“Can poetry address the massive and systematic degradation of the mental environment?”

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“Poetry heals and integrates; online, things fly apart. God knows what kind of feedback Lockwood gets, the trolls and mugwumps and flickering testicular wraiths she has to contend with. I can see her in my mind, post-religion, post-family, a savvy, wounded poet hanging over an electronic abyss. But the pen that can describe a rural motel room as looking ‘like the place where Smokey the Bear went to cheat on his wife’ is sharp enough for the occasion, for the moment. Can poetry address the massive and systematic degradation of the mental environment? Lockwood, her personae shimmering, her linguistic sensors tingling, is one of the few poets tough enough and shrewd enough to try. And it looks like we’re all going to have to try, in our own lives, in our own poems. Or burst like scared chickens.”

James Parker – Poet on the Edge:Indiana-born, Twitter-savvy, and Millennially mischievous, Patricia Lockwood taps into the temper of the times. – The Atlantic – May 2017

Here’s the 1st few lines & a link to Lockwood’s most famous poem: 

Patricia Lockwood, “Rape Joke”

The rape joke is that you were 19 years old.

The rape joke is that he was your boyfriend.

The rape joke it wore a goatee. A goatee.


Read rest of poem 

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