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Verses That Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets
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Verses That Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  268 ratings  ·  34 reviews
What are are holding right now in your hands is a book. Not a telephone reciever, which is how most of the poems in this collection were first transmitted...There are plenty of examples of this spreading of one art form or another through popular mediums. There are all those wonderful Russian Constructivist posters, Dr. Alphabet's public poetry gatherings on football field ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 15th 1997 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Nicole Bunge
Nov 27, 2011 Nicole Bunge rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Soul Coughing, King Missle, and Nicole Blackman
POEMFONE - for those that don't know, was a NYC poet's project where every day a poet called and recorded a new poem on an answering machine, and you could call and listen. The group involved all sorts of hip poets and musicians - including 3 of my favorites: M. Doughty (of Soul Coughing), Nicole Blackman (of KMFDM & other bands), and John S. Hall (of King Missile).

It's an amazing, beautiful, RAW collection of contemporary free verse, that introduces you to a host of talented poets - and inc
...more
Kelly
Most of the poems are just trash. i can't judge the poets based off of a few meager "poems", but really they should have put more effort into putting their thoughts into a more poetic form. a lot of this is nothing more than pissy diary entries.

Having said that, i have realized that 1) they are "alternative", 2) all poems were written in a day, 3) some of them are probably good when performed live... the writing is still sub-par, but yes, they probably sound good spoken and 4) maybe some were am
...more
Kathryn Dechairo
Many of the poems in this collection are hard-hitting, dark or thought provoking. Some made me laugh, some had me cringing and some left me feeling uncomfortable and like I needed to take a shower . . . but I'd rather feel something than nothing. Favorite poets for me were Nicole Blackman, Janice Erlbaum and Hal Sirowitz.
Laura Morrigan
Don't be fooled by the title or cover, this isn't a book of poems about S&M. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but what this is is a collection of Poetry from the Poemfone poets. There used to be this awesome thing where you could ring an answering machine and there would be a recording of a poet, reading one of their poems on the other end of the line.

I'm not an expert on poetry, but I think quite a few of the poets at least were part of the Beat movement. Anyway, it's a great col
...more
Abigayle
Nov 26, 2007 Abigayle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: amateur poets, and people who can appreciate eloquent angst
More than anything I love the idea of PoemPhone.

Recommended if you like emotional poetry with catchy word play - Avoid it if you can't handle angst.

I'm no expert on poetry but most of the poems in this collection really worked for me. I think the title is a bit ridiculous and full of itself, but the contributing poets shouldn't be blamed for the publishers poor choice. In most cases you can really tell that the poems were meant to be read aloud.

Jennn
Well, hurt is a strong word, especially when you have John S. Hall (King Missile fame) and Todd Colby poems. I love this book ever since high school and continue to read it. Many of them are funny, odd, and interesting. I love John S. Hall's poems(the reason I bought it), along with Sparrow's simple, yet disturbing poems, Todd Colby's off-the-wall verses, Hal Sirowitz's deprecating humour, etc.

I love this book.
Mary-ann
A divinely bizarre and off-beat anthology of poetry compiled from phone messages left by strangers. The poetry is well crafted, though some may border on offensive or be offensive, so if you take issue with strong language or sexual situations, this book may not be for your reading list. I like the collected poems and find many to be humorous and others to be masterful and poignant.
Jazmin
Several poems in here resonate so much within me. I've had this book since high school, and I recited John S. Hall's poem, "It's Saturday" as my graduation speech. Of course, "Love Letter to His Dick" is a fabulous poem, too, but in a slightly less profound way.
Dan
Jul 17, 2007 Dan marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Me
Shelves: poetry
OK - I found this through Goodreads, making it my first real revelation here: not, I trust, the last. I have and cherish the Poemfone CD called "New Word Order", and I can't wait to find and devour this text. Does anyone know if it contains any M. Doty poems?
Jonathan
Some poems are very good in a Slam poetry/"Edgy" sort of way. Some fall short and are either trying too hard or don't try at all. If you like beats and urban poetics I think it's worth a shot but stay clear if you're looking for versification and rhyme!
Amber Decker
This, I believe, is one of the most influential books to have ever graced my shelves. "Verses That Hurt" expanded my terribly naive and adolescent view of poetry and what it COULD be if the poet were brave enough to let it be. A keeper.
Lori
I took my dog-eared, coffee-stained copy with me everywhere when it first came out! I was about 17 then...it's 10 years later and I still love these poems! Dark, funny, sad, many different writers and styles.
Kate O'Hanlon
Mar 31, 2011 Kate O'Hanlon added it
Shelves: poetry
A very mixed bag, there's some knock outs that stay with me, as fresh as the day I first read them a decade ago and there are some absolute clunkers guilty of the worst excesses of the NY poetry scene
Amber
What I love about this book of poetry is the surprises lurking around every corner. A variety of authors and styles. If you aren't afraid of dancing in the shadows, this is for you.
Kate
Aug 06, 2009 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
I really enjoyed this anthology the first time I read it and continue to go back to it every so often. This was the book that got me interested in poetry and slam poetry at that.
Jes Echo
I assumed this was on the S&M side when I bought it, which is why I picked it up. It still has interesting stuff in it, just not what I thought it was.
Grrrl
this is one of my favorite poetry collections. probably because it seems to be written by people i would know and definitely relate to their mindset.
Misti Rainwater-Lites
too goddamn bad Hurricane Rita destroyed my copy of this book 'cause it slays. penny arcade is my favorite. i will buy this again.
Jenee
Very unique poems and poets in the book. Some poems are alittle unpleasant but most are very good. I enjoyed this book.
Patty
this book cheered me up at a really sad time. some of the poems are weird, some are dirty, a lot are hilarious.
SmarterLilac
One of the stupidest (not to mention dullest) poetry collections I've yet encountered. A waste of my time.
LC Valdes
Reading this book was like being at a poetry slam. Some of the poems were great, raw, and admirable.
Elisabeth Moser
so very very awesome. I loved this collection and I have to admit, I still LOVE CAKE!
Janice
Nov 16, 2008 Janice added it
Features five poems of mine from the early 90s, including "Love Letter to his Dick."
Becki Chiasson
I have no idea when I read this book, but it's awesome. And I owe it all to Tracey! ;D
Rebecca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily
Exactly like its title....painful, real stories about every day people.
Franziska Gonzalez
I love the book and recommend it anyone. I read it 3 times in a row.
Neha
Feb 03, 2012 Neha marked it as to-read
Shelves: favourites
I am going to read this just for Nicole Blackman.
Literarybum
What an wonderful intense expression of humanity
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