Friday, July 22, 2011

One Can Always Fall in Love Online

With poems, at least.  And falling in love with a poem or a poet online is safer than, say, falling in love with a profile on a dating website, or a grainy video of a stranger. Herewith some poems I have come across online that made my heart leap in my chest like a fish being chased by a larger fish.

First up, Heather Abner, in the journal Shot Glass.  Note to self: send some short poems there soon. Note to others: do likewise.

Next I turn my attentions to the realm of Ocean Voung's blog.  This young man is an extremely talented poet.  You can read some of his work here.  But he also, on his blog, posts poems that have had a profound influence on his spirit and his writing.  All of his choices thus far have been stellar, but this is the one I personally have found the most memorable.

I think my friend Richard Fox is brilliant.

"The sky holds the rain
like a sigh in a bag."

(See?  I think I might give up a tooth to have written those lines. But if I followed that logic and Richard with any frequency, I'd be a toothless man.)

Here are some recent poems of Richard's, featured in Escape Into Life.

While I was forced offline by the lack of home internet service, I read A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos.  I need to write more about Tim's work--I call him "Tim" like he's a friend, but he died at the age of 40 of AIDS, and I never met him.  Nonetheless, much like my first experience reading Frank O'Hara, I felt, reading Tim's work, like I had discovered a new friend, complicated, funny, arch, dry, broken and broken-hearted as well as golden with light...ah--I am nattering on. Just read his masterpiece, here, and you will want to read the complete big, generous volume and get to know him too.

One can always fall in love with a voice on the page.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Just Don't Mention the Moon

Got reconnected to home internet service, hopefully for a good long time this time.  I hope to back to regular blog posts now, as I have a backlog of books to discuss.  But tonight it is too darn hot, and I will just catch up a tad on things by saying thanks to Claudia Lamar at Phantom Kangaroo, where I have a poem in the current issue.

In other news, did I ever mention that #11 of my Artistic Statement series appeared in Ramshackle Review?  Got word recently that another two will be in an upcoming issue of Sentence.  (Numbers 12 and 18, for those of you keeping track at home.)

I am back to working on my Edith Wharton Sentences Project on the morning commute.  Here is one:

Don’t Mention the Moon

The ink-stained desk at which all his poems had been written resented poetry, it disliked ink, and had no use for wineglass rings on the wood, or the caustic splashes of whiskey.  But it was a desk, and so had little to say about poetry or anything else, and lived its wooden life in the hope that someone other than a poet, a premier, for example, or a CEO, would one day sit down and sign a check, or initial an order to invade a country, anything but the love-sick mutterings or impotent phrasings the desk had perforce grown so resigned to house. “Just don’t mention the moon today,” thought the desk. “For once don’t sit here and write about the moon.”

Saturday, July 9, 2011

And It All Worked Out So Well

A while back I was contacted by a gent named Joe Robinson, who is doing a project connecting musicians to writers for collaborative work.  Songs, in this case. Joe asked me to send him some poems.  He ended up putting one to music, and I am delighted with the results.  Big shout out to Logan Square Literary Review, where Joe first saw my work.  (But by the way, I never got a contributor copy--hey Logan Square Lit folks, do you still have one you could send me?) And I had always thought of the poem Joe chose to work on as a song.  It was inspired by the wordsmith songcraft genius of Peter Mulvey. You can listen to Joe's work, along with other collaborations he has arranged, right here.