Alfred Wichly Bio, by Sean Kilpatrick
The honorable Sean Kilpatrick remembers his teacher...
Alfred Wichly’s (a moniker to fool the court) out of print first book was an irreverent hit with the MTV generation, despite Trojan-horsing some stately allusions and turns of phrase past the cursory cultural acceptance that promoted it (back when we grew up watching cartoon Ionesco plays on cable). The poems owed as much to the pop entities they referenced as to the postmodern masters that inspired them. There was no way an artist, busy making art in Gen X bliss, could bother registering how these parasitical theories (the IBS of inspiration) would feast on every brain that put them to such zanily elegant use across the medium, but a junta of the likeminded had him ousted from his junior college “pedagogy”. The man of letters belongs to a network now. Anyone missing their prettified online self (demeanor scrubbed, born gelded), will never again profit from luck or merit. Wichly didn’t succumb to the clump (Marxism unbound), this superficial civil rights activism that has supplanted literature, and, according to the psychotherapeutic blubbering popular today, his refusal to confuse scholarly knowledge with bureaucratic sadism placed him equally at odds with mom’s arsenic milk and orders from tyrant daddy.
Wichly taught his students how to write without fear of reproach and every day I thank him from the gutter where he left me, where my yield’s gone to rot, since the age of twenty (extra embarrassing), into an easily searchable algorithm that keeps me unhired (enough to give up and retire with the rest of my generation to a resentful, hellish parental caregiving that is simultaneously vilified by America as a spoiled luxury and a sorry Freudian retardation, ironically confirming the salacious verse inspired by said condition). Wichly began workshops yelling: “Yank a finger back from the dike of the zeitgeist!” It wasn’t the word “dike” that destroyed him, but something equally tame and mistaken for a slur.