Monday, April 30, 2007

Dis & Dat

The 2007 Poet Laureate Of The Amy King . Kudos to her. Yours truly ended up in 11th place - which seems just about right considering the caliber of my fellow candidates. Thanks to those of you that voted for me & all the other worthy poets.

NaPoWriMo - I discovered that, when under timeline constraints I couldn't write myself out of a paper bag. Some of the poems that I posted this month were downright abysmal. Still I had fun and broke out of a writer's block that had been going on for some time. Now the trick is to stop writing at the drop of a hat. ...Oops there goes another one.

Erin Bertram is this year's winner of Thorngate Road's Frank O'Hara Award Chapbook Competition! Past winners being: Brent Goodman, Aaron Smith, Stacey Waite, & Charles Jensen.

A sobering thought from Suzanne's blog: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."


NaPoWriMo - - Roundup

Day 1. The Song Remains the Same
Day 2. To the Woman Crossing on a Red Light
Day 3. The Changeling
Day 4. Losing My Voice
Day 5. Real Men Don't Write Poetry
Day 6. NaPoMo Blues
Day 7. NaPoMo Blues #7
Day 8. Rather Than Bleat
Day 9. A War of Attrition
Day 10. When Poetry Came
Day 11. Do Zombies Sleep?
Day 12. Do Zombies Fall Asleep by Counting Sheep?
Day 13. Poem Pimp
Day 14. Patellar Reflex
Day 15. The Voice I do Not Have
Day 16. DUD
Day 17. This is a Non-Poem
Day 18. Talking ‘Bout my MSN Generation
Day 19. Do Zombies Read Their Own Obituaries?
Day 20. La Morte Des Expos
Day 21. Peccatore
Day 22. Untitled
Day 23. NaPoMo Blues #23
Day 24. NaPoMo Blues #24
Day 25. Presently Untitled
Day 26. Of Patron Saints And Cobblestones
Day 27. One Hundred Elvises And a Gadfly
Day 28. 3 Haikus #28
Day 29. 3 Haikus #29
Day 30. 3 Haikus #30

* Don't tick me off or I'll post them all over again!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bill Knott Speaks Out

This was posted today over at Bill Knott's


*please go to this website and vote for me to be blog

i'm not on the roster of nominees, so post a vote for me as a write-in candidate . . .

by definition only a blog poet can be blog laureate, and none of the current nominees are blog poets . . .

none of the nominees listed on the ballot are eligible for the post, because they're not blog poets . . .

they're not blog poets because they don't publish their poetry on their blogs . . .

i may not be worthy of bloglaureatehood, but at least i publish my poetry on my blog, which ergo makes me a blog poet . . .

you can't be a blog poet if you don't publish your poetry on your blog . . .

that's a fact, and no ad hominem aspersions of me will change it . . ."

Posted on on 4/23/2007 at 4:22 by Anonymous

do they publish their poetry on their blogs? all of it? i have posted all of mine on my blog, or am in the process of doing it . . . I've posted hundreds of poems from over forty years of writing poetry . . . have any of these nominees published to the same degree on their blogs? how can you be a blog poet if you don't publish your poetry (all of it) on your blog??? most of your nominees are dead tree poets, not blog poets

Posted on 4/23/2007 at 4:30 by Anonymous

oops forget to add my name to the comment above: Bill Knott


Dear Bill,

I respect the fact that you have published and continue to publish your poetry on your Blog. Disseminating your poetry for public consumption is commendable and certainly (in my opinion) adheres to the spirit of the medium. I must also admit that I enjoy reading the poetry on your blog. That you have not been nominated for this honor is unfortunate. But I don't see how denigrating those that have been nominated - thus belittling the process and title changes that fact.

I do not believe that I belong on such a list of poets or that there is any danger, any time soon, of me being elected Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere. I am sure that whomever is elected will be a much worthier candidate than myself. I am relatively new to the PoBiz and am neither an MFA student nor educator in creative writing. I am not a "dead tree poet" in that I have not been published, although the thought that I should be has crossed my mind on several occasions. I publish most, if not all, my poetry on my blog in a series of posts that I call "Poems in Vitro".

Someone on an on-line poetry workshop once informed me that I was a much better critic of the literary genre than practitioner and that I would never amount to anything as a poet. I am, I hope, in the process of proving that assertion to be fallacious.

Finally, while I may not agree with your contention, I believe you have every right to voice your opinion. However, I do not understand how deriding this ethernet election, which only appears to spotlight the poet online and furthers "Poetry" (in this relatively new medium) can coincide with your obvious love for and devotion to Ars Poetica.

Best Regards
Nick Bruno

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm in a Jean Beraud State of Mind

Les Grands Boulevards - Le Theatre Des Varietes

NaPoWriMo: # 23 & #24




*just some random thoughts scribbled down - running on empty here in MTL.!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lay a Little Lovin' on me

2007 Poet Laureate Of The Blogosphere Voting Begins

Listed below are the eligible candidates for the 3rd annual Poet Laureate Of The Blogosphere election. Previous winners are Jilly Dybka & Ron Silliman. Nominations and rules may be found here.

The Poets:

Bob Hazelton of

Steven Schroeder of poetry, philosophy, poetics...

Laurel K Dodge of Possum

Michael Parker of Michael Parker's Journal

Collin Kelley of Collin Kelley

Alex Gildzen of Arroyo Chamisa

Sherry Chandler of

Sam Rasnake of sam of the ten thousand things

Levari of Night Book

Sandra Beasley of Chicks Dig Poetry

Kasey Silem Mohammad of Lime Tree

Rebbecca Loudon of Radish King

Rob Mackenzie of Surroundings

Helen Losse of Windows Toward the World

Pris Campbell of Songs To A Midnight Sky

Amy King of

Lorna Dee Cervantes of Lorna Dee Cervantes

Nick Bruno of They Shoot Poets - Don't They?


Thanks to Billy the Blogging Poet for setting this all up.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

NaPoWriMo Update - For Those of You Keeping Score

Day 1. The Song Remains the Same

Day 2. To the Woman Crossing on a Red Light

Day 3. The Changeling

Day 4. Losing My Voice

Day 5. Real Men Don't Write Poetry

Day 6. NaPoMo Blues

Day 7. NaPoMo Blues #7

Day 8. Rather Than Bleat

Day 9. A War of Attrition

Day 10. When Poetry Came

Day 11. Do Zombies Sleep?

Day 12. Do Zombies Fall Asleep by Counting Sheep?

Day 13. Poem Pimp

Day 14. Patellar Reflex

Day 15. The Voice I do Not Have

Day 16. DUD

Day 17. This is a Non-Poem

Day 18. Talking ‘Bout my MSN Generation

Day 19. Do Zombies Read Their Own Obituaries?

Day 20. La Morte Des Expos

* If you missed any of these consider yourself lucky

Thursday, April 19, 2007


NaPoWriMo #19

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tagged by Sam

Here’s the tag: Five poetry collections you may not have read but certainly must:

Richard Hugo, “The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir”
Thomas Lux, “Selected Poems”
Dan Pagis, “Variable Directions: The Selected Poems of Dan Pagis”
Sharon Olds, “The Dead and the Living“
Yehuda Amichai, “Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai”

The collections, for whatever reason, should be a bit off the beaten path. And need not have caused the earth to open and swallow you whole.

I'm not sure how far "off the beaten path" these collections are, but at least they're not on the main thoroughfare.

*If you haven't been tagged and you're on my blog-roll consider yourself tagged

NaPoWriMo - Day 18 - #18

Talking ‘Bout my MSN Generation


I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel

Man and Camel
by Mark Strand

On the eve of my fortieth birthday
I sat on the porch having a smoke
when out of the blue a man and a camel
happened by. Neither uttered a sound
at first, but as they drifted up the street
and out of town the two of them began to sing.
Yet what they sang is still a mystery to me-
the words were indistinct and the tune
too ornamental to recall. Into the desert
they went and as they went their voices
rose as one above the sifting sound
of windblown sand. The wonder of their singing,
its elusive blend of man and camel, seemed
an ideal image for all uncommon couples.
Was this the night that I had waited for
so long? I wanted to believe it was,
but just as they were vanishing, the man
and camel ceased to sing, and galloped
back to town. They stood before my porch,
staring up at me with beady eyes, and said:
"You ruined it. You ruined it forever."

Excerpt from MAN AND CAMEL. © 2006 by Mark Strand.
Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Edward Byrne on Strand's "Man And Camel":

"The title poem fits into the first section as a typical surrealist piece in which humor and absurdity are employed for effect and the poem closes with a final phrase or sentence akin to a punch line. In this poem a speaker who pauses to smoke a cigarette on his porch is approached by a man and a camel. ... On occasions like this, Strand seems to suggest readers should enjoy imagined art for what it presents rather than analyzing for underlying layers of messages or self-fulfillment. Nevertheless, an irony presents itself, as no poet’s poems invite such scrutiny any more than Mark Strand’s surrealist lyrics. Yet, Strand’s comical and self-mocking poems, whether they are funny fables or bizarre vignettes, frequently seem to me the least engaging upon repeated readings, sounding almost like old jokes told a second time. Even the elliptical phrases from the first section that at times appear reminiscent of Wallace Stevens’s poetry do not linger as long or as well as the more meditative and introspective monologues later in the collection might. In fact, one wishes this volume’s title instead spotlighted an example of the more substantial poems from the last two sections of the book."

Monday, April 16, 2007

2007 Pulitzer Prize For Poetry

'Native Guard,' by Natasha Trethewey

In her introduction to Trethewey's book "Domestic Work," Rita Dove said, "Trethewey eschews the Polaroid instant, choosing to render the unsuspecting yearnings and tremulous hopes that accompany our most private thoughts." (

Letter Home
by Natasha Trethewey

--New Orleans, November 1910

Four weeks have passed since I left, and still
I must write to you of no work. I've worn down
the soles and walked through the tightness
of my new shoes calling upon the merchants,
their offices bustling. All the while I kept thinking
my plain English and good writing would secure
for me some modest position Though I dress each day
in my best, hands covered with the lace gloves
you crocheted--no one needs a girl. How flat
the word sounds, and heavy. My purse thins.
I spend foolishly to make an appearance of quiet
industry, to mask the desperation that tightens
my throat. I sit watching--

though I pretend not to notice--the dark maids
ambling by with their white charges. Do I deceive
anyone? Were they to see my hands, brown
as your dear face, they'd know I'm not quite
what I pretend to be. I walk these streets
a white woman, or so I think, until I catch the eyes
of some stranger upon me, and I must lower mine,
a negress again. There are enough things here
to remind me who I am. Mules lumbering through
the crowded streets send me into reverie, their footfall
the sound of a pointer and chalk hitting the blackboard
at school, only louder. Then there are women, clicking
their tongues in conversation, carrying their loads
on their heads. Their husky voices, the wash pots
and irons of the laundresses call to me.

I thought not to do the work I once did, back bending
and domestic; my schooling a gift--even those half days
at picking time, listening to Miss J--. How
I'd come to know words, the recitations I practiced
to sound like her, lilting, my sentences curling up
or trailing off at the ends. I read my books until
I nearly broke their spines, and in the cotton field,
I repeated whole sections I'd learned by heart,
spelling each word in my head to make a picture
I could see, as well as a weight I could feel
in my mouth. So now, even as I write this
and think of you at home, Goodbye

is the waving map of your palm, is
a stone on my tongue.

2002 by Natasha Trethewey - from Bellocq's Ophelia : Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

NaPoWriMo - Day 16 - #16 - Still Hanging on



Jean Beraud - "Boulevard Des Capucines"

Claude Monet -
"Boulevard des Capucines "
Oil on canvas

Saturday, April 14, 2007

32 Poems - Vol 5 - Issue 1

The fact is that I have just read 32 Poems from cover to cover and marvelled at the diversity that I found between the aforementioned. Within I discovered what might easily be construed as snippets from the Theatre of the Absurd - a place where we all share the view that man is inhabiting a universe with which he is out of key. Its meaning is indecipherable and his place within it is without purpose. He is bewildered, troubled and obscurely threatened.

I.E.: Christian Nagle's - "Things My Father Taught Me"

4. "If it looks like it's going to hurt, leave early"

9. "People with a little power are extremely dangerous
----Belgian train conductors have a little power "

14. Certain people have deceitful hands.Type when you can.

Or: Daniel Nester's - "Queries"

"Don't loomers always appear from overhead?"

"Aren't all the horses in Hades, in fact, fiery?

"Can roadkill really fart--that is, be flatulent--after they're dead?"

"Isn't all gloom insufferable?"

"Aren't all shadows ominous to some degree?"

"The moon has always been pale, yes?"

Then within the same volume we feast on morsels of the secular:

I.e.: Joanne Diaz - "While Reading Ovid's Amores"

"...Perhaps//on a breezy day--I like to imagine
sometime in 1968--a reader left
this book on his couch to go
for a walk, and in his absence
his cat rubbed its ears against the pages"

Or - Robin Beth Schaer's - "Hollow"

You fill the closets and drawers, fold
and wait. In the pines between our homes,
your wife holds my ear against her belly;

And still in - Jane Springer's - "Boxes"

Inside that box there was nothing but a bit
of someone,

But it is in the poetry that reveals the speaker as fragile and broken down to their inner core that speaks the loudest to this reader:

I.e.: Kelly Madigan Erlandson's: " Rarely Have We Seen a Person Fail"

"I have not come to sobriety
of my own accord, and no one does. The alchemy failed
Weary of medicating the problem
with larger and larger doses of the problem, even I
could see the futility. ..."

or Marianne Kunkel's: "Where to Look"

"Lately I have been looking for myself //in everything.
...I sort out the old glasses in my kitchen,
keeping only those which,
unclouded, reflect my face in them."

In the end, for this humble reader the piece by Lucas Howell entitled, " We Are Not In This Together" was, in and of itself, well worth the price of admission:

You take a pinch of earth in your mouth
and though it's what you're made of

the grit is strange between your teeth--
you think, It tastes of salt from long dead seas.

But this field is the beast's pantry, stocked
with clover and sluggish, sunwarmed prey.

When you find this place, the wind
feels like wind against your skin,

and the sky arcs down over a world
you know is just like this, and the word

you want to use is forever--
but you know that isn't true.

You've seen the hoofprint glyphs
in draws where deer bed down.

You're still the only animal that needs
a word for home.

If one were to measure this poem's success ( and this issue of 32 Poems) according to Mary Kinzie's proviso: "What a poet [and editor] keeps out of a poem [issue] is as necessary to its success as what the poet [editor] lets into it.", then this poem and journal appear to have succeeded in fulfilling their purposes.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NaPoWriMo - Day Eleven - # 11

Do Zombies Sleep?

*second course to follow

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

NaPoWriMo - Day Eight - Easter Sunday

I am taking a break (don't sound relieved just yet) but will hopefully be returning tomorrow with something. Have a happy holiday. I leave you with this from Knopf Poetry:

Psalm 176
by Stan Rice

When I am appalled
By colossal artifice
The sad word
Is my fellow laborer.
What would make you
Want to forsake miracles
You are too close to.
My eyes are lights
In an emergency alert
System. The radio static
Sounds like water
Left on in the kitchen.
Not real silence. I
Am better off not having
Lived in the age of
Miracles for I can
Believe in them.

From: FALSE PROPHET - RandomHouse - 2003

Friday, April 06, 2007

"Ophelia" : J.W. Waterhouse

NaPoWriMo - Day Six - You Got Them... Smoke Them

NaPoMo Blues #7

*Best I could do on short notice

Thursday, April 05, 2007

NaPoWriMo - Day Five - No.6

Real Men Don't Write Poetry

*Old title new words

Monday, April 02, 2007

Knopf NaPoMo Poetry - W.S. DiPiero

The Hotel Room Mirror

But who was it, then, that made her so unhappy?
-Madame Bovary

A half-room, foreshortened even more
in the huge speckled armoire glass,
the distance chopped, uncrossable,
between your image and where I stood

twiddling the doorknob before I knew
my own key didn't fit, late night,
your interior so underlit
that bluer shadows oozed your forms.

Already too late, the door
breezed open where your back and thighs
twisted in the green-winged chair,
your body's light coiled, at rest.

Dressed, angled deeper in the surface,
your man pleaded, hands wide, as he flexed
sharp from the bed's protesting edge,
the sheets pinwheeled beneath his weight.

Your glance and his (haphazard,
stark and unconcerned) found mine
in the frame, waiting, though I stayed
invisible to myself, my stare

like your bold forms inhabiting
our depth of field, in the scuffed glass
transcribed. It was already still
too late to save you or be saved.

From Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems
Written by W.S. Di Piero