Los Angeles Times - June 22, 1999.

Hyperlinks added by webmaster of bhodisoft.com.

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Your chance to read some not-so-good poetry

A member of the CONEJO Valley Poetry Society who goes by the name Bhodi has a Web site at www.geocities.com/Paris where he features a number of his poems, most of which fall under categories one would imagine when thinking of poetry: love, frustration or spirituality.

But there are also categories labeled "cops," "beat," "psychotic" and "what the hell?" Bhodi purports to be a 22-year-old philosophy major at UC Santa Barbara and claims to have started his own religion, called "Bobism," which is inspired by Superman comic books and the film "Warlock." He doesn't mention the size of his congregation.

Poems in the "cops" category are based on his experience during 14 months as a cadet at the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. These two poems appear to symbolize the frustration cops face on a regular basis: people complaining, being uncooperative, blaming them for their problems and what it feels like to find the dead body of a 9-year-old boy.

The problem with these poems is they are not very good. Words seem to be placed randomly in between each other without following any particular pattern. They just sort of jump out at you like words did during the fight scenes in the old Adam West Batman series.

The "what the hell?" poems are the ones Bhodi claims don't make sense. I found they actually seemed to make the most sense. There is a clever one about the "Energizer Bunny" and all its journeys.

Under "The Psychotic Collection" you will find poems that seem to be more representative of rage. I wouldn't argue against vulgarity having a legitimate place in poetry, but many of these poems are powdered with excessive vulgarity, which is a bit immature and adds nothing of value to the poem.

"Beat" is another category of poems which the author claims is intended to provide a beat to the tune of reading them. While some of the poems here are not bad, like "Waves and Tides," I was unable to pick up the beat.

It was pretty much that way for the entire Web site.

Feedback to [email protected]

I feel it is important to point out a couple things about this article. The author, unfortunately, chose to draw some conclusions about my time with the sheriff's department. I have made no statement that I worked for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. In fact, I specifically state that I will not reveal which department I worked for. McCarthy did not make any attempt to contact me before he printed this, he just assumed.

I suppose it is a somewhat reasonable assumption, since I am a member of the Conejo Valley Poetry Society, which is based in Ventura County's east end. However, as McCarthy points out, I "purport to be a 22 year old philosophy major at UC Santa Barbara", so I might very well also have worked for the SB Sheriff's Dept. Or maybe even the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office, since, as most CV locals know, Westlake is in the CV and its also partially in LA County.

So where did I work? Sorry, I'm not still going to say. I just wanted to make sure that people didn't take this as a statement of fact.

Michael McCarthy has challenged me to tear apart his article. Who am I to say no? You can find a second copy of his article, complete with my notes, here.