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Jennifer Knox
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The interview here between Jennifer L. Knox and Alan Michael Parker was conducted on the occasion of the publication of Long Division (Tupelo Press, 2012), Parker’s seventh book of poems [and this just in: 2012 North Carolina Book Award winner]. His six previous collections are Days Like Prose, The Vandals, Love Song with Motor Vehicles, A Peal of Sonnets, Elephants & Butterflies, and Ten Days (with painter Herb Jackson). He has also written three novels, Cry Uncle, Whale Man, and The Committee on Town Happiness (Dzanc Books, 2014); and served as Editor of The Imaginary Poets and two other volumes... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Ahoy, scribblers! You've reached the finish line! How do you feel? Awesome, I hope, because you are. Along with smart and pretty. If you didn't write a poem everyday, who cares? If you did, you rule. Read some non-fiction as you rest up for next year. We'll see you then. The last prompt is, "Write a poem incorporating at least three 'I remember' statements. This invocation of memory seems a fitting way to end our month together." Onto the poems. Rock-Shy Horses My father told me of rocks that swallowed horses whole in the time when rocks could breathe. And... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Now you’re really in the home stretch of NaPoWriMo, scribblers! If this was a marathon, you’d be peeing blood by now. Today’s prompt, an elegy, which reminds me: I especially love, “Blue looked at the possum, then he looked at me.” Our own gaze pales next to our gaze returned. Devotees paint eyes on white-washed stupas, eyes on statues in Hindu temples because we visit the Gods to be seen by them. An animal that sees us—that cuts through its instinct and collar and cage bars—is a most worthy subject for a banjo elegy. Now, onto the poems! * 23.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Twenty-two has long been one of my favorite numbers because of that Twilight Zone episode, "Room for One More, Honey," where the morgue was down in the basement: room 22. And today's NaPoWriMo finds do my beloved #22 justice. Today's prompt on the NaPoWriMo site blew my mind. In honor of Earth Day, the prompt is to write a poem about a plant. OK, fine, sure, I like plants. But then Maureen dropped the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary bomb. Do you all know about this? Seriously, it blew my face off. Onto the poems. Well Hello Gorgeous In West Texas,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Ahoy, Scribblers. If you written 18 poems so far, give yourself a pat on the back. What the heck, give yourself a nice, slow French kiss. You’re hotter that Georgia asphalt, and you've earned it. Today’s prompt: a lullaby, which reminds me of this song. I have four birds, and they love to listen to this at night. How can I tell they love it? Because I love watching them listen to it. Translation: "The Balsam Flowers" The Flower of Balsam, one dyes on one’s fingernails. The words of one’s parents, one must dye in one’s heart. Ships sailing the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
It’s day 15, and all downhill from here, NaPoWriMoers. Are you hallucinating yet? Excellent. Today’s prompt: a parody. Here's a fine example from the cinema. Now, onto the poems. Nate on a Plane Pt. 1 “Fritz is the name I gave to all my dachshunds,” says the dermatologist sitting next to me. The dachshund’s eyes are howling something not Fritz. He doesn’t look like a Fritz. “Even the girls,” he says, “I named them Fritz.” Something still feels off. A flight attendant stands in the aisle, her hair swaying like wheat, despite lack of wind. “Is there anything else I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Cruising around the blogs this evening, I found some sites on the NaPoWriMo list that didn’t have any poems at all, some of which were very cool, like this flog, this flog, and this fun gif that I can’t figure out how to attach to anything. It's kinda like signing up for a back stroke contest when you don't swim, but what the heck? NaPoWriMo's easy like Sunday morning. Today’s prompt: “a homophonic translation” or should I say: “Too dazed prom. Tahoe/Mofo nicked ran slate shun"? A very observant NaPoWriMoer emailed me today, and noted that many of the poems... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Ahoy, scribblers! I'll be posting more NaPoWriMo poems this month—when the spirit moves me. And on Day #11, color me moved. Today's prompt: "Write a poem of the five senses." December 30 At 1:03 in the morning a fart smells like a marriage between an avocado and a fish head. I have to get out of bed to write this down without my glasses on. By Richard Brautigan Now let's see those poems! * He Said, She Said She said, There oughta be a law. He said (reversing the manifesto mandate), Loose pants from now on. She said, The better... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Get this: they're up to 575 participating sites over at NaPoWriMo! Today's prompt: Write a poem inspired by the song that was #1 on the day that you were born." Make a mine a "Green Tambourine"! Onto the poems! * "It Must Have Been Love" It must have been love and the breezy projector screens that made you leave. You took the backdrop and the car keys, but you left me my wheels. Take the chess board, but leave the pieces. It's over now. You rocked out at my bedside, leaving me unsatisfied. It must have been love, because what... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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This is my last post. Thank you so much for the opportunity, BAP. It was a million laughs. I'd be happy to come back and scrub all the f-bombs off the wall if need be. Today's NaPoWriMo prompt: "Pick a color, any color. And now write a poem in which everything is that color (or, at least, that color predominates). Need an example? Try Walter de la Mare’s Silver, Diane Wakoski’s Blue Monday, or Federico Garcia Lorca’s Romance Sonambulo." Good luck, scribblers. You're a quarter of the way done. Onto the poems! Unusually Large Beach Hat Brackish landscape cut by... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Attention NaPoWriMoers, you're in the home stretch of week of one! Don't you feel like an olympian?!? Today's prompt: write a poem about an animal. All my poems are about animals, even the ones that are about people. Which reminds me... Exterminator by Lucien Stryk Phone vibrates all winter. The exterminator cringes— yet another squeal, demanding he come fast. He plays at cat and mouse, stalling them for hours, days. Then pocketing thick gloves, flashlight, steelwool, poison, he enters musty corners, sets dry traps, pours tempting pellets into little paper boats, launches them here and there. As he stuffs holes,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Click here to listen. Thank you, Mipoesias. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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In 2001, I was in the final semester earning my master’s degree in the lucrative field of poetry writing at New York University. Many of my classmates went on to become noteable poets: Kathy Graber, Ada Limón, Greg Pardlo, Jason Schneiderman, and Kazim Ali. One evening, as were leaving a workshop together, Kazim said, "I don't think funny poetry is valid. I know that I'm wrong, but I still feel that way." I was instantly relieved. I had long felt the vibe of resistance—of dismissal—to the humor in my work, but no one had ever had admitted to me that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Twice is nice!
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My nonpoet friend, D, was over the other night, watching videos of her favorite adult film star, Manuel Ferrara, and flossing her teeth at my desk. “Who’re you interviewing on Friday?” she asked over the ecstatic moans. “Rachel Shukert," I answered, sniffing a pair of underwear on my bedroom floor to see if it was dirty. “God, have you read her Smash recaps on Vulture? They’re the only things that make me want to go on living. Seriously, they’re the only antidote to the hell that’s my life,” she said, and absently dropped the used floss in my coffee cup... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Are your hands getting tired yet? Today's prompt: write a poem in honor of baseball's Opening Day! I'd write one about how my head must have a ball magnet inside of it, because no matter where I am, if balls are flying around (!), I'll be out cold before the seventh quarter. GOOOOOOOOOAL! Now onto the poems! Lake Sketch —For Brian Ang What will impress the death cult? The beautiful, vacant death cult? What will impress the mirror-writing lump, water’s canto, her cinema, commerce’s atomic center? What will impress the cult of death? The cult of holes, of clothes. The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
I love Nin's work. She IS totally original. Didn't know about the cartoons though! They're hilarious!
NaPoWriMo’s up to 800+! This thing's totally out of control. Maureen’s prompt on Day #4: write the blues, but first, live the blues. Onto NaPoWriMo! Boys As Saviors Mostly all of them. God bless 'em. Winter of 96, my vigils every night listening between my mother's snores for what. The IRA. The murderer from Seven. Checking the oven. Some contortionist. The enemies are men too, naturally. How could a girl at fifteen save her mom, her brother. Maybe Joan of Arc, maybe versus David Bowie, but the world is dark and crawling. Then those college boys slept in our parlor.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Oh, Hyperpoesia, finally, someone calls me on my amputee! 1) I am very skeptical that an amputee has never stumbled through a Flarf poem 2) just because you hit someone in the face with a dirt clod doesn't mean you don't love them (maybe s/he's consenting), a 3) yeah, I went for it. Thanks for noticing. My mind searched for the most transgressive image it could find—without using sex toys—and that's what it delivered. And now I realize: I was possessed by the power of Flarf. At first, I wanted to play it safe, and then, I was like, "I'm writing about Flarf! There's NOTHING I can't say." I've never even been able to include an amputee in my own poetry for fear of alienating people, but when Flarf's in the house, I can take a bath in a tub of mule semen! No wonder it swept our country like the hula hoop!
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Conceptual comedian Steven Wright and poet Sommer Browning walk into a bar. “Is it weird in here or just me?” Wright asks. Browning listens to the silence. He hands her a screwdriver. The two proceed to remove every screw from every screw-filled object in the bar. How much support can you take away from a thing—or an idea—before it collapses? They’re not interested in the collapse; collapse is for toddlers. The teetering moment right before the collapse, played out to infinity—that’s what turns these crazy cats on. But Browning doesn’t stop at the soda gun, the coat rack, or the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Brothers and sisters, we are up to 738 blogs on the over at NaPoWriMo! Mistress Maureen's prompt: Write an Epithalamium. I couldn't do any better than Fred Eaglesmith's, "Your Sister Cried," covered by Mary Gautier. And it seems I've lost my post for day #2 on this. I'll find it. Onto the poems! Refusing Miss Havisham: An Epithalamion This poem wants to go in three directions. This poem wants to tell you that after we broke up, he picked me up at the airport, and once I had folded myself into the bucket seat, made me wait while he finished... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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If you’ve never attended a Flarf reading, picture a giant, glistening squid, hunched over the steering wheel of demolition derby jalopy, doing doughnuts around a junior high school football field at midnight. In cough syrupy pinks and reds, the seizure-inducing flood lights flutter manic Morse code rants, while Eddy Arnold singing “Make the World Go Away,” slowed to twice its normal speed, moos like a tranquilized whale-sized cow from the field's speakers. The jalopy’s tires rip off a wad of grass, and fling it through the air where it slaps the face of a nude, morbidly obese double amputee. Roaring... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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For many women, getting people to laugh means getting people to laugh at them. It’s not all masochism. By positioning yourself lower than your reader—which can be accomplished by strolling onto the page wearing fake bucked teeth and gold lame stretch pants over a latex bubble butt and a pair of afro armpit merkins—the reader feels superior, lets his/her guard down, and is much more likely to get in your car without noticing all the blood stains on the upholstery. “Who does this idiot think she is?” the superior reader asks. “Dar dar dar! I am so dumb and uglies!”... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
I went to high school with Rob. He's very funny...or, he thinks he is.
I absolutely agree. The poets I wanted to include in this little series are willfully funny—there's no mistaking that intent on the page—though their tones and intentions seem very different. When I read the work of an unfamiliar poet, I'm caught off-guard when it's funny.