dear Mr. Gorbachev


In entries like these Borokowski’s ironic humor almost seems to fail him as he confronts phenomena in and outside him that he is unable to make sense of, though the author usually regains his casual humor: The thing is, Mr. Gorbachev –this is what the lady at the garden store told me—YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO PLANT TREES IN THE FOREST. Other kinds of glimpses into the blogger’s interests and perceptions are also afforded, such as his vision of poetry (which he considers the heart of his own writing). In another entry he provides humorous insight into his approach and attitudes towards the genre: This evening, Mr. Gorbachev, I’d like to share with you some of my ideas about poetry, though I greatly fear you will find everything I have to say about this strange, outdated genre ridiculous. In truth poetry isn’t one thing and it isn’t another. Take the French. For Rimbaud it was an obsession and an insanity—he said poetry was destroying him and we must believe him. Baudelaire spent a lot of time with prostitutes. Verlaine spent a lot of time in prison, as did Jean Genet. Genet also masturbated a lot and his mentor Sartre posited that poetry was closely related to this most shameful act. I would rather not get into your Russians—suffice it to say that they were a kind of suicide circus, so that when they weren’t writing poetry they were thinking of ways to kill themselves, and in fact often combined these activities by writing poems about the different ways of killing themselves. . . . As far as way over there on the other side—let’s just leave it at that Jack Henry Abbot was a homicidal maniac.

more from Chris Michalski at The Quarterly Conversation here.