Monday, March 21, 2011

Yikes, a virus!

Hey, if you are patiently waiting for your poem to arrive from the Adopt a Poem/Abandon a Poem Project, I beg you to be even more patient.  My home computer has a virus, and until I get that all taken care of, I can't be sending out emails to everyone with their new poems to take in and nuture.  So hang on until later in the week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

"I Turn Old Lovers Into Sea Monsters"

"Writing a poem is like transcending space and time, especially if it's based on something true. And they're all sort of true. I turn old lovers in to sea monsters and haunted European forests. It feels like rewriting history the way it happened in some parallel universe. I should have known from the beginning things were going to go wrong"-- Claudia  Lamar, in her introduction to Phantom Kangaroo Number Four.  (I have one of my 13 sentence poems up in issue number five.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Frankensteined Sentences

I spent a big chunk of today reworking my "13 sentences" manuscript: 64 poems each comprised of 13 sentences, many of those sentences collaged from art magazines and also my own notebooks. Often the sentences are Frankensteined together from various texts, one sentence created from three or four sources.  Then the individual sentences are grouped together and chat awkwardly, like guests at a party.  What I hope is that sometimes, like a party, the mood and flow and vibe come together, and all at once something memorable happens. One section of the manuscript is poems made of sentences that I wrote while watching (often very bad) movies.  I might call this part "The Netflix Notebooks."  Here's one. Most of these sentences were written while watching the movie Away From Her, starring Julie Christie. Like most of the 13 sentence poems, sentences from elsewhere in the manuscript intrude and make themselves known:

The Shadow Horses Will Gallop Away

All the homely and usual tasks, like washing up after dinner, these are things we want to do with a companion.

We could ski across the frozen lake, and lie on our backs in the snow as the moon is rising.

I do not wish to be lonesome and alone, but I go out by myself into this varied blue evening.

Would we miss the horses as they gallop away?

The icy stream approves of the bridge.

To have a bad memory is a tender and lucky thing.

Old hurts fade, a bruise will yellow away from the dark.

In the madhouse it’s always winter, winter light always and tarnished silver afternoons.

Remember a night they were twined in yours: my fingers little monks cloistered in your hands?

Home becomes voices in a cabin in the woods.

Insecurities continued, but we left them on the otherwise deserted top floor.

Now, as much as ever, it’s important to ask yourself, “what is forgiveness?”

Our exhibition also suggested the importance of starlings.

I lost the sense of what yellow means, but found it again in a flower.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I’ve been plagued by gravity and thoughts of being a planet.

Several items to report on the web publication front.  I have been working on a series of prose poems called "Artistic Statements." They are 33 prose pieces derived and in part collaged from artistic statements from painters in New American Paintings No. 69.  One just appeared in Ramshackle Review. Another can be found at The Prose-Poem Project.  I hope to find homes for some of the sibling prose pieces--a lot of them are out in the submission stacks right now.

I also have a poem out in this month's issue of Bluestem Quarterly.  You can even listen to me read it to you, should you so wish.

I am finishing reading two books, mostly reading them on the train. The Cloud Corporation by Timothy Donnelly is the more dense and complicated of the two, and I take my time with each poem.  I'm almost done with Ron Padgett's latest collection, How Long.  These poems are deceptively simple. Some, like the poems paying homage to his grandkid, are warm and plain, no horns or whistles.  Others display a wit not unlike Kenneth Koch's. I hope it's not damning with faint praise to say these poems are likable. Like having a funny and not pretentious guest visiting the living room of your mind, and not overstaying his welcome.