how do we identify cliché?
in the roof of your mouth where the peanut butter hangs out since its
all just a question of taste.

where’s your border between that and pop culture?
pop culture is the flash bulb of the paparazzi
cliché is the things i read while in some waiting room

does the fact that it’s recognizably a pop culture icon render it cliché?
not necessarily, many people can live their whole lives their and remain interesting and topical (madonna comes readily to mind as does
the “revolution” both of which may be cliché but remain topical vis a vis someones desire to insure they do not fade away)

do you and if so, how do you use pop culture references in your poetry?
i avoid pop culture reference in my poetry for fear that it will date my work in an unflattering manner. i’ve seen folks make specific references to some things in their poems that automatically make me say “thats why i am not diggin this trip– its cuz its in black & white!” or sumthin like dat

do you feel them necessary or are they a crutch to avoid working to show meaning?
as a professional cane user, i would call them crutches

so i am off to take the red pill, find the mother to my child, see the revolution on HDTV and wonder if any of the burning bushes are speaking to me or at me

PERSONAL EDIT: some stuff i wanted to say but didnt get a chance to

a few acentos shows back, john rodriguez said something that really stuck with me about the langston hughes poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers “that some forever shit” werd!

and i guess thats one of the main reason why i avoid pop culture references in my work. i am out to try to write some forever shit and if i live to be triple digits, write every day of my life and can produce just ONE poem that goes down as some forever shit then you can feel free to carve a big ol’ smiley face on my grave.

i can see how writing about indivdual events and their effect on us can translate into sometbing that will outlast paper and memory but, for the serious life of me, i cant see how a mention of American Idol or the lastest fashion designer is going to do that (no disrespect on the Idol talk, guy). maybe it could be the fact that i am not very well read, maybe if i search the halls of the Library of Congress i can find something like that or maybe one of you can alert me to it but i just dont see it happening. better yet said, i dont see it happening with my work.

so yeah, its a lot to ask i know especially for someone that doesnt even have a real manuscript ready to think he can one day write some forever shit but a brothers gotta dream… ¿tu sabes?

dos sucres,

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