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Archive for March, 2007

And What of the Haiku? March 24, 2007: A few years ago, I was going through the sometimes frustrating but always engaging task of putting together a collection of poems. The poems were all there, but the task was the architecture of the book—the organization of the manuscript. Then I had a brainwave that I am sure many others have had. Let me create these choric codas throughout [...] by

On Not Writing March 24, 2007: It’s been a while since I’ve written a new poem. While I was at AWP I wrote a 27 word ode to sexy-man Mark Wahlberg, but other than that, nary a poem since October when I wrote a “this happened then this happened” short super-realist poem. Last summer I wrote a five-page miscarriage poem and a short anti-Bush poem inspired in part by the [...] by

James Dickey’s top 10 poets of 1971 March 24, 2007: Bought a copy of Crux, The Letters of James Dickey, the other day at a very good used bookstore, Alias on Sawtelle in West LA, and stumbled upon this bizarrism. According to the book, in 1971, Gordon Lish proposed that a well-known photographer take pictures of the “top ten US poets”, and then James Dickey would write a paragraph response to [...] by

more about Los Angeles March 24, 2007: One cool thing about being a poet in Los Angeles, (a strange positive that perhaps came from being in the shadow of Hollywood, faraway from the power brokers of the literary world), was that when I met other literary writers I was genuinely excited, and there was a lot of space for unconventional things to happen organically. For instance, in [...] by

The Hard Poem: A Sort of Fiction March 23, 2007: A graduate student in my verse composition class said recently, “I don’t want to write poems that can be read in five minutes.” He did not mean, by this, that he wanted to write epics. He meant that he wanted his poems to demand more of the reader than might a five minute gander. I wondered how long would be enough. Ten minutes? Twenty [...] by

Los Angeles March 23, 2007: I am about to fly back to New York from Los Angeles. I lived in LA in the late 90’s, early 00’s, and it is a city that many people around the country love to hate. I’d get on a public bus in Seattle and strike up a conversation with the driver, and then mention Los Angeles, and it was like I’d pushed the venom button in the back of his [...] by

6799 March 22, 2007: A Tribe Called Quest Midnight Madness, A Tribe Called Quest People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory, Abba Greatest Hits, Ragaa Ragaa Abdou, Peter Abelard Monastic Song, Absinthe Radio Trio Absinthe Radio Trio, AC DC Back in Black, AC DC Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, AC DC Flick of the Switch, AC [...] by

Holding pattern March 22, 2007: Remember Brandon Stosuy's awesome PoFo piece on the Hold Steady/John Berryman connection? (You know, "How a Resurrection Really Feels"—the article with the passages that you tattooed across your back and upper thighs?) The Sto-dawg has alerted me to this video for "Stuck Between Stations"—we think it just came out yesterday—in which one [...] by

contests. contested. the pros and cons of testing. March 22, 2007: It’s interesting to read the recent posts by Kwame and Kenny talking about first books and prizes (or the lack thereof). It makes me wonder what percentage of first books published each year are attached to contests. I’m glad that Kenny pointed out that a number of first books do get published each year outside the mainstream. (Is [...] by

Oh, The Terror, The Terror! March 21, 2007: So, maybe terror is the wrong word to use casually, these days. I mean, is it really terror that Walcott feels in front of a blank page? Can a blank page terrorize a poet? Would this work for anyone else? If so, I think high-minded terrorists would just have to drop blank leaflets all across America to really frighten us and make our lives [...] by