Michael Connor

The worst poet in America

The President-Elect has chosen Elizabeth Alexander to read her poetry on Inauguration Day, 2009. And they say Obama doesn’t have a sense of humour.

From The Venus Hottentot (1825):

Her genitalia

will float inside a labeled

pickling jar in the Musee

de l’Homme on a shelf

above Broca’s brain:

“The Venus Hottentot.”

Elegant facts await me.

Small things in this world are mine.

From Race:

Sometimes I think about Great-Uncle Paul who left Tuskeegee,

Alabama to become a forester in Oregon and in so doing

became fundamentally white for the rest of his life, except

when he traveled without his white wife to visit his siblings –

now in New York, now in Harlem, USA – just as pale-skinned,

as straight-haired, as blue-eyed as Paul, and black. Paul never told anyone

he was white, he just didn’t say that he was black, and who could imagine,

an Oregon forester in 1930 as anything other than white?

More evidence for the prosecution may be found here. Elizabeth Alexander, who is a professor at Yale University, can be heard talking about "Obamapoetics" here.

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