Because I'm swift and such, I am reminding you that April is National Poetry Month here in the ol' U.S. of A., with only a few days left in said month. I do realize that it's likely most people find poetry a bit, well, snoooootaaayyy; it can seem impenetrably dense, overly grand, silly, simple, pretentious, academic, not for the regular folk. But I am going to stick up for poetry here, even though I myself don't write a lot of it, unless you count funny haikus or drippy teenage song lyric laments. Poetry is both a very disciplined art as well as very open and liberating process. A gifted poet crystallizes a moment and reveals human emotions in a way that few other artists can. Whatever you think of it, take a day this week to poke around and appreciate the wonderfully diverse world of poetry before May comes and it's National Incredibly Dull Technical Manual Month or something.

Just a quickie trio...

I love Austin Kleon's ingenious idea here -- "found" poetry via The New York Times, a black marker, and the thoughtful art of selection. Visually punk, but sweet, sly, and Sharp-ie. Click the link on his site and buy his newnewnew book!

Film critic Scott Jordan Harris shows us that anything sounds diginified recited with a British accent:

Last word goes to my homie Mark Twain, because I dig his whole vibe. Dude is layin' down a BURN here in "Genius."

Genius, like gold and precious stones,
is chiefly prized because of its rarity.

Geniuses are people who dash of weird, wild,
incomprehensible poems with astonishing facility,
and get booming drunk and sleep in the gutter.

Genius elevates its possessor to ineffable spheres
far above the vulgar world and fills his soul
with regal contempt for the gross and sordid things of earth.

It is probably on account of this
that people who have genius
do not pay their board, as a general thing.

Geniuses are very singular.

If you see a young man who has frowsy hair
and distraught look, and affects eccentricity in dress,
you may set him down for a genius.

If he sings about the degeneracy of a world
which courts vulgar opulence
and neglects brains,
he is undoubtedly a genius.

If he is too proud to accept assistance,
and spurns it with a lordly air
at the very same time
that he knows he can't make a living to save his life,
he is most certainly a genius.

If he hangs on and sticks to poetry,
notwithstanding sawing wood comes handier to him,
he is a true genius.

If he throws away every opportunity in life
and crushes the affection and the patience of his friends
and then protests in sickly rhymes of his hard lot,
and finally persists,
in spite of the sound advice of persons who have got sense
but not any genius,
persists in going up some infamous back alley
dying in rags and dirt,
he is beyond all question a genius.

But above all things,
to deftly throw the incoherent ravings of insanity into verse
and then rush off and get booming drunk,
is the surest of all the different signs
of genius.