Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Grab-Bag

The online journal Right Hand Pointing has a fine double-issue up, wherein every poem is titled with the name of an American State.  Go USA!  And go on with your bad selves reading these cool works.

There's a writing contest associated with The new "One Book, One Chicago" pick.  It's judged by Stuart Dybek.  Not a big prize monetarily, but a lot of glory. I think I am going to enter it as an assignment to myself to write a new short-short.  You should too!

I am very much infatuated with two poets recently features at Escape Into Life: Charles Rafferty and Jeannine Hall Gailey.  As always with this gem of an online magazine, the accompanying artwork is strange and lovely and evocative.  And I wish I did not know this, but the site just started a store devoted to the artwork shown on its pages. 

Faithful readers (the entire trio of you) may remember how I raved about the new Tim Dlugos collection,  A Fast Life, edited by David Trinidad.  Here's some more insightful commentary about Dlugos' work.  Here are two more of Tim's poems.

Speaking of Mr. Trinidad, here's a place where you can read his poem "The Late Show" and either listen to or read the text of a conversation he had with Robert Politio.

Finally, I know I am so late to the party on this one, but I have to say that I am bowled over by the inventiveness, the beauty, and the pleasure-in-language zing that is all between the covers of Jennifer Karmin's aaaaaaaaaaalice.  My favorite sections are the ones that riff off of text found in Beginning Japanese Part 2.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lives of the Flowers, Part Two

He thought of the bees and what makes them pleased with themselves and their work.  He thought of brides, why dress in white?

He thought cornflower, chickory? Blue blossoms in the grass, the opposite of alas.

He thought that under such a tree, in the deep summer on a late afternoon, even 
the wicked 
bird could find rest.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lives of the Flowers

He thought he might decide to become lost in the raiment of flowers.

He thought, if I were a flower intent on viewing the field I too would have such a trusting face.

He thought what then shall we accomplish in the castle of starlings?

He thought, why not stand in the lookout tower, and look out over the lake for evidence.  Of a crime, of a god, of the conflagration of gulls, those flicks of gray smudge and white fire. Or why climb.  Why not rest here in the afternoon of crickets and shadow.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Post About a Ghost

I just read this post by Sarah Sloat.  Her new chapbook is out from Dancing Girl Press.  I just ordered my copy, you should get one for yourself, as I don't share well. Her post referenced the blog Via Negativa, where I became enamored of the ghost poems published there.  Here's a ghost poem of mine.  I just read it the other night at a reading in a de-sanctified church, with a pale Jesus stretching his arms out behind me on the wall.


In the concert hall in Evanston I met my dead sister,
I could sense
her bulk when I closed my eyes; she was silent
and invisible,
two years gone, shot in the head with a stolen
gun, killed
by her own determined hand, and in the dark theater
I reached over
and briefly touched that hand, now made of air, held
her cold hand, while on stage
Greg Laswell sang his songs, which repeat
and repeat
that all of us are broken.

Do our sad dead return? Sister oh my sister I want
to believe
but I do not believe—I listened
to the music,
I’d downed three glasses of mediocre
red wine
and fancied I sensed you, a presence. But
I write this
in daylight, away from music, away from booze and all its
suggestions; I’m riding
the train, dust swirls across an asphalt lot, dust,
some dry leaves, Kathleen

are you with me today? There’s a seat free
next to me
on my commute, oh dear dead and intangible sister,
in this moment
could I reach out and hold your lost hand? Might I myself
live beyond
the imperfections and needs of the body? But here’s
what I know:
I spoke
to kindly men in blue suits, I initialed the forms,
every portion
of the ruin of you given over
to the crematorium’s

Some say this world will end in fire.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reminded of the many poems about spiders I have written

A Spider Turned Herself Into a Mother

From the kitchen
     came the sound
of a knife

            being sharpened

Monday, August 1, 2011