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Peter Shippy
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Thanks so much to Stacey & David for allowing to me visit. And much thanks to you, for stopping by! For my final poem-as-text for a children’s book, I’ll go back, just a bit. Richard Brautigan’s “A Boat” (The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, Houghton-Mifflin): O beautiful was the werewolf in his evil forest. We took him to the carnival and he started crying when he saw the Ferris wheel. Electric green and red tears flowed down his furry cheeks. He looked like a boat out on the dark water. This poem always breaks my heart—and then I smile—the... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
“The moment one learns English, complications set in.” Felipe Alfau (Chromos) Harryette Mullen’s Sleeping with the Dictionary (Univ. of California Press) is one of my favorite books to read, teach, and recommend to children, big and small. The book is genius. Where’s her MacArthur!? Mullen mashes Stein’s huzzah! and Oulipo’s triggering restraints with the deep language of an African-American woman. Also, the poems are deadly funny. That isn’t always apparent to first time readers. Some students mistake her verbal peregrinations for poststructuralist blague or academic obfuscating. One solution? We go to YouTube so they see her read. Once they put... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
“Undead, undead, undead” (Bauhaus) Recently I’ve been teaching a class that explores fairy takes, new and old. One of our texts is My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales (Penguin) edited by Kate Bernheimer. At the risk of sounding like a homer—the poets rule this book! The aforementioned Shelley Jackson has a wonderful tale. And a few weeks ago our class had a viscously delightful time performing Joyelle McSweeney’s dramatic, gooey take on “The Town Musicians of Bremen.” But my favorite piece in the collection is Sabrina Orah Mark’s “My Brother Gary Made... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
A few weeks ago I finished Geoff Dyer’s Zona—a book about a movie (Tarkovsky’s Stalker) about a room. It’s a book of divine deviations. Toward the middle of the book, Dyer notes that he first saw Stalker as an undergraduate at Oxford, when he was “at that point of maximum aliveness, when my ability to respond to the medium was still so vulnerable and susceptible to being changed by what I was seeing.” Later he writes, “…even if you manage to keep up with the latest things, you realize that these latest things can never be more than that, that... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Ladies and Gentlemen, in this corner, wearing the emerald trunks, the woman who made David the 2nd most famous Byrne from RISD, I give you Mairéad, the Dublin Goblin (Pangolin? Javelin? Mescaline?)! Byrne’s no-holds ars (rim-shot) is: If it looks like a poem, it is a poem If it associates with poems, it is a poem If it has even one drop of poetry, it is a poem. If it joins with another genre to form a new genre that genre will be poetry & all its products will be poems. That’s “One Drop” from her most recent book, The... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Here’s a poem by Jennifer L. Knox (A Gringo Like Me, Bloof Books & Great American Prose Poems: Poe to the Present edited by Mr. Lehman, Scribner): Hot Ass Poem Hey check out the ass on that guy he’s got a really hot ass I’d like to see his ass naked with his hot naked ass Hey check out her hot ass that chick’s got a hot ass she’s a red hot ass chick I want to touch it Hey check out the ass on that old man that’s one hot old man ass look at his ass his ass... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
This week, I’ll be your llama. One of the surprising pleasures of becoming a papa to twins almost 5 years ago was discovering the menagerie of kidLit on writers, artists, dancers, and musicians. Who knew? Some of my favorites include Jen Bryant & Melissa Sweet’s A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jordan and Robert Andrew Parker’s Action Jackson (Pollock, that is), Maira Kalman’s Rroar: Calder’s Circus, and Chris Raschka’s Charlie Parker Played Be Bop (“Alphabet alphabet, alphabet, alph, / Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee, chick, / Overshoes, overshoes, overshoes, o, / Reeti-footi, reeti-footi, reeti-footi, ree.”).... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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May 4, 2012