Our reader, Scott Cunningham, is the founder of O, Miami. I surprised him with a request for a reading on my last night in the city. We were at an art gallery when I asked and I had no poems on me, just a camera. Luckily, Scott is the type of dude who can recite an awesome poem off the top of his head. He chose “Oedipus Blues” by X.J. Kennedy
, subsequently introducing me to an incredible American poet. X.J. Kennedy has described his own work as “schizophrenic,” varying wildly as he writes for different audiences. I love how The Poetry Foundation
describes his poetry: “...a playfulness verging on the absurd, and a fervent regard for the possibilities of language" and “The Kennedy universe is engaging, humorous and full of chaos: a place where spaghetti can be used for shoelaces....” This guy is exciting and energetic, taking on a wide range of voices and subject matter; I would definitely like to spend some time in his imagination. Kennedy writes verse for both children and adults, and has done over 200 readings for TV and radio, and in elementary schools throughout the US and UK. He is the recipient of several poetry awards, including the Lamont Award from the Academy of American Poets.
P.S. I love that some guy who knows Scott comes up at the end of the video and is like 'hey, hey - what are you guys doing?' Oh, nothing - just filming poetry on a dark street corner at midnight. Regular stuff.
Blues for Oedipus
You’d come a cropper,
Gods dished you the shit
Like you deserves —
Now your eyeballs
From they optic nerves.