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Blinking With Fists by Billy Corgan

Blinking With Fists- Billy Corgan.

A friend gave me a copy of Blinking with Fists after I graduated from high school. He was a staunch Pumpkins fan and I’ve scanned through it now and again finding some poems worthwhile and some poems that aren’t as worthwhile. Corgan has knack for ignoring our conventions of punctuation which doesn’t deter me but might deter others.

Corgan gets a lot of flak for trying his hand in poetry, my contemporaries make the argument that if he hadn’t been the Smashing Pumpkin’s front-man, this poetry book wouldn’t have ever been published and that’s true to an extent but it’s my opinion as far first poetry books go, this one isn’t that much worse than other first books. Corgan has been praised as a very intellectually methodic musician, and that comes through in his poetry. While he doesn’t focus on music, he does come back to it quite frequently;

his poetry’s subjects include: Greek mythology, music history, his personal trials growing up as a musician and his relationships with family members. Here’s an excert from one of his poems.

Blinking with Fists
(and other caterpillar tales)

I mix up unions in the offering

The hushed-up voices are here

But they are sated full

Waiting for the stumble

That must surely come

“this time,” he declares loudly

(anonymous town square)

“this time there will be no stumble”

Personally, I enjoyed his poems although his style leaves something to be desired, this is still an interesting departure from his music (which I like) this is just different. He gets a bum rap for getting a publishing deal just because he’s Billy Corgan. A lot of critics and writers are ready to condemn him off the bat. I’d say give him a shot, read some of his poems before you cast stones. The poems are pretty short for the most part so it wouldn’t take long and some of his images are very vivid in their originality. Give it a shot.

The River Runs Foul

The river runs foul

from the gates where my father once stood

down to the apple trees

from mirror to the gutter

we run streaks of stardust

and funny dumb dreams of shattered warmth

happiness is nothing but a smile

I detect her here in the warm night air

The river runs south

Thru ghettos and starched neighborhood squares

And everywhere the dogs howl

I don’t even trust the hum of my own voice here

My own impermanence haunts me

But this thought alone relieves the pressure

From the mirrors to the gutters done

Gutter tongued, my heart speaks to the silence in me

Let me walk alone, home

As the dead stoplights wave good night