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The Week In Review: 11-11-11 Edition

By Harriet Staff

Did you catch it? Depending on whether or not you’re on a 24-hour clock (or as we yanks call it, “army time”), you may get another chance. Today, November 11, 2011, at approximately eleven seconds past 11:11 AM, certain digital timekeeping devices displayed the same digit twelve times contiguously. It hasn’t happened in years and it won’t happen again for awhile. To celebrate, here are eleven unrelated quick hits.

1. “I bought all his books and records and remember reciting his poems to my children until they memorised them.” – Ex-president and noted philanthropist Jimmy Carter, who is apparently a massive Dylan Thomas buff.

2. “Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. But it’s never easy when there’s so much on the line.” – Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, quoting an unnamed poet. The odd platitude was in fact cribbed from disco goddess and camp icon Donna Summer, from her contribution to the 1999 film Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back. (Contrast Cain’s postmodern sensibility with the Beckett-like absurdism of his fellow candidate Rick Perry.)

3. “Have not some of the greatest artists, musicians, and writers the world has ever known survived by working day jobs as insurance adjusters, clerks, or waiters?” – Elise Blackwell, consoling recently minted MFAs.

4. “We would walk miles to a drainage ditch to find frogs.” – Dana Gioia, describing her own activities prior to academic rock-stardom.

5. “[W]hat it really wants is to break a system that is inherently heartbreaking.” – Brendan Lorber, on the possible motives behind the international Occupy Wall Street movement.

6. “I got identified with beat poets by publishing them.” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti, humbly distancing himself from a cultural movement he helped create when he released Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” on the world.

7. “Being a homeless poet in west L.A. is the coolest thing — chicks dig you.” – Stephen Handlin, Iraq war veteran and relentlessly self-deprecating “lousy poet,” with some unorthodox dating advice for the fellas.

8. “Drink as much liquor as possible and always write under the presence of alcohol.” – Langston Hughes, in his list of pointers for aspiring hacks.

9. “There’s no real value in any content… I actually don’t think it’s very interesting.” – Lisa Robertson, from a collection of fascinatingly “off” interview outtakes.

10. “My poems are playful, but usually underneath the play is something quite dark or sad — a shark, or a razor blade.” – Matthea Harvey, explaining why she hasn’t written any poetry for kids. This would not have stopped the Struwwelpeter braintrust.

11. “I often move toward what has been monstered — the anomaly, the stranger, the one standing on the cusp of things.” – Aracelis Girmay, appearing on the recently launched “Latino/a Poetry Now” tour.


Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, November 11th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.