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In The Small Of My Backyard

af Matt Cook

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1611,008,774 (4.25)1
Spoken word artist Matt Cook tackles life perceptively in bars, his neighborhood, and at work. His poems are a shrewd blend of cracker-barrel philosopher and an over-caffeinated Groucho Marx. Quirky and humorous, his writing is perfect for people who think they hate poetry (and those who love it, too).… (mere)

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http://pissandvinegar.vox.com/library/post/in-the-small-of-my-backyard-by-matt-c...

Whenever something from your hometown happens it always carries an extra sheen. Maybe it is becuase Milwaukee WI will always seemed dwarfed by its lumering neighbor to the south Chicago IL. However since Matt Cook released his third book this year I decided I would revisit his poetry collections with a critical eye, and see if the Brew City goggles had given him a little too much credit.

Thankfully I was wrong, and Matt's books are still awesome, and it had less to do with the fact he used to THE slam poet in town. I belive these days that he is a respectable teacher at the local private univerity, but don't quote me on that one.

What Matt Cook has that keeps his poetry fresh is a wry voice and a lack of convention. These are poems without pretension. Well there is pretnesion but it it is playfully so. The range of topics range from backyard filmmakers, modern literature, to the broken intellectuals that haunt college campuses. So what better way to turn you on to a poet than to give you a sample of his work:

James Joyce

He was stupid
He didn't know as much as me
I'd rather throw dead batteries at cows than read him
Everything was going fine before he came along
He started the Civil War
He tried to get the French involved, but they wouldn't listen
They filled him up with desserts
He talked about all the great boxers that came from Ireland
Like he trained them or something
Then he started reading some of his stuff
Right as we told him to get lost
He brought up the potato famine
We said "Your potatoes are plenty good"
"Deal with it"
"Work it out somehow"
Then he said "America must adopt the metric system,
it's much more logical"
We said "No ! We like our rulers, go away"
Thomas Jefferson said you always get the rulers you deserve ( )
  finalbroadcast | Jul 19, 2007 |
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Spoken word artist Matt Cook tackles life perceptively in bars, his neighborhood, and at work. His poems are a shrewd blend of cracker-barrel philosopher and an over-caffeinated Groucho Marx. Quirky and humorous, his writing is perfect for people who think they hate poetry (and those who love it, too).

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