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Wet Poem on Tap April 2, 2012: With nearly all pursuits, being a pro means you get paid, but in poetry, a professional poet is one who has paid quite a lot to attain that dubious title, with precious few seeing any return for their investment.  Since I don't own a BA, MFA or PhD, and have never paid for a single workshop or sent a check to enter a book contest, since I've [...] by

Novelties of Horror April 30, 2010: Today is either Liberation Day or Day of Deep Resentment, depending on your point of view. On April 30th, 1975, North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon. I had escaped on the evening of April 27th, just hours before the bombs fell on Tan Son Nhat Airport, rendering it inoperable. On the cover of Frank Stanford's the battlefield where the moon [...] by

50/50 April 24, 2010: Linh Dinh: Assembly line line breaks, Kent, and the decline of the comma, one of the greatest of inventions. Worse than reality TV, confessional poetry that doesn’t fess up. On the other leg, paratatic glossolalia, and in the middle, a shriveled hybrid. A feeble bunt. Why not speak the unspeakable, for once? Kent Johnson: The AWP was, [...] by

Switch, Leap April 23, 2010: Dumb foreigner, always confusing hungry with angry. “Are you hungry at me? Who you hungry at?” “I’m so angry, I could eat a gold man sachs.” Reversing Christ, Vallejo turns bread to stone. In “The Hungry Man’s Wheel,” he riffs, zigzags and amplifies: From between my own teeth I come out smoking, shouting, pushing, pulling [...] by

Present Past Tense April 19, 2010: Interviewed by Kent Johnson in 2002, Eliot Weinberger said: The Trade Center attack will not alter the autobiographical, anecdotal, therapeutic poems of the workshops; it will merely add another subject. But it will be interesting to see what happens, if anything, on the progressive front. Their poetry has been a kind of decadent modernism and [...] by

Buy My April 18, 2010: Moving Verse by Number. Faithfully render Sinewy, Paternal Hand or Soft-Focused, Maternal Breast. Choice of palette: Restrained, Vibrating or Bathetic. Salad Mixer cum Post-Avant Poem Generator. Toss vegs and non-sequiturs simultaneously. Sample sequence: Alfalfa sprouts--Hit and run misquotation--Sundried, diced tomato--Really dumb snippet, [...] by

Frontal April 15, 2010: Last week, a plane carrying the Polish president, his wife and many of the country’s top military and political leaders crashed, killing all aboard. They were traveling to Russia to commemorate the Katyn massacre, in which 22,000 Poles were killed by the Soviets in April of 1940. Poland is pinched in between two major forces, Germanic and [...] by

How to Have an Interesting Life April 13, 2010: [a rhythmic response to Kwame Dawes' post] Shun the smart crowds. Instead, mix With the dumbest you could find. They will teach you much, in fact, Just about everything. They’ll show You how inadequate you really are. Sneer at beauty, especially all Manifestations of glamor. Never Forget that time brings each ugliness And [...] by

Fat Man Singing April 10, 2010: I adored the blurb you gave me so much I wrote you a thank you blurb, all in italics now sitting cross-legged in the faculty parking lot the sky the color of tenure conifers and elk-upchuck envigorating the pine-scented conservatism nothing ma! no, we’re not enriching uranium! oh only in dreams do I get to relapse --from [...] by

You’re All Good April 6, 2010: A few years ago, I got a mass email from a poet acquaintance. Sent to a dozen of his peers, this poet offered to pay "the usual fee" to anyone who would review his new book. Needless to say, it should be positive. Not quite in the loop, I didn't know there was a usual fee, though I had already figured out that reriews of contemporary poetry [...] by