I think I was supposed to write about my poetry. Please forgive me for picking on my friends instead, but they are so fucking good, as are all of the poets here with me at FRiGG but I must go now, I am late late late!