"The writer is a spiritual anarchist, as in the depth of his soul every man is. He is discontented with everything and everybody. The writer is everybody's best friend and only true enemy -- the good and great enemy. He neither walks with the multitude nor cheers with them. The writer who is a writer is a rebel who never stops."
-- William Saroyan
More than once, directly and indirectly, you'll hear J. Berk ask the question, "What is poetry?" And the answer, of course, can be found within these pages. J. Berk's poems are a living metaphor for poetry, which we all know is a metaphor for living, so this all comes around nicely. J.' expresses his desire to say something worthwhile, and winds up saying everything we need to hear.
On the jacket of J. Berk's book, Tales of a Miscellaneous Man (Craphouse Press 2001), you'll find the statement: "Twenty-something J. Berk is the Harry Crews of slamdancing copy shop heroes, wallowing like a happy animal in his cock-eyed perils of punk rock decadence and the sublime pleasures of city creep marginalia." J. is also an occasional music journalist, film critic, librarian, and guitarist. Previous poetry publications include Thunder Sandwich, Black Bear Review, and an honorable mention in Comrades' inaugural contest.
J. says, "I consider myself mostly a writer of prose, but do take the study and craft of poetry semi-seriously. I don't obsess about forms and all, but also don't think poetry should just be bits of broken-up prose. I'm still a believer in Ezra's melopoeia, and take care to write poems filled with musical language. Of course, if you have nothing to say, no one should be expected to give a shit how well you say it." You can write to him at email@example.com, or check out his book at the Unlikely Stories bookstore.
J.'s works here at Unlikely Stories are:
vulgar (hear it in MP3 format)
an abstemious assembly (hear it in MP3 format)
Like I Know What Poetry Is
To hear the MP3 files of J. reading, you'll need an MP3 player, such as Winamp.