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Where poems come from. September 12, 2007: Look at these faces. These six people allegedly held a West Virginia black woman captive for an entire week, choking, raping and stabbing her while forcefeeding her feces and peppering her with the N-word. They doused her in scalding water, ripped out her hair and made her drink from a toilet. Meanwhile, we're in the business of poetry. We line [...] by

You didn’t hear it from me… September 6, 2007: ...but there's a little wisp of a rumor that somewhere, someday, you may be able to get up close and personal with the bloggers of Harriet. Not only will you be able to gaze upon our actual faces, but there may even be a chance to revel and weep as jewels of poetic wisdom drip from our lips! OK, who am I kidding? There's only one of us the [...] by

And pleasant dreams. September 2, 2007: Rigoberto's got me thinking about poetry and music, and I've been thinking about my favorite singers, who always seem to be poets at heart. So 1 a.m. on Sunday morning is the perfect time to unveil my guilty pleasure, the man second only to Smokey Robinson in my heart. This was tonight's lullaby, the song I needed to hear in order to end the day, [...] by

Poet as Platypus. September 1, 2007: Like many other folks, I need a cap to my summer--a day or seminal event that bellows this is it, the dog days are officially over. This year, I actually had--if indeed this is possible--two ways to end the season. The first one was to be a personal pleasure--Martin Espada's 50th birthday bash at the Bowery. Not only was this a chance to reconnect [...] by

Poetry, the Conqueror of Pimples and All Prepubescent Profundities! August 22, 2007: Suddenly, the air is charged. My 12-year-old is banging around the apartment, trying on first-day-at-school outfits, cooing at her image when the ensembles work and screaming like a banshee when they don't. She has copied the official 7th-grade school supply list over two or three times, which I guess was somehow preferable to simply printing it [...] by

It’s 1:31 a.m…. August 11, 2007: ...and I'm exhausted. But I'm sitting in front of my laptop, bleary-eyed, listening to a muted Lightnin' Hopkins and staring at the 17th line of a poem that I've been working on for four years. This profession--this writing of measured and meaningful lines--is for crazy people. I can hear the warm, contented snoozing of my husband and [...] by

What I did over (the last week of) summer vacation… August 9, 2007: Certainly couldn't afford to, but this past week I decided to reread the poetry books I keep rereading. Trying to think of why I keep coming back to these volumes, I realized that I was thinking too much. Let's just say riveting narrative, muscle, muscle, muscle, guts. Let's say porch stories, inherent music. Let's say I'm a creature of habit. For [...] by

I’m certainly not proud of the fact… August 4, 2007: ....that approximately 13 seconds after Charles Simic was named poet laureate, I went alookin' for him on YouTube. And I discovered that he is the only person with a heartbeat who hasn't been captured by a cell phone camera in bad light and plastered across cyberspace. He is simply NOT THERE. That was very disappointing. You see, every time a [...] by

Kudos to the culprit. July 31, 2007: I I don't know when this video was filmed, although it looks to be about 10 years ago. What I do know: this is Marc Smith, inventor of the poetry slam, devil or angel, miracle worker or madman, love 'im or hate 'im. This is what he does that made me do what I do. I'm positively weepy watching this. Enjoy. by

dead poets. July 31, 2007: I try not to think about dying much. Whenever I do, naive as it may be, I dismiss it as something that happens to other people, usually in very spectacular ways. A longago plague sweeps through eastern Europe. A car bomb explodes in a crowded bazaar. A distraught lover climbs over a rail and leaps into the drink. Splashy demises always seem so far [...] by