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Jill Alexander Essbaum
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If you see me in church this weekend, I’ll be crying. Wait. Scratch that. I’ll be weeping. Hmm. No. That’s not right either. Try: Sobbing. Bawling. Engaging in a back-pew sort of break-down best reserved for funerals (and only really, really, really tragic ones at that). I know. It totally doesn’t make sense. In the fairy tale of Holy Week, Easter’s the happy ending. It’s the Resurrection! It’s death undone! It’s every promise rendered right! It’s bunnies and chocolate! Jesus, Jill. Jill—it’s Jesus! AND YET: The minute that stone is rolled away I lose my shit. Crude, but there’s no... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
(Yup. What follows is a Christian, Christmas sermon. You've been warned.) A couple of weeks ago I was on a flight from Palm Springs, returning home from the December residency of the MFA low-res program in which I teach (UCR-Palm Desert: The Hottest MFA in the Country—no, it’s true; our posters say so). I’m not a brilliant flier. Airplanes make little sense to me and thus, they terrify. Sometimes I take a valium. Sometimes I white-knuckle my way through the turbulence and the beverage service. And sometimes, as in this instance, I strike up a conversation with the poor sap... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
...since I've posted any puns. "Are y'all havin' any symptims of depruvation?" Jill asked, concerning withdrawal. Ok. That was bad. Real, real bad. As are the following, unapologetically harebrained Tom Swifties. The Tom Swifty is my pun préféré. Like all puns, it contains, in the brevity of its form, the twin potentials of greatness and ridiculousness. These are at once too clever by three-fourths and as self-indulgent as a dozen showers a day during a drought. Love them or loathe them, here they are. "And now, I shall overthrow the government!" Tom cooed. "I prefer the pumpernickel," Tom said, wryly.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
Exactly one year ago today, I was in Switzerland on a visit. I stayed with my dear, dear friend Susana Gardner in her home in Wallisellen. We drank, we gossiped, we plotted world poetic domination. I love this lady immensely. Susana is the curator / editrix / head beauty in charge of Dusie, a fantabulous multi-tiered organization that includes a press, a publishing collective, a journal, and (blessedly) a pillow for me to lay my head upon whenever I land in Kanton Zürich. On Thursday, August 12, at 8 pm, Susana Gardner, Cara Benson, Mairéad Byrne, Caroline Crumpacker, Eileen Myles,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
When you're dying to visit Latvia. Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
She was always being typecast as a phlegm-fatale. Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
Statue of James Joyce at his grave in Zurich A favorite memory from Switzerland. Craig and Robin come to visit me. We share a picnic of cheese and cherries and bread in the park behind the Landesmuseum near the Zurich Hauptbahnhof. We sit on the concrete-floored gazebo, and there are ants. Later, it is a trek to James Joyce's gravesite. We are appropriately reverent and also appropriately irreverent. We may or may not quote passages from Joycean works (alas, I do not recall). I may or may not mention that my prefered Joyce is 'Carol Oates.' Robin, I think, is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
My mother died in 2004 from an excruciatingly rapid progression of Lou Gehrig's disease (symptoms began to manifest in the Spring of 2003; her death occurred in January). It's been six years. The grief isn't fresh, and it's not even near, but it's still accessible. Accessibility is in grief's nature. If new grief is the laceration spouting blood, then old grief is the long, itchy scar that sometimes flares. And there are as many things that can palliate it as can enflame it. But today, I'm gonna balm that wily cicatrix by honoring the skill I am most grateful to... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
That's my favorite poetry powerhouse and yours, Kate Greenstreet (left). As has been reported on this blog and many others before, she's on a marathon reading tour. I heard her read tonight along with poet Laura Smith here in Austin at the home of Hoa Nguyen and Dale Smith. Tomorrow Kate and Hoa will be reading (along with Marcia Roberts) at Trinity University in San Antonio. On Wednesday Kate is in Dallas. Thursday, Norman, Oklahoma. And so it goes. HERE is a link to her remaining readings. Get yourself to one of these readings, if you can. What I love... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2009 at The Best American Poetry
In a city of singing cats, a lonely beat poet falls for a beautiful siren. When a mysterious dark figure emerges, kidnapping the town’s singers for his twisted musical plans, the poet must save his muse and put an end to the nefarious tune that threatens to destroy the city. From the official site of The Cat Piano Cats? Check. Poetry? Check. Narration by the inestimable Nick Cave? Check, check, check. These are a few of my favorite things. Watch it. Now. Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2009 at The Best American Poetry
To curry flavor with the rice. Ouch. Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2009 at The Best American Poetry
Is it: I think (there's a fucking razor in this muffin) therefore I am (not going to eat the damn thing) ? More affectionately known as the Cogito Ergo Sumbitch!
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2008 on This Just In at The Best American Poetry
Shanna-- I will most certainly do that! Noah-- Oh heavens, you _must_ see him live when you get a chance. You don't happen to live in London, do you? I have a spare ticket for the show next week.