Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Texas Living

Q. When you drink, how many beers would you typically consume, roughly speaking?
A. Never more than 15.
Q. Would you agree with me, sir, that when you consume 15 beers over a six-hour period, you are going to be heavily intoxicated?
A. Yes, sir, that's plenty. I'm full at that point.
Q. All right. when you have that many beers, are you typically able to continue to converse with people, or do you normally pass out?
A. I usually eat dinner and clean up my mess and go to bed.


Spring might be on its way. I heard a rumor beneath the trees...

A family woo-hoo -- Tom has received a one-year fellowship to Gibb's House in Kalamazoo. He'll be working on the Naked Seed project, which not only sounds cool, but is in fact cool. He's going to have fun, he's going to add a great experience to his resume, and he's going to have a year of no rent! My checkbook just plumed its feathers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reading O'Hara

How Roses Get Black

by Frank O'Hara

First you took Arthur's porcelain
pony from the mantel! and! dashed
it against the radiator! Oh it was

vile! we were listening to Sibelius.
And then with lighter fluid you wet
each pretty floored rose, tossed

your leonine head, set them on fire.
Laughing maniacally from the bath-
room. Talk about burning bushes! I

who can cut with a word, was quite
amused. Upon reflection I am not.
Send me your head to soak in tallow!

You are no myth unless I choose to
speak. I breathed those ashes secretly.
Heroes alone destroy, as I destroy

you. Know now that I am the roses
and it is of them I choose to speak.


(From The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara, University of California Press, 1995.)


The book is thick, so I'll probably be reading O'Hara for some time to come. That line "talk about burning bushes!" kills me. And the punctuation/capitalization is intriguing. After reading Frank Bidart I'm thinking much more about how to convey the voice to the page. So many ways. And Frank Stanford, who didn't punctuate a darn thing in The Battlefield, and still the incredible voice singing through. Jeez Louise, where did all these Franks come from? Maybe I should change my name for luck.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Intermission is Over - Please Return to Your Seats

After five incredibly long weeks of no lifting, pushing, pulling, soaking in steaming hot bathes, and many other essentials of life, I have been freed to go about my merry way! Thanks to everyone for their well wishes during my long and grumpy recovery period. Onward, friends.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Ryan has become a Woo-Hoo hog! The Pedestal Magazine has accepted his "Lusk" for their February issue. It's not up yet, but soon... Congrats!

I wonder if I should come up with another word besides woo-hoo?

Monday, February 09, 2009

A Project

I finished Frank Bidart's In The Western Night last week and found at the end a great interview between Bidart and Mark Halliday from 1983. You can read the full text here, starting on page 223. This paragraph, however, really struck me:

"What I was in love with was the possibility of bringing together many different kinds of things in a poem. When I was an undergraduate, Eliot was probably my favorite (twentieth-century) poet; but Pound was the more liberating. The Cantos are very brilliant and they're also obviously very frustrating and in some ways, I guess, a mess. But they were tremendously liberating in the way that they way that anything can be gotten into a poem, that it doesn't have to change it's central identity to enter the poem--if you can create a structure that is large enough or strong enough, anything can retain its own identity and find its place there."

It occurred to me, reading this, that perhaps what my own poems need is a large/strong structure; that is, as they are, they do not have a context. As it is, I have been taking snapshots of the world without supplying any meaning to the images. I have an idea, though, about how to build the structure. I'm not sure how it's going to go, but perhaps something will come of it.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009


The winter issue of blossombones is out, with poetry by:

Arlene Ang, Lana Hechtman Ayers, Margaret Bashaar, Elizabeth Bruno, Juliet Cook, Athena Dixon, Jo Hemmant, Amy Hinrichs, Charmi Keranen, Daniela Olszewska, Kristen Orser, Nanette Rayman Rivera, Toni Scales, Erin Elizabeth Smith, Bill Yarrow, and Susan Yount.

Prose by:

Kari Toney, Amy Pence, Weihui Lu, Sarah Hilary, and Shannon Dauphin.

Edited by: Susan Slaviero & Melissa Culbertson