Who’s the Greatest Living Poet?

The Greatest Living Poet

Always reluctant to snark another poet (see recent post), this time it couldn’t be helped! This guy (not Lemmy), who bills himself as the Greatest Living Poet, boasts the following revelation on his website: “At the year 2001 (sic) I made the observation that powerful poetry no longer exists in the West.” And a very powerful observation it was. Inspired by Ziggy Stardust–David Bowie’s early seventies alter ego–he decided to take up the mantle, as it were, as the Greatest Living Poet. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this guy snarks himself so well that all commentary is superfluous. Read on: “I took the mask of a visitor from another planet. This poet did not write poetry like any other human then on the planet . Yet this persona wrote his poetry with the confidence and skill of a great poet. It was an outrageous experiment that had a perfect result.” Again, no quip could do justice to this brand of self-worship. And here’s what he has to say about Walt Whitman: “I am certain that when Whitman self- published Leaves of Grass he had in mind a project similar to mine – he too was a greatest living poet (small caps). ” Small caps!! For a while I thought to myself, What a perfect joke!  I should add, however, that this guy takes out an ad in every issue of the New York Review of Books. So, in a way, we must take him (ahum!) seriously, and look to the poetry for an answer. After all, perhaps he really is the greatest living poet, which would be seriously bad news for the rest of us. Judge for yourselves. I present the evidence.

from Daniel, Isaiah, Habbakuk

No longer keep me incantation,
flesh my seamless electron
antenna to all human screens.

Earth behind on math elevators,

light in my space ray, a steam on glass;
daily love soon forgot at the mechanic level;
paper money held till I squeezed the ink,


poem courtesy of the Greatest Living Poet (whatever be his name).

9 Responses to “Who’s the Greatest Living Poet?”

  1. 1 Borja January 22, 2008 at 2:26 am

    …yes, but why is Lemmy included in this post?

  2. 2 uspoetsabroad January 22, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Because he looks so darn funny in his leather hat!

  3. 3 Borja January 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I think he does not look funny, he looks like Lemmy. But what´s the name of that mentioned poet? I like quite a lot Motorhead and enjoyed Bukowski so much…

  4. 4 Anders March 15, 2008 at 12:30 am

    this guy’s poem along with all i know of him, he’s an quite a con. However i will say i’m not knowledgable on the subject unless I read his greatest living poet book. As of right now i don’t know if he can’t right as well as i can.

  5. 5 Anders March 15, 2008 at 12:32 am

    sorry that made no sense. it may seem cliche of a southern poet but i’m drunk. i apologize.

  6. 6 Enigman October 25, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Modest the Prince

  7. 7 Dazbog November 28, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    The poem reads as obscure and pretentious. A writer trying to impress beyond his abilities.

  8. 8 Kaj October 4, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Saul williams is good, perhaps one of the best. But the best is still relative to the rest, and each and every perception absorbs peoples poetry in different ways. How do we measure a great poet? By their persona? By the amount of truth they articulate, or how well they can rhyme? Perhaps all of the above…or none of the below.

    I’m sure the “greatest poet” living right now is overlooked or unknown. Sitting on a bench in a desolate park.
    She or He will live a simple life to the observer. But after his death a loved one, friend, or stranger will find a dear treasure hidden in the room of a postmortem poet, and the “Greatest” of that time. Which came to soon. Liken to Friedrich Nietzsche, Emily Dickenson, and even the great polymath R. Buckminster Fuller.

  9. 9 andre harris February 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I have heard many poets say that sharon olds is the greatest living american poet

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Contrasting Views

"Literalism is a feature of boorish translators." Cicero "The clumsiest literal translation is a thousand times more useful than the prettiest paraphrase." Nabokov

The Faerie Queene

"John Ashbery said reading the Faerie Queene was like reading an endless beautiful comic strip." Kenneth Koch

Sigmund Freud

"Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me."


January 2008

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