First, let’s get my news out of the way. Three of my poems: “Malice at the Palace,” “21st Century: A Retrospective,” and “Feathers” have been published in Vol. 2 Issue 1 of Heavy Feather Review. While I can’t share them online, the issue is only $2.99 and a full-year subscription to Heavy Feather is only 5 bucks. It’s very affordable, and it’s always a great thing to support independent literature (especially when it’s had the blazing start Heavy Feather has in the last year). And at nearly 200 pages of poetry and fiction, it’s a bargain. I mean, I might be biased, but hey. Don’t just take my word for it; you can read a sample here.
I’d also like to call attention to Rolling Stone’s list of The 50 Funniest People Now. I love good, well-made comedy almost as much as I love poetry, and it’s great to see this list come out, in my opinion, really well. Subjective lists like these will always be subject to a lot of scrutiny and complaining by readers, but for me this seems about as spot-on as any similar list I’ve ever seen. Look at the top six (not in this exact order): the brilliant, hilarious and disarmingly artful Louis CK, the new champions of satire both late night (Stewart, Colbert) and otherwise (the package deal of Matt Stone and Trey Parker), as well as the two SNL alumni I can’t say enough good things about, Fey and Poehler. Plus, while not in the top six, the inclusion of Kristen Schaal should be applauded; she is very underrated (even after a bunch of great minor roles in movies, and as a recurring correspondent on the Daily Show), and always makes me laugh (even if she WAS a horse that one time. But hey, everything I know about the American judicial system I learned from her. So education owes her a debt of gratitude as well). Maybe her terrific stint on 30 Rock this past season will help her find a bigger audience. Let’s hope!
It’s a list that is rewarding originality, nuance, and consistency. I love it when comedy is treated like what it is at its finest: an art form. And those qualities are all as necessary in poetry as they are in comedy.
I guess my only (minor) complaints, not nitpicky but worth mentioning: I’m shocked Conan isn’t anywhere on this list (note: I highly recommend the documentary made about Conan’s well-known break between shows, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. It’s both entertaining and insightful. If you have Netflix, it’s streaming there). I’m also disappointed that Jimmy Fallon is on here, as I have still yet to figure out the appeal there (at least he’s way down at 47). At least take that corpsing fool out and put Sarah Silverman in.