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Verse Charades November 30, 2008: I offer you two charades: 1. My first doth affliction denote, Which my second is destin'd to feel And my whole is the best antidote That affliction to soften and heal. 2. My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings, Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease. Another view of man, my second brings, Behold him there, the monarch of the seas! But, [...] by

McGonagalls All November 29, 2008: Javier Huerta: More and more I am convinced that what we need now is a revival of bad poetry. So I’m working on a book of bad poems. Friend Unnamed: You mean another one. JH: Ah, well . . . FU: Listen, why do you speak of “revival’? Don’t you think bad poetry has been alive and well all these years. In the biggest journals. In the [...] by

2008 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles National Literary Awards November 23, 2008: Oakland, the city in which I live, is home to two national book awards—the American Book Award and the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award—that challenge the hegemonic judgment of the literary establishment. The force behind these awards is multiculturalism, a belief that “sweetness and light” is multiple and diverse. I tend to trust the [...] by

Sidewalk Cleaning: Alfred’s Plaque November 19, 2008: Here is Alfred, proud and excited, enjoying the honor of having his poem "Corrido Blanco" included in the Berkeley Poetry Walk. I have borrowed the photograph from Lorna Dee Cervantes's blog. Lorna was there sharing in Alfred's excitement. Last month as a way to memorialize him, three of Alfred's students--Robert Reyes, Harold Terezón, and [...] by

Sidewalk Cleaning: Berkeley Poetry Walk November 17, 2008: It must be quite an honor to have one of your poems selected for a poetry plaque on the Berkeley Poetry Walk. Ron Silliman said somewhere that it (his inclusion on the walk) is one of the most memorable and satisfying honors he has received. One problem that arises, however, is keeping these tributes clean and unobstructed. Since I am a Berkeley [...] by

Against Poets November 15, 2008: Poets give the mind a motion too changeable and bewitching, to consist with right practice. We must avoid their specious tropes and figures and the vicious abundance of phrase, this trick of metaphors, this volubility of tongue, which makes so great a noise in the world. I saw the soul of Hesiod bound fast to a brazen pillar and gibbering, and the [...] by

Dreaming the Common Language: A Guest Post by Miguel Murphy November 11, 2008: 1. Tonight I am a parade of love and anger. For those of us who are gay, a sad, palpable irony accompanies, even ruins, the celebratory mood, the prayers of thanks and joy. On November 4, 2008, we accomplish a fulfillment of the civil rights movement, and yet on the same night we find that our relationships are marginalized, our desire to manifest [...] by

Pocket Poets (a post to take my mind off the election) November 4, 2008: Y cuanto muchacho habrá que anda con el tomito de Everyman en su bolsillo, para leer a John en la calle, al aire libre, bajo los parasoles verdes de las plazas. Keats es para el bolsillo, donde se llevan las cosas que cuentan, las manos, el dinero, el pañuelo; los estantes se los deja a Coleridge y a T. S. Elliot, poetas- lámpara. Un bolsillo [...] by

Ghosts in Charlotte Smith’s Elegiac Sonnets October 31, 2008: I am haunted by the ghost in the footnote to the first sonnet. Footnotes in Charlotte Smith do much more than cite sources, and this first footnote interacts with the rhyme of the final couplet to emphasize the word ghost. Ah! then, how dear the Muse’s favours cost, If those paint sorrow best—who feel it most!* * “The well-sung woes shall [...] by

Poetas en Nueva Yol October 27, 2008: (with apologies to Forrest Gander) A brown poet does not automatically know the work of other brown poets. It is an education, one that usually does not happen in the classroom. Anthologies, the generous ones, include a brown poet or two, probably Gary Soto, probably Martin Espada. Both are great poets, but come on. It is an education that [...] by