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Do You Want to Win Free Books?

By Craig Santos Perez

it’s monday! so let’s reward ourselves with another chance to win some free Omnidawn Books! i’m going to give away 10 books–and you can choose any Omnidawn book you want if you win. some Omnidawn authors include keith waldrop, lyn hejinian, myung mi kim, tyrone williams, paul hoover, norma cole, and translations of rimbaud & holderlin, and many more. go below the fold to learn how you can win!

*

CONTEST 1: TRACING THE OUTSKIRTS

From Richard Greenfield’s Tracer:

“Here in the outskirts,

where sea fossils
locked into the ridges,

wrote

“The rain sluiced
the trees bare of the earth—”

this was my history, too,

here in the outskirts”

Your Task : Imagine the act of tracing and trace how you got ‘here,’ to the ‘outskirts.’ Interpret ‘here’ however you like. Leak the autobiography of those who inhabit these outskirts. Submissions must be no more than seven sentences.

listen to richard read from his new collection here.

*

CONTEST 2: HAIKU BLANK, THEN

Michelle Taransky’s Barn Burned, Then, winner of the 2008 Omnidawn Poetry Prize, takes its title from Masahide’s 17th century haiku:

Barn’s burnt down-
now
I can see the moon.

Your Task: write a haiku that fills in the blanks:

_____ burnt down-
now
I can _____ the _____

listen to michelle read from her new collection here.

*

the contest will end on wednesday, when my next blog post is published. I will choose my favorite five submissions from each contest. you can submit more than once and win more than once. be creative, have fun, and good luck!

[videos courtesy of poet oscar bermeo]

*

Comments (54)

  • On February 1, 2010 at 9:49 am james stotts wrote:

    we’ve lost our-
    selves in some
    out-of-town place

    there’s a dogwood
    it has flowers
    that i can’t describe

    it’s changed a lot
    since this song was written
    by the factory wall

    by the old canal
    dogs are drifting
    on their beat

    when we meet again
    it won’t be bodies
    and politics like this time

  • On February 1, 2010 at 10:30 am Don Share wrote:

    Poetry burnt down -
    now
    I can hose the page

  • On February 1, 2010 at 10:56 am Natalia wrote:

    Brain burnt down -
    now
    I can be the loon.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 11:03 am Bhanu Kapil wrote:

    This is so brilliant. We are studying the “sentence” today at “school.” I was thinking, how can I design a writing experiment for my students that won’t bore them to tears. Now it is clear that I will give them your competition. Thank you! I just forwarded it to the Writing and Poetics office to print out 12 copies for me. This is so much better than having or implementing a pedagogy! Could you work on a competition for the paragraph next? (We’re doing that in a couple of weeks.)

  • On February 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm john wrote:

    Abstraction burnt down -
    now
    I can reify the concept of reification.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm Sachiko wrote:

    Forests burnt down-
    now
    I can touch the homeless butterflies.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm Christina Rodriguez wrote:

    1. My soul burnt down-
    now
    I can use the extended warranty.

    2. Written intentions burnt down-
    now
    I can draw the plan.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm csperez wrote:

    hey bhanu, you should tell your students to enter their responses here so they can have a chance to win free books ;)

    c

  • On February 1, 2010 at 2:36 pm Peter Greene wrote:

    Peter says:

    trailer burnt down
    now
    i can feel the wind

    here’s a spare that was lying around, for fun and contemplation:

    haiku: grower’s blues

    the cat has made a
    Japanese sh*t garden of
    my sacred clearing.

    note to Craig: i don’t want a book (no room in the trailer, don’t read much these days) – but thanks for the haiku practice!

    P

  • On February 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm Eprise A wrote:

    Vision burnt down -
    now
    I can write the truth.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm james stotts wrote:

    town’s burnt down-
    now
    i can find the bees

  • On February 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm Christine Spees wrote:

    bridges burnt down-
    now
    I can feel the gap

  • On February 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm Anji wrote:

    clothesline burnt down-
    now
    I can start the dryer

  • On February 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    SEGUE’s burnt down–

    now I can laugh at poetry readings.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm Colin Ward wrote:

    Candle burnt down–
    now
    I can see the darkness.

    ———————–

    Yeah, I know. It’s beyond lame. It’s where lame crawls off to die.

    Ç’est la vie.

    -o-

    Christmas Tsunami, 2004

    Look! Starfish
    on treetops.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm Matt wrote:

    Starbucks burnt down-
    now
    I can see the other Starbucks

  • On February 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm Matt wrote:

    yeah i know. the year 2003 called, wants its joke back.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    POETRY’s burnt down -
    now
    I can see rejection slips still smoldering.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm Peter Greene wrote:

    @Colin: It wasn’t THAT bad, was it? Worked well enough for me. Not all cutlery is stainless bamboo, gra**hopper.

    @Matt: I’m old, I laughed.

    @Christina: There’s an extended warranty package? I KNEW I should have registered this thing at the moment of awareness. I was busy, though, and the deadline passes so fast…

    @Colin: I liked your tsunami thing. Were there really?

    P

  • On February 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm Peter Greene wrote:

    @J. Stotts: You’re the only one so far who tried the tougher question. A shoo-in if that holds up.
    P

  • On February 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm RC wrote:

    workplace burnt down-
    now
    I can breath the self

  • On February 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm Don Share wrote:

    [Most of them are e-mails now. Such is progress.]

  • On February 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm Veronica wrote:

    Neighbour’s burnt down-
    now
    I can let the trees spread.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm Eric Landon wrote:

    Out here on the hallucinative periphery, it’s Monday, so i thopught : wow! lets reward you all with an opportunity to win lyn hejinian, hoover – Paul, myung mi kim, keith waldrop, tyrone williams and norma cole translations of you, Amatuer rimbaud & greenfield Richard I, holding on to those links!

    .. don’t let the tourists down now, you’re getting a free lesson in how to choose what it is you wanna be, if you want to win some, ppl, included below the fold of learning why you can win …

    … rain running into locked ridges
    sea fossils act of tracing and the trace

    out you go here, glissandi over you
    … interpret your eye here little

    listen to richard read from this new collection … corn-cob dolly, however he likes it, leaked

    autobiography inhabit these outskirts. Submission
    … must be no less than seven sentences locked

    in you Hawk the eye at Assaroe
    … glimmers on his back, the silver ridges

    mysterious rain-tree sluiced your outskirt
    … Ormskirk …

    earth-

    this was my history, this too, too bare earth
    … on the outskirts of Ormskirk, where History

    our Task : imagine to be : Imagine being you
    … the : damage bettering day and us all-guy

    in less than twenty times, tries, the revolution …

  • On February 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm Veronica wrote:

    Fresh skies burnt down-
    now
    I can inhale the night.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 8:01 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    No need to remind me – I received one today.

  • On February 1, 2010 at 10:17 pm Bhanu Kapil wrote:

    We did it in class! I distributed this page, and just e-mailed them to remind them to submit in the comment stream. You’re like the secret boss of the day. That didn’t make any sense. On another note, via the Greenfield poem, did you see the film, “The Class”?

  • On February 1, 2010 at 11:30 pm Megan wrote:

    Chair burnt down-
    now
    I can moon the floor.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 12:44 am billdozer wrote:

    7 sentences

    The shamanatrix at ceremony asked if I wanted more, but my body,
    (wheezing, twitchy, apneac (stoned beautiful) without a CPAP machine), said “no, it will just wear me out.”
    At least I could touch my fingers to the ground; ten years folding forward over a morbid gut, stretching my hamstrings a breath at a time.
    The instructional text on getting out was always mid-stack, or stuffed into a duffel bag, hitch hiking to Chicago.
    Being There Then.
    I read about Swamis in my flannel pajamies, remembering that as a lad I sat zazen in Lincoln Park for free with the Roshi who could catch a fly with his bare mind.
    I never wanted to go to college.
    Going back, who wouldn’t rather watch cartoons,
    see pornography for the very first time again?

  • On February 2, 2010 at 1:36 am rawbbie wrote:

    Here its boring, but with hats. I got here to put out a wildfire, but my entire bedroom burned to the ground. We used to play pin the tail on donkey, with real donkeys. I’ve been here so long I can’t feel my legs. Tomorrow I’m going over there to tap dance in my underwear with a balloon animal tied to my neck. It’s to cover the hickey. With my new journal I’ll be able to remember all the exciting things that happen.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 1:40 am csperez wrote:

    mwuhaha glad to be secret boss for the day! i did not see the film ‘the class’…tho i suppose i must?

  • On February 2, 2010 at 1:41 am csperez wrote:

    Harriet burnt down
    now
    i can return to facebook

  • On February 2, 2010 at 4:33 am ashlee june wrote:

    Year’s burnt down-
    now
    I can scatter the ashes.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 4:44 am sandra stone wrote:

    Matt, there are several witty haiku in space allocated — but yours is such witty
    commentary on odious proliferation of Starbuck’s (like a barnacle attached to all the space of our lives, I just had to write you. You made me laugh. That counts high with me.

    Salud, sandra stone

  • On February 2, 2010 at 6:20 am sandra stone wrote:

    Little Shoppe of Haiku Horrors – sandra stone

    Hubby burnt down
    now
    I can marry the mirror

    Lab burnt down
    now
    I can examine the petri-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee …. (these shld be e’s in descending font size)

    Nursery burnt down
    now
    I can bury the nipper

    Gown burnt down
    now
    I can gaga the navel

    Arcade burnt down
    now
    I can shoot the kewpie

    Morgue burnt down
    now
    I can vamp the mortician

    Vegas burnt down
    now
    I can one-up the bandits

    Carny burnt down
    now
    I can swallow T*H*E F*I*R*E*A*T*E*R

    Cardhouse burnt down
    now
    I can revivify the Joker

    Pavilion burnt down
    now
    I can seduce the corpse

    Marquee burnt down
    now
    I can google the trailer

    Tannenbaum burnt down
    now
    I can deep-six the tinsel

    Washer burnt down
    now
    I can rotate the arsonist

    Olympia burnt down
    now
    I can ogle the gods

    Poems burnt down
    now
    I can howl. The ephemera!

    Igloo burnt down
    now
    I can explain the contradiction

    Moth burnt down
    now
    I can snuff the incandescence

    Candle burnt down
    now
    I can mesmerize the char

    sandra stone 2.2.10 3:27 A.M.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 9:05 am Bhanu Kapil wrote:

    Are you competing in your own competition? Imagine if you won your own books.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 9:08 am Bhanu Kapil wrote:

    Yeah, now you have to set yourself up with a bowl of salt and vinegar crisps, lukewarm root beer or carbonated beverage of your choice, and put your feet on the coffee table. Socks? Boots? It’s your home. Okay, I should stop there.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 9:39 am Peter Greene wrote:

    Up burnt down
    now
    I can move the moon

  • On February 2, 2010 at 9:42 am Peter Greene wrote:

    @Bhanu: Winning my own book will be a victory of a different colour, when it comes. (Glances at the novel, judders from stem to stern, sounds deep blueback into poetry without taking a breath)
    P

  • On February 2, 2010 at 10:59 am Christine Spees wrote:

    radio burnt down
    now
    i can hear the music

  • On February 2, 2010 at 11:27 am evie wrote:

    love’s burnt down –
    now
    i can count the whys.

    *and*

    someone was leading
    and we were following.

    a dance we did
    backwards.

    we had learned already
    about looking where you’re going.

    looking over
    your shoulder.

    where we’d been was growing
    distant.

    where we’d been was growing
    legs.

    dancing along behind us,
    skirts flying out.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm Eric Landon wrote:

    Hic : On the grey sand beside the shallow stream
    Under your old wind-beaten tower, where still
    A lamp burns on beside the open book
    That Michael Robartes left, you walk in the moon,
    And, though you have passed the best of life, still trace,
    Enthralled by the unconquerable delusion,

    Magical shapes.

    -Yeats Ego Dominus Tuus (continues)

    “By the help of an image
    I call to my own opposite, summon all
    That I have handled least, least looked upon.

    Hic : And I would find myself and not an image..”

    .. ‘see pornography for the very first time ..

    touch my fingers to the ground; ten years folding forward over a morbid gut, stretching my hamstrings a breath at a time.’

    ” .. coarse-bred son of a livery-stable keeper –
    Luxuriant song
    … should you leave the lamp
    Burning alone beside an open book,
    And trace these characters upon the sands,
    A style … found by sedentary toil
    And by the imitation of great masters …

    Bill Dozer

    .. I’ve seen your God – Allen roared ..

    Very lyrical Bill Blake

    Ego Dominus Tuus

    Dozer Yeats

    In the name of this poem, translated out of the Latin and into American ‘I am your Lord’ .. from The Wild Swans at Coole (1919) ‘perhaps the most heteroegeneous volume of Yeats’s career’ – wrote Daniel Albright in the Everyman Collected footnotes, for this well executed attempt at conjuring a ‘faery’ source of An Sidhe, pronounced shee, A fairy Source of the supernatural within each and every one of us.

    There’s no single American word-equivalent for ‘sidhe’, the word’s original meaning existed in a land much different from the 24/7 there is today, occuring in a different Tongue from the language-family, spoken by a majority with little to none of it, English.

    Though the ‘medium’ of communication has changed to English, it’s not so difficult to imagine our Faery source of yore, the same as we have now in your English-language Culture, friends in the waning Face Age passing the sell by date, fwends, commoners, bloggers, speaking as we in English on 2/2.10 .. Gŵyl y Canhwyllau .. Mary’s Festival of the Candles’ .. Wales .. the day after Imbolc and St Brigid’s Day, the first of Spring

    Groundhog Day

    Happy New Year

  • On February 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm Eprise A wrote:

    (i wanted another one):
    banks burnt down
    now
    i can pay the bills

    & one more:
    tea-plantation’s burnt down
    now
    I can drink the rain.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm John Oliver Simon wrote:

    Non-profit burnt down
    now
    everyone can see the elephant in the room

  • On February 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm Don Share wrote:

    American poetry burned down
    now
    everyone can see the elephant in the room

  • On February 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm csperez wrote:

    i think i have a good chance to win because the judge is male ;)

  • On February 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm Laura Eve wrote:

    I burnt down
    now.
    I can burn then, too.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm csperez wrote:

    The elephant in the room burnt down
    now
    i can see the

  • On February 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm Billdozer wrote:

    Now burnt down
    now
    I can burn the here.

    5-7-5 burnt down
    now
    I can cinch the axis.

    Youth burnt down
    now
    I can mourn the knees.

    Symmetry burnt down
    now
    I can adjust the frame.

    Sisters burnt down
    now
    I can comb the tangles.

    Father burnt down
    now
    I can ask the question.

    Mother burnt down
    now
    I can eat the cord.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm Peter Greene wrote:

    (goes blind)
    P

  • On February 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm Peter Greene wrote:

    ah, now i can see it too.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 7:05 pm DLC wrote:

    Just After the Battle, Mother

    Fifer:
    Wilderness burnt down—
    now
    I can harvest the dead

    Ghoul:
    Wilderness burnt down—
    now
    I can’t rifle their soles

    Photographer:
    Wilderness burnt down—
    now
    I can document the skulls

    (wilderness burnt down—
    now
    can start the new growth)

    ~

    Reenactor:
    Tate burnt down—
    Lowell burnt down—
    now
    I can patronize Wal-Mart—
    the battlefield got sold

    The mention of wilderness in the other thread coupled with the haiku invitation here triggered this poem. I guess there is still a chance the Wal-Mart won’t go up:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Wilderness

    And, yes, I realize it’s not a wise idea to mention Tate and Lowell in the context of such a little poem, but there they are.

  • On February 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm Jack wrote:

    bridge burnt down-
    now
    i can walk the river

  • On February 3, 2010 at 4:36 am J. Creighton wrote:

    The wind blew until it broke the branch, my arm of the family tree. The sea wept as I walked away, her whispers far too deep. The mountain fell before me, I was far too high to refuse. As I stand before you, I’m only who I am; unconcerned of where, for I’m already there. Your eyes fill in my lines, your lies shade the guile your learning to despise. You see me walk away, yet I’m still exactly where I am. The heart of motion only dies once.

    I’ve burnt down
    Now
    I can cash the pipe.


Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, February 1st, 2010 by Craig Santos Perez.