Skip to main content

Poem by Philip Fried

Philip Fried (pictured here) is a New York-based poet, little magazine editor, and poetry advocate. Eyewear is very glad to welcome him as this week's featured poet.

Fried’s poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Poetry After 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poets. His three books of poetry are Mutual Trespasses (1988); Quantum Genesis (1997), which A.R. Ammons called “a major new testament”; and Big Men Speaking to Little Men (Salmon Poetry, 2006).

In addition to being a poet, Fried is the founding editor of The Manhattan Review, an international poetry journal that critics have called “excellent” and “lively.” And he collaborated with his wife, the fine-art photographer Lynn Saville, on a volume combining her nocturnal photographs with poetry from around the world: Acquainted with the Night (Rizzoli, 1997).

As a poetry advocate, Fried organized a successful nationwide campaign to increase the number and quality of poetry reviews in The New York Times. I first met Fried in London a few years ago, when he was reading for a launch of Poetry London. We had a good conversation one night about the state of poetry writing, publishing and reviewing, and it was clear he knows his stuff; in fact, Fried seems more engaged with developments in the UK than most any other contemporary American poet I've met.

I've invited him back to read in London for the Oxfam series in February 2007.


The Angels Laugh

And we, who are the vice presidents of creation,
promoted and promoted but only so high,
we, the company’s flesh and gristle, sinew

exposed by the slash of the heavenly accountant,
we laugh just like vice presidents charging expenses,
dining in solidarity, displaying

contempt for shame, that overcooked emotion,
we guffaw with bravado, shoulder to shaking shoulder,
like sides of beef displayed in a butcher’s window,

we howl so that even vegetables are meaty,
huge heads of broccoli, bulging beef tomatoes.
Red-faced and helpless in our strength, we belly-

laugh at heavenly or hellish curses,
those maliferous wisps, friable chars of language,
until our laughter splinters the floorboards and rafters,

from rib-eye sniggers to sirloin exultations,
we are the marbled flesh and fat of forgetting,
thick with oblivion, moist with amused juices.

poem by Philip Fried, from Big Men Speaking To Little Men (Salmon, 2006)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of the new Simple Minds album - Walk Between Worlds

Taste is a matter of opinion - or so goes one opinion. Aesthetics, a branch of pistols at dawn, is unlikely to become unruffled and resolved any time soon, and meantime it is possible to argue, in this post-post-modern age, an age of voter rage, that political opinion trumps taste anyway. We like what we say is art. And what we say is art is what likes us.

Simple Minds - the Scottish band founded around 1977 with the pale faces and beautiful cheekbones, and perfect indie hair cuts - comes from a time before that - from a Glasgow of poverty and working-class socialism, and religiosity, in a pre-Internet time when the heights of modernity were signalled by Kraftwerk, large synthesisers, and dancing like Bowie at 3 am in a Berlin club.

To say that early Simple Minds was mannered is like accusing Joyce of being experimental. Doh. The band sought to merge the icy innovations of German music with British and American pioneers of glam and proto-punk, like Iggy Pop; their heroes were contrived,…

THE WINNER OF THE SIXTH FORTNIGHT PRIZE IS...



Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand

THE BEVERLY PRIZE SUPER SHORTLIST FINALISED!

Dr Bruce Meyer, a significant Canadian poet and writer, will be the final judge for this year's Beverly Prize For International Writing - the impressive super shortlist of 18 international poets and writers is announced below.
Any original unpublished manuscript, in English, by anyone living anywhere in the world, writing in any genre or on any topic, prose, non-fiction or poetry (even drama) is eligible, making it arguably the world's most eclectic "broad church" literary scouting prize. Last year's debut winner was Sohini Basak (her book is being launched in Bloomsbury July 5th, 2018).

The rules of the prize stipulate that any author chosen for the shortlist agrees to accept publication with Eyewear if judged to be the final winner; and may not be entered into other competitions at this final stage of adjudication.
Bruce Meyer is author of more than 60 books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, literary journalism, and portraiture. He was winner of the Gwendolyn…