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Po-Money, Po-Problems, & a Po-Stimulus

By Craig Santos Perez

thx for all the engaging comments on my last post! but no thx to those who randomly brought up money. as i alluded to in a previous post (“Po-Money Po-Problems: announcing the CSP AWP Consulting Firm“) money corrupts.

however, one good idea did emerge: PAY THE COMMENTERS! i agree! it’s really the commenters that keep this blog thang going. i would pay all of you if i was in charge, but since i’m not i offer you a poetry stimulus free book giveaway below!

A BRIEF HISTORY:

about a year ago, i became an intern for omnidawn publishing, and i’ve been their blog editor ever since. the omnidawn team (founders rusty morrison and ken keegan and our team of editors) meets about every other friday in oakland, ca. here’s a picture of the team:

wait, oops, that’s an old picture (Homer was fired after suggesting that we publish kent johnson’s DAY). here’s our current team:

(note the pizza) that’s us last friday discussing omnidawn’s first ever CHAPBOOK CONTEST (check it out here and feel free to submit before the 2/28/10 deadline if you are feeling lucky–we are accepting online submissions!). here’s a pic of ken explaining the administrative side of the online submission manager:

(i’m hoping next friday ken will show me how to log in and transfer all the submission fees to my private bank account.) (just kidding ken please dont fire me!)

my favorite thing about maintaining the omnidawn blog is that i get to give away FREE BOOKS! that’s right my friends, below you will friend not one, but TWO CONTESTS in which you could potentially win up to 10 omnidawn books OF YOUR CHOICE!

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CONTEST #1: THE PLOT GENIE

one of our new books is Gillian Conoley’s THE PLOT GENIE:

This book was inspired by a plot-generating device created in the 1930s–the “Plot Genie”–and used widely by Hollywood writers until the late 1950′s. The Plot Genie relied on a numerical game of chance, including a cardboard spinning wheel used to divine character traits and plot points.

Your Task: If you were writing a book called the PLOT GENIE what would the plot of the book be? Give your own internal plot genie a good spin and write your plot in a comment (in 7 sentences or less).

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CONTEST #2: A FAUX-BIO OF RIMBAUD

one of our other new books is Donald Revell’s translation of Rimbaud’s The Illuminations.

Your Task: If Rimbaud was alive today and living in the U.S., what would his life be like? Which MFA would he attend? Which older poets would he sleep with? Which military contractor would he work for? In 7 sentences or less, write a faux-bio of Rimbaud in a comment.

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You can enter both contests more than once (and you can win more than once). Please enter a separate comment for each contest & entry. I will choose my favorite five for each contest and the authors of each will receive any omnidawn book they desire.

DEADLINE: BOTH CONTESTS WILL END ON TUESDAY 1/12/10 at 11:59 pm. I will announce the 10 winning entries in my new blog post on wednesday. REMEMBER: HAVE FUN!

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to keep you company while you type away, visit here to listen to Conoley read & here to listen to Revell at the Omnidawn release party last year (videos courtesy of poet oscar bermeo).

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Comments (20)

  • On January 11, 2010 at 10:19 am Don Share wrote:

    Arthur Rimbaud (1974–) is the supreme child genius in the history of poetry. Born in Charlottesville, Va., he attended school there, then left for the University of Chicago where he embarked on a disastrous but enormously productive erotic relationship with the great musician, Tom Verlaine. When that affair wrecked itself spectacularly — with Rimbaud briefly sent to prison for illegally sampling Verlaine’s work in a widely-circulated YouTube video — Rimbaud apparently abandoned poetry, left the MFA program he’d begun at the University of Iowa, lived in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, for some two years (going to N+1 parties but failing to secure any dates), and returned to the Midwest a virtually unknown man. His collected works are downloadable for free as PDFs from Lulu.

    • On January 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm john wrote:

      Don, you probably know that Tom Verlaine’s given name was Tom Miller, and that he changed his name as an act of homage. I met him once after a fantastic show he put on with his band, Television, and asked him if he were related to the French poet. It was an obnoxious question, because I knew the answer, and the response was painful — he winced! And said that it was something that he and Richard (Hell, ne Meyers) did together when they were very young; Richard having renamed himself in homage to “A Season In . . . ” I felt bad for being so obnoxious.

      This is a true story!

    • On January 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm csperez wrote:

      what is an N+1 party?

      • On January 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm Matt wrote:

        a party that makes you want to not be at it, that’s for sure

      • On January 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm pam lu wrote:

        A magazine based in Brooklyn/the east coast.

  • On January 11, 2010 at 11:16 am NEG wrote:

    2nd!

  • On January 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm Mark Mitchell wrote:

    Didn’t John Olson already write a fake bio of Rimbaud? Maybe just send him the books?

  • On January 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm pam lu wrote:

    I like the idea of Rimbaud working for someplace like Blackwater. And trying to score dates at n+1 parties.

  • On January 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm Marthe Reed wrote:

    Arthur Rimbaud (1959-2006) was born along the levees of the Atchafalaya Swamp from which he emerged at age 15 to work off-shore on an oil rig. Later, apprenticed to Red Adair, he took up oil field fire fighting. The oil fields inevitably led him to Iraq where, between tours of duty with Black Water in Fallujah and Karbalah, he cultivated a taste for heroin and arak. It was in Iraq that he was befriended by the poet Fadhil al-Azzawi and wrote his long poem, Pirogue Saoul, an homage to his childhood along the bald cypress bayous of the Atchafalaya. After the Blackwater gig went south, Rimbaud finally succumbed to the lure of public service, spending the remainder of his days behind the counter of the US Post Office in Chugwater, Wyoming, where he was shot by a co-worker returning disappointed from the elk raffle.

  • On January 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm john wrote:

    Arthur Rimbaud (1919 – 1948?) is the great lost prodigy of American poetry. Born on a farm outside Junction City, Kansas, his father left his mother to fend for herself after the Depression sent wheat prices plummeting. The subsequent Dust Bowl drove Arthur and her mother off the farm, whereupon they moved down river to Manhattan, Kansas. The “Little Apple” gave the teen-aged Arthur a taste for the Big Apple, so, with almost no money, he hitched and rode freight-trains from Kansas to New York, arriving just in time to serve as an unpaid gofer to John Housman, who was just then producing Marc Blitzstein’s opera “The Cradle Will Rock.” Rimbaud and Housman struck up a tempestuous affair, which inspired Arthur’s greatest poetry. Rimbaud served a brief spell in prison for assaulting Orson Welles with a grapefruit, after which he gave up poetry and enlisted in the Navy. His last known whereabouts were en route to Mao’s redoubt in the Yan’an Caves, to deliver a cache of machine guns.

    • On January 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm john wrote:

      oops, forgot he’s still alive!

  • On January 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm Archambeau wrote:

    Lulu’s not far off. Rimbaud payed printers to make up small editions of his works, so he was self-published. But I see him as more of an acid-tonged Twitterer…

  • On January 11, 2010 at 9:01 pm Eric Landon wrote:

    Arthur Rimbaud stands out in poetry, because he has eschewed the ‘traditional’ modern route of strategic toadying to manuscript contest cliques charging $25 a go to come nowhere unless one is recommended by any number of bores fighting it out for tenure and placement within the sausage factories of academia running AmPo, which Mister Rimbaud claims is irrelevant to the wider 99.9% of the population who cannot tell an MLA from an MFA and who do not speak the specialist priestly argot and specialized L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E cant of gobble dee gook whose verbal meaningless is writ proud by the protaganists fighting it out at Blurb Central for a mention on Ron’s blog.

  • On January 11, 2010 at 9:02 pm Gary B. Fitzgerald wrote:

    Jean Rimbaud was actually born in France in 1854, in Brumaire. He was, unfortunately, stillborn. His greatest poetry was written during the twenty-eight hours between the breaking of the water and the signing of the official Certificate of Death.

    His poetry is timeless.

  • On January 11, 2010 at 10:15 pm Kate Powell Shine wrote:

    Arthur Rimbaud was born in 1978 in Washington, DC and raised in neighboring Montgomery County, where his mother was employed at the National Naval Medical Hospital. When in high school, Rimbaud discovered the Dupont Circle scene. His parents, although somewhat surprised, were supportive of Rimbaud in his journey to find himself. Rimbaud wanted to experience the world on his own terms, so instead of applying to colleges, he got a job as a building service worker at the Phillips Collection Gallery and set about educating himself. Weekends, Rimbaud enjoys hanging out with DJ Vee from Club Chaos. He and Vee are known to spend hours wandering the city’s museums, debating the meaning of art in the postmodern and wondering why there isn’t any good, cheap coffee any more. The bright young couple recently stirred up the local scene by crashing the Mother Tongue poetry series at the Black Cat, insisting on a night of male influence.

  • On January 12, 2010 at 2:50 am john wrote:

    Alice Rimbaud (b. 1956) ran away from home in 1972 in search of poetry and freedom. A volcanic affair with the much older Muriel Rukeyser inspired the classic books “A Season in Rust” and “Blood-Stained Glass,” after which Alice, then 19, gave up poetry and started a band, Senseless Derangement. With John Mellencamp she penned the Top 40 hit, “Why Not Till Dawn,” making more money from that one song then she could have with 100 “Seasons in Rust.” An interest in military history got her a gig as an unofficial adviser to then-Congressman Dick Cheney, who later paid her the compliment of suggesting the name “Shock and Awe” after one of her songs with Senseless Derangement. She lives as a recluse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

  • On January 12, 2010 at 3:15 am john wrote:

    Stressed out, drunk, and on deadline, screenwriter Bo Lawless, brilliant, bedraggled, and buff, throws a kitschy sand-globe, which he’d bought at Gloria Swanson’s estate sale, against the wall in frustration. Out of the splash and crash of water, plastic, and glittery sand dust, a great puff of blue cloud emerges, from which walks the globe’s plastic belly dancer, now life-size and alive. It’s the Plot Genie! Grateful for her release, and bound to Bo for releasing her, she is nonetheless disgusted by his manners and dishevelment. Bo meets his deadline and starts to fall in love with the Genie, who never appears to anybody else. Bo’s girlfriend, beautiful actress Ashley Buscombe, grows jealous of Bo’s new muse and obsession, and complications ensue. Things get resolved as the Genie agrees to help Bo write a blockbuster in exchange for her release, as Bo and Ashley marry happily.

  • On January 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm csperez wrote:

    wow! thx everyone for your wonderful submissions! looks like i’m gonna have to make some tough choices later tonight. for those who havent yet entered either contest, you still have until midnight! good luck!

    cs

  • On January 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm J. wrote:

    There’s this rogue antler, see, and he’s paired up with this other “by the book” antler on the same deer. The one antler’s always like “I’m doin’ it my way! ahh!” whereas the other antler’s always all “I don’t think so!!”. Meanwhile, the Chief (the deer) is always calling them into “the office” to scream at them for one reason or another. The two antlers must finally come together for their biggest case yet against the treacherous PLOT GENIE. Hilarity ensues until the final scene when the antlers are prematurely shed mid high-five silhouetted by some standard Miami sunset. . .

  • On January 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm csperez wrote:

    for all those who entered, please read this post to learn how to claim your prize: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2010/01/spic-up-why-us-hispanics-dont-count/

    craig


Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, January 11th, 2010 by Craig Santos Perez.