Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Something about green torn silk"

Just finished reading and re-reading the new book by Joseph Lease, Testify.  I had been capitvated last year by Broken World, his collection that came out in 2007, and this new book, is thankfully as complex, as beautifully fragmented and musical as the previous volume.  The loops of repetition, a line or phrase or cluster of words repeated, here and there, not randomly but artfully, are always surprising. Here's a section of "Send My Roots Rain."

                (eyes shift

like promises, hair wet, apples and linen, just for today)--a
thunderstorm opens--birches in rain, are we breaking,
decorum slits my mouth, he finds a way to lie-lightning
and flat farms confuse me like wine--wine spills--thief,
thief of souls, thief, thief of light, fine, depression it is,
roast beef, Creature Features and Cheetos, Space Food
Sticks, thin birdsong, you your twin--"there was enough--
there was enough alone in you" your eyes like rain eyes like
rain smile like rain something about green torn silk:

I get excited by the charged immediacy of Lease's language. Riding the train, I look up from one of his poems, I open my notebook and my pen jumps and starts, hiccups, and sings.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Some treasures found whilst strolling around the Internets

I spent much of the day tromping around online with no purpose.  Sort of like watching tv but changing the channel a lot.  But I did find some good things.

Like this story, "Wolves." 

And the work of this young poet, Ocean Voung.  (I am going to order his new book tonight. Even though he has a cool name like Ocean, and I do not.)  Here is one of his poems.

And an interview with Brent Goodman. I followed the interview link to his blog and plan on jumping from there to examples of his published work online.

Facebook also kept me up-to-date on what my friend Kathie is cooking for dinner: "peppery linguine with shrimp, arugula, diced tomatoes, and shaved parmesan."  She tends to post these items on Facebook, and she's probably the best cook I know.  I resist posting my own such foodie reports, like, "Robert is preparing chips on the verge of too stale with the last few scrapings of salsa from the jar and thinking he should have gotten out to the grocery store today."  Because that would be sad.

Here's the title poem of Brent Goodman's debut collection.  I am going to take a walk outside in the fresh real world now.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Snippets of Text From the Small Black Notebook: First Selection

1. Now the stern
father, winter
will not let us
  the table
until every mouthful
  of the season
is done.

2. On the way to work I imagine
the possum to be the issue of a marriage
between a rat and a dog.

3. No action on the playground but the melting
of the snow

4. Speaking of snow, this morning, tracks
on my back porch: nobody
but the racoon has such
  small hands.

5. Sometimes I need to get out of the way and let language have
its fun.  That's what i think the poet Eric Baus

6. Which little house makes you breathe?

7. The air as cold as a drawer of knives in an abandoned North Dakota cabin. The air as cold as
my handful of knives.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Two Poems now at La Petite Zine

I'm very happy to announce the publication of two poems in the new issue of La Petite Zine.  I'm in good company here.  I especially like the work of Sarah Rose Nordgren and Nate Pritts. I need to re-read the rest of the work.  The two poems the editors accepted are at least a decade old, and I've tried to get them published numerous times.  Each has been altered since its first "final" draft, but not a lot.  Just goes to show, persistence, it pays.

Also got word yesterday that a prose poem from the "Artistic Statement" series will appear in an upcoming edition of The Prose-Poem Project. My fiendish plans to conquer the poetry kingdom continue.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Have a Coke and a Smile. With Frank O'Hara.

Received this in my inbox:

"Having a Coke with you

a Frank O’Hara celebration
for Court Green 8
Wednesday, February 16th, at 5:30 pm

at Hokin Hall
Columbia College
623 South Wabash, Rm. 109
Contributors to the Frank O'Hara dossier include:
Denise Duhamel, David Emanuel, Elanie Equi, Kimiko Hahn,
Jennifer Karmin, Becca Klaver, D.A. Powell, Elizabeth Robinson,
Larry Sawyer, Anne Waldman, and more.

There will be a slide show of New York photographs from the 50s complemented with Frank O’Hara reading his work. A selection of contributors will then take the stage to read their poems. As an added touch, the evening will close with a raffle of Coke key chains, candied cigarettes, and bottles of Coke.
This evening is free and open to the public."

I am among the "and more" as I have a piece called "Army of Ex-Lovers (Chapter Seven)" in this new issue of Court Green.  I am thrilled to be on Court Green's pages with these luminaries.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Song Of My Googled Self

In 1980, Robert McDonald stayed awake for a record 18 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes.

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Robert McDonald’s sophisticated piano playing aided the unwieldy work.

Robert McDonald is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and consultant who values authenticity, humility, and mercy.