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I live and work in DC.
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This inspires me to pick up Paz again. Thanks.
I'm enjoying these posts. I think poets need to work on their spoken delivery. And I say this as a stutterer who never reads out loud but who thinks a lot about the best way to read out loud. I think poems should be delivered with as little verbal drama as possible. If the poem has power then it does not need any verbal drama to propel it. I don't speak my poems, but I hear them clearly, and I can hear myself in my mind delivering them to an audience in a slow, even manner. Not necessarily too dry or too dignified or uppity in any way. Just devoid of drama. Many people associate poetry with drama or handwringing or mere complaint. I think poets can do a lot to improve the image of poetry if they instill some discipline into their delivery.
What a great post. I've been very troubled by the yellow journalism that attends the BP oil spill. Reading AP articles, it seems as if BP is a favorite sports team pitted against a particularly truculent opponent, go team.
>>>People feel at home doing things that they watched their parents do when they were growing up. I am very conscious of it, and since my parents / stepparents did so many nonproductive or detrimental things, I try hard to NOT be like them. It is sometimes a struggle to not respond as they to a given situation, or behave as they in an ongoing way. My father has become a gentle, kind, and wise man and most often I try to do what he does.
Over the past couple of nights I read a favorite from childhood, A Wrinkle in Time. As swell as ever. If you never read it, or if you know a ten to fourteen year old who's never read it, I recommend. It's a book I will push on niece and nephews as they get older. Bleak day in London, pasty sky, bits of rain.I got a little lost walking around today and briefly I felt a stranger's isolation, and I fell into one of those weird and useless ruminations about humanity's position in space and time. One day we will... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
Reporting from London. Late post today. It is still Friday on the USA east coast so Friday's post is shamefully late but conceivably is still Friday's post. I spent much of Friday getting from Chicago to London by way of Ottawa, then finding my temporary living quarters here, a tucked-away hole in the wall in East Croydon. Supposedly EC is a seedy part of town but it is no seedier than places I have lived in Chicago. It feels very friendly. I think the local term for the drunk lads shouting in the street below my window is yobbos. I'm... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
Write a dream, lose a reader, so they say. I have a dream to report and it contains a lot of nudity. Would you keep reading for the promise of nudity? But without photos, only more or less descriptive text? What if the text contained enticing words like proud or well-formed or the very exciting word, wobble? I'm thinking about the Greenaway film Prospero's Books: "Knowing I lov'd my books he furnished me from mine own library volumes that I prize above my dukedom." The dream was a dukedom of books. Books and naked people (both genders, many ages), paper,... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
It is easy to preface a text, any text, with an aphorism or three to lend the text a little gravity. When I see a book whose individual chapters are chaperoned by aphorisms I get a little worried about the book. Should I read the chapters or just the aphorisms? A carefully chosen aphorism can shape a reader's understanding of a story in a pleasing or surprising way. But most of the books I have loved as a reader don't need supporting aphorisms. I have three aphorisms to share. After the aphorisms, a dubious and lightweight text that requires the... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
I used to work in the corporate world, I worked hard for them, numbing work in the service of well-cloaked mendacity, and in exchange for my crumpled-in soul they offered me something called an IRA. They kept offering me the IRA and I kept refusing because if I took the IRA then that would mean I acquiesced to a crumpled-in soul, to mendacity, but they were real worried that I did not have the IRA and they kept pushing it at me like a piece of pie. What the heck is an IRA? I asked them, genuinely baffled and curious.... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
In my life there has been more than one woman I wanted to telephone over and over one thousand times in the space of 24 hours and propose feverish marriage. Guess how fast any of those ladies would have slapped a restraining order on me? I love you! I perish! Why is the sheriff here? "...and ask her if she'll marry me in some oldfashioned way." I won't even get into the dangling modifier. Because I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old, "Sting's Dangling Modifier" is pretty funny to me. Sting is debonair, wealthy, talented, and... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
We've read Bukowski. Awful man. Drunk, violent, pornographic. Obsessed with redheads. Reviled in the academe. Time magazine called him a laureate of American lowlife. Look at him. What a gluttonous face. He can't consume enough. On the other hand most of his poems get it right. Some of those poems kick you in the gut and you ache for the rest of the day. That's what this reader gets from Bukowski anyway. A few weeks ago because I could not find my old copy of it I bought another copy of Bukowski's Love is a Dog From Hell. When I... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
Go Bill. I'm glad he's reading, and takes it seriously.
It looks like a really great time. Wish I coulda been there.
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Mar 14, 2010