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Showing posts from March, 2010

Two Days to NaPoWriMo

As usual, I will be posting my poem-drafts here from the beginning until the end of April, and then they'll all disappear due to the magick of the interwebs fairies. I may occasionally send you to other blogs to see what's up there, too. I'm having a difficult time getting into the right groove for this year. It will, considering the family's health, be the worst year ever for me to keep up, so I'm giving myself a head start and posting a draft tonight that I wrote a few days ago. I want to be a couple poems ahead of the game, so I don't stress when I miss a day, as will do. This one needs a new ending, but I haven't seen it yet. :-/


Dowsing
The forest for the trees, he said as the cows lowed.
The sun dropped behind the mountain in blue-orange fire.
First you sit a minute to clear your mind,
he said, and plopped down on a chunk of granite.

Closed his eyes. I watched his eyelids tremble and still.
Best is wood, he said finally, hold a forked branch

with a hand o…

New Poetry Press--Birds, LLC

I haven't had a great deal of time lately to surf for new poetry 'stuff,' though it's one of my favorite websurfing pastimes, but I did find a new poetry press doing cool things recently. A group of friends got together and created a press for the purposes of both publishing and self-publishing, not uncommon these days, and probably the way the small press poetry ought to work, optimally. Besides being a great idea, Birds LLC began with a near-nuclear bang, as far as I'm concerned, as their first two books are by folks I greatly admire: Chris Tonelli and ElisaGabbert. I'll let the interview with Chris stand in for most of what I'd like to say on the topic.


Or not. If you want to publish poems, fuck the contest circuit, stop slavering at the asses of the poets around, under, below and above you, and start a small press. There can never be too many. Your poems will find readers, though not without a lot of work on your part, but you'll end up with the trib…

AI 1947-2010

I discovered AI between the time I left graduate school and when I wrote steadily for ten years before I published anything. That fun period--let's call it, oh, 1999. I taught three comp courses at Emerson College, and two at Northeastern University, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other days of the week I worked at Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street, and it was during that time, most likely stocking the shelves, I found her. It wasn't just what the Poetry Foundation bio calls her "uncompromising poetic vision and bleak dramatic monologues which give voice to marginalized, often poor and abused speakers," it was the sheer flux of her line, the skin-slipping dramatic monologues and the unabashed sexuality. Why is that women are more frank about sex and better able to write about real sex, as opposed the sometimes dreamy, sometimes porny world of male sex-writing? Question for another time. In any case, I immediately fell in love with her poems, and  I always remembe…

Charles Olson Centenary Celebration

As for me, I'm a third of the way through the massive Maximus Poems and not likely to return to it anytime soon. The energy spent on it didn't always pan out for me. Anybody have other Olson I should know? I've read several volumes of the Creeley-Olson correspondence, which have been much more edifying than Olson's poetry, I'm sorry to say. But it is his centenary, and he should be centenarianized. I just don't cotton to his stuff much, myself.
Charles Olson was a complicated man who wrote complicated poetry. The Worcester native was also a big man — 6 feet 8 inches — who still casts quite a shadow and presence in 2010, his centennial year. A “Charles Olson Centenary Celebration” being held in Worcester this week will draw a number of guest poets and scholars, and include performances, workshops, a symposium, and even the screening of a film about Olson’s life, “Polis Is This,” narrated by John Malkovich. “It’s turning into quite a notable event,” said Mark Wag…

In Which I Promote Some of My Lovely and Talented Friends

I have many many poet friends but three are dear to my heart. I'm going to link them because I can. Probably best-known among them is Timothy Gager, a one-man publishing machine. He also runs the Dire Literary Series, co-founded the Somerville News Writer's Festival, and edits fiction for the Wilderness House Literary Review. You can find his poems in Night Train and many otherplaces around the web.



Sue Miller is a founding editor at GUD and has published poems all over the place, too. notably in FRiGG, Thieves Jargon, and in Night Train. Never let it be said I don't take care of my friends. :-) Good thing their work all holds up.

Last but not least, Kenneth L. Clark. He's kept a somewhat lower profile than most poets today, but that's going to change here very soon. Poor Mojo's Almanack, Story Garden, Fried Chicken and Coffee is where you can find some of his stuff.

Breaking it Down

I'm making a final push--well, maybe not final entirely--to sell copies of my collection of flash fiction, Breaking it Down, from sunnyoutside press, under the stellar publisher/editor David McNamara. You can see reviews and interview links here on the publisher's page, or on Goodreads. It can be purchased through sunnyoutside or on Amazon, though it's always better to order from the publisher in the case of small presses.


I feel a little odd promoting this on my blog dedicated to poetry, both mine and other folks, but it's my personal blog too, more or less.


And if flash fiction is not your bag, baby, later this year I'll have an as-yet-untitled collection of traditional-length stories out, also from sunnyoutside, as well as a decent-sized chapbook of my poetry, which I'll be self-publishing under the Fried Chicken and Coffee moniker. Why? Because I can. Because likely no one else will. Because I want to make it purty. Because I want the opportunity to do other…

Carol Peters' Sixty Some: A Revisitation

Back in September, I wrote a little bit about Carol Peters and the new project she'd begun: self-publishing her book Sixty Some in nearly every electronic format known, more or less to see what would happen, and as she says "to get the poems off [her] hands," to work on new ventures, and to learn how to publish a book electronically. I wrote her back recently to see how the book panned out, now that some time has passed.

Did you feel the book was successful?

Yes, I did. It satisfied my immediate goals, which were to get the poems off my hands (so I could move on with new work) and to learn how to publish a book electronically. 

Did it feel as if it made its way around the poem-world, or was it more a tight cadre of people who acquired it?
I heard from many of my poetry friends who either read the book online or bought it for their Kindles. I have no idea whether anyone is buying the book from Amazon or other electronic book resellers. If they are, the numbers are too small f…

Halvard Johnson's The Perfection of Mozart's Third Eye

Via Ron Silliman:

Read Halvard Johnson's Sonnets. I don't know him from Adam, honestly, except through Facebook first and then the idle clickthrough to work I enjoyed. But I like his poems. That's too many links in those few words. Oh well--here's one more: Chalk Editions.

I haven't read the entire thing yet, just enough to know they're very good poems, and it's a mammoth 200-some pages, so I have a lot to look forward to. Here's an early favorite.

Elegy Just in Case

A public life is what he led. Baseball, not books, gave him
ballast. A ball launched out of the Polo Grounds in 1951
lodged in his head, which fondled its curves and seams
when there was nothing else worth thinking about.

Holy relics of memory, taken down from the shelves, change
hands quietly, among the finer calibrations of kinesthetic
fervor. Mystery or metaphysics. Could you choose just one?

Next to impossible, an over-the-shoulder catch on the centerfield
track. No longer any need to sa…