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Williamsprof
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Wow, that's a blast from the past! Thanks, Ken.
Some twenty years ago, I was living alone in an East Hollywood apartment (directly across the street from the world headquarters of the Church of Scientology). One night as I tried to sleep, somebody’s dog commenced barking and never stopped. Subsequent nights I lay awake, trembling with anger, as the beast beat its giant wings inside a steel echo chamber. I experimented with earplugs, but they couldn’t shut out the constant, insidious yapping that pierced through the din of sirens and police helicopters and babies crying. Was this annoying debacle the owner’s fault? The Humane Society’s? Was it the smog?... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
My friend and colleague, Alister Sanderson—professor, experimental filmmaker, and former creative director and senior producer at the A & E Network—has embarked upon an interesting little project. Well, maybe not so little. “In the old Anglo-Saxon riddles,” Alister says, “things speak poignantly or tongue-in-cheek about their experiences in the human world. My own things speak in the Shakespearean sonnet form, the missing rhyme in the last couplet being the name of the thing speaking—and an invitation for the listener to guess what that thing is.” Makes me think of Francis Ponge as well as those poems in the part I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Hey, Ravi, yes, that's cool. Foxwoods!
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I’m not much of a fan of Independence Day. “What a waste of gunpowder and sky,” Aimee Mann sang bluntly in her “4th of July” manifesto. Today the holiday seems even more pointless than usual. What is America anyway? A Chase Bank with a colostomy bag for a charter? While the existence of a real America may be called into question, the existence of real Americans—never. Exempli gratia, singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt released seventeen albums during his abbreviated career. His music sounds folk-jangled, and the lyrics read as a charmingly egg-headed stalking of life’s naked truths. However, the overall effect feels... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
I am writing to you from deep in the bowels of the Robert Treat Motel in Newark, New Jersey, where I am participating in this year’s Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival (http://www.dodgepoetry.org/). I’m glad that Martin Farawell got the festival up and running after a year hiatus because it’s a wonderful creation, the largest poetry gathering since the dawn of time (according to Billy Collins). The poets I like most this year include Amiri Baraka, Teresa Carson, Rita Dove, Bob Hicok, Dorianne Laux, Dunya Mikhail, Sharon Olds, and Marie Ponsot. Earlier this morning I sat in the poets’ cafeteria under... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
Found Poem a.k.a. Double Rainbow by Hungrybear9562 a.k.a. Copyright Infringement Whoa! That's a full rainbow–– double rainbow. Oh my god. It's a double rainbow all the way. Whoa! It's so intense. Whoa! Man! Oh! Whoa. Whoa. Whohohoah. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh. My. God. Whooooooo! Ohhhh-hoh-hoh! Wow! Whooooh! Yeahhh. Ohhh. Oh my god, look at that: It's starting to even look like a triple rainbow. Oh my god, it's full on double rainbow all the way across the sky. Oh my god. I'm weeping. Oh my god. Oh my god. What does this mean? Oh! Oh my god.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Now that I have gathered enough details and scared up the nerve to write something that will certainly never satisfy me, I’m going public with my sorrow. Robert Emmett Bowen III died on Monday, August 30th, as a result of injuries sustained in a bicycle crash on Thursday night, August 26th. Someone driving a flatbed truck hit him while he was riding down Second Avenue. As far as I know, that someone is still walking around, breathing air Bob tried to keep clean with his words and with his actions. That someone is eating Doritos and watching television or whatever... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Now that I have gathered enough details and scared up the nerve to write something that will certainly never satisfy me, I’m going public with my sorrow. Robert Emmett Bowen III died on Monday, August 30th, as a result of injuries sustained in a bicycle crash on Thursday night, August... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2010 at Williamsprof's blog
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My mother and I were poised on the fake leather sofa in our living room watching The Exorcist on television when my father sneaked up behind us and yelled "WAAHHHHHH!" as loud as he could without pulling a neck muscle. I nearly jumped out of my dermis, and I imagine my mother did, too, because she promptly grabbed a thick, vanilla-scented candle off the coffee table and chucked it at him, missing wide to the left. The candle landed dully in the corner, and she emerged from her afghan and griped across the blue shag carpet to retrieve it. "Asshole,"... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Since we are still huddled together in the toxic shadow of Valentine's Day, I suppose it's appropriate to write about breaking up. Surely, thousands of VD survivors waited until after the holiday to move all their stuff out of apartments and disappear in U-Hauls; get caught cheating on purpose; send goodbye e-mails (or texts); or, hell, just break up face to face like people did before Nikola Tesla kindled the world's ruin with electricity. Thus? In honor of the colors red and gray, let me begin at the end of the middle. Katarina stood six feet tall in heels, and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
First, let me introduce myself. My entire family, on both sides, originated from Harlan, Kentucky, a coal town in the southeastern part of the Bluegrass State, a place of great importance to labor historians and country singers. My ancestry consists mostly of alcoholics and pill addicts, xenophobes, agoraphobes, preachers, toothless Felliniesque pinheads, veterans of foreign wars with unidentifiable diseases, attempted murderers, moonshiners and bootleggers, racists, golfers, magicians, disability royalty, suicides, freemasons, and a legion of mourners. Before I arrived on the scene, my mother and father and my two sisters moved north to Dayton, Ohio, birthplace of African-American poet Paul... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Feb 13, 2010