Thursday, April 17, 2008

M. Patrick Foliglio, Poet Par Excellence

Genius. An overused term? Absolutely. But in rare circumstances, the label applies unequivocally:

Plato
Shakespeare
Van Gogh
Einstein
Foliglio

Today the preeminent poet M. Patrick Foliglio celebrates his 32nd birthday. Though his body of work consists of a small collection of poems produced in a furious, alcohol-fueled burst of creativity one night in 1985, his profound and lasting influence on modern poetry cannot be overstated.

And from this handful of poems, one masterwork stands out above all others: 

Ho Ho Moe 

Ho Ho Moe is back,
He gets you. Ho Ho in,
and you Moe Ho Ho,
an Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho.

The words of a haunted man, but whence comes such dark imagery? What inner torment was Foliglio divining when he poured this terror onto a page, without, as legend has it, a single revision? These are the questions that have long daunted students and scholars. More than two decades later, the questions remain.

A famous recluse, Foliglio has lived in seclusion with his family in a sprawling compound in western Ohio since shortly after the publication of his thin volume, The Diz-aster Book of Poems. Rumors have reported him joining outlandish religious sects and hoarding jars of his own urine. Though he has not granted an interview since sitting down briefly with Arsenio Hall in 1993, Foliglio recently agreed to an exclusive face-to-face with McBone, on the condition that the questions be screened and the interview conducted by McBone Co-Captain, Rock McGraw.

McBone: Thank you for joining us today.
 
M. Patrick Foliglio: (snapping his fingers) Questions. Ask.

McB: Very well.

MPF: And no personal stuff. If you even mention the words "jars of urine," I'm outta here.

McB: As you like. Are you writing?

MPF: No.

McB: Why is that?

MPF: Next question.

McB: All right. You've been called a modern-day Rilke with all the tortured lyricism of a young Edgar Al--

MPF: This interview is over.

And thus he stormed off, but can we blame him? Why do we demand so much of our geniuses when they give so much already? Happy birthday, M. Patrick Foliglio. Your immortal name will ring through the ages!

Above
: A rare photo of Foliglio, circa 1998.

nwb

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am way more handsome then that picture! Next time you come over you're drinking from one of those jars of urine.

MPF

PS. Bastard!

Kid Shay said...

The mad genius behind Ho Ho Moe! Honestly, I was beginning to think that poem rose out of the earth itself like liquid magma. Either that or it was the work of Morlocks.

Nate and Jeff Bowler, Co-Captains said...

Yes, kid shay, the brilliant and troubled mind behind "Hoe Hoe Moe," and other, lesser known poems such as "Fart Fart Fart," is alive and well and living in near total seclusion in his secret compound in western Ohio. Ah, the tragedy of madness. Who knows what gifts this mind could have given us if not for his congenital syphilis.

nwb