Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Sort of Bruce Springsteen

Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast gave me a succinct shout out the other day:
 Bob Rixon is sort of a Bruce Springsteen of New Jersey blogging. With his penchant for vintage postcards and other images, interspersed with musings on life, politics, and the personal, no one better encapsulates the Garden State than The Rix Mix.
That "sort of" in important to me. Any resemblance to Springsteen is coincidental, the result of our being about the same age & having parallel yet different experiences.  I had my own boardwalks, my own favorite music.  I also played in a band in the late Sixties (with far less success).  A few of my poems have a  Springsteen feel to them, something I usually recognized  as they were written (they are not poems about boardwalks). Springsteen's first two LPs were released during the period I was being drawn into poetry. I didn't care for Springsteen's "poetry" on Born to Run, his break-through third. I felt he  had abandoned  the spirit of "Rosalita." But he was doing in a big, ambitious  way the same thing I was doing quietly at the time: Consolidating influences, shaking off provincialism while  retaining a sense of the "local." It's what many artists do in their twenties as the first burst of youthful learning comes to close.   He wanted to be a rock & roll star. I just wanted to make poems that would be published,  read & appreciated outside of Jersey, like William Carlos Williams. We both succeeded.  But I had understood when Greetings from Asbury Park was released, from the  wonderful album jacket (better than the  record, actually), even before I slit the shrink wrap, that what Bruce had done could be done only once.  I might have put a similar postcard image on a collection of poems,  with the same    Jersey "fuck you" I believed it implied.

I'd be mildly disappointed that Springsteen has never read any of  my poems or prose, if I had tried to get any of it to him.


It's a nice feeling to be recognized.
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