A few years ago in a fit of Poetry Month Mania, I took out a book called The Outlaw Bible Of American Poetry. It’s gigantic, so I knew not everything in it was going to appeal to me, much like other sorts of Bibles. I was right. However, I hit one section and was mildly floored. Maybe even more than mildly. And maybe I wasn’t floored so much as totally excited, because here was someone that was doing something I hadn’t seen before, but was exactly what I was looking for. It was a poem by Mike Topp, and here it is:
What’s he doing there? Is this a joke, or is it poem? What does he actually mean? It worked on so many levels I had no way to not be totally into it. I immediately went out and bought what books of his I could find.
His poetry is nothing like you’ve ever seen, and when you think you’ve got him figured out, he does something different, and you have to figure him out again. I say don’t even try to figure him out. Just dig it.
Here’s one called Broken Dish:
I dropped a dish and broke it while listening to a record. So I just played the record backwards until the dish came back together again on the floor and hopped up into my hands.
And finally, there’s the one he may be best known for: Them Hot Dogs
How about Them Hot Dogs,
Ain’t they neat?
Little piece of bread,
Little piece of meat.
Go buy all his stuff, and follow him on Twitter too: @miketopp