Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cuban Art at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Sugar-cane Cutters, by Mario Carréno, 1943.
From ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today,
an exhibition running from January 31 to June 2, 2008
at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Jorge Arche (1905 - 1956)
Portrait of Mary - 1938
Oil on canvas, 91.5 x 76.5 cm
Museo National de Bellas Artes, Havana
Photo Rodolfo Martínez
Courtesy The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Monday, May 26, 2008

To be a Poet Without a Book:

Lately, I've been feeling like that kid pressed up against the candy store's window unable to get inside because the front door just doesn't want to open up for me and even though there are probably 100 other means of ingress it just won't feel the same unless I get in through the front door. I see my friends and fellow poets in there having a blast. But I cannot share in their joy except perhaps vicariously. I've gotten wary of congratulating poets on recent pubs even though I truly mean what I say and fully acknowledge and revel in their mastery of the craft - feeling that I might inadvertently jinx their streak of good luck. (Not only is my muse not accepting my calls - the number she gave me has been disconnected.) And I'm wondering how long I can go on with this charade. I mean how long can I pretend to be the "poet without a pub or book" who's on the verge? (On the verge to what?) I mean how long can I go on practicing my responses to Kate Greenstreet's interview questions about my first book?:

Kate: "How did you feel when your book first arrived from the publishers?"

Me: "Yeah, (subdued laughter here) I remember vividly when the postman left that non-descript brown box on my doorstep - I couldn't wait to tear it open but realised (much to my chagrin) as I read the address that I had mistakenly been sent Paul Guest's books and had to send them back. (unabashedly balling my eyes out here)"

This circle of friends that is this online poetic community has been very good to me. Scratch that - they have been very accommodating and welcomed me with open arms. And even though some of my staunchest supporters have turned their backs on me as of late - silently and unnoticeably deleting me from their blogrolls - I understand that in the PoBiz you're only as good as your last pub. And since my last serious pub was a couple of years ago - I figure it's put up or shut up time. Or should that be "put out" or "butt out" time.

The truth is that I really haven't been subbing much and that 2007 has been (at least for me as Peter Pereira aptly called it) an "annus horribulus". (2008 - so far - hasn't been going according to plan either.) But there are no excuses made here and I am done whining. So you can pull your earplugs out.

But I also must admit that I had ostensibly abandoned this creation I called my "blog" before I even knew what it entailed and how its hungry little mouth always yelped to be fed. My recent time away from blogging did give me some perspective. In the midst of all the soul-searching that I did while away - which I must admit can be a very thirst-inducing business - I realized that all the stats regarding the status of my blog that I had been so meticulously referring to every day just seemed to melt into oblivion. I was getting so caught up in this blog's Technorati's "Authority Quotient" and my Blogshare's market value & the Holy Grail of stats: my overall “Hits & Blog Visits". I mean what did all these stats mean anyway & how were they really relevant to my poetry. This was just becoming a popularity contest of sorts. I realized that I didn't need this to show me who or what I really was. And even though I wasn't blogging my hits went up. (I'm not joking here.) So I figured maybe they're trying to tell me something - maybe if I don't blog for a year before you know it I'll pull in thousands of hits. (I'm joking here.) (Asides provided for the humorously challenged.)

So where does that leave me? Hell - if I know! I suppose that the fact that I'm still here means something. The fact that you're still here means something too. I'm just not sure what. I'm dense that way! So hey if you've got a sure-fired way of getting my manuscript published - short of making death threats to publishers - let me know. Otherwise I'll just be puttin' out the same old - same old and ride out into the sunset.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Catching up on the Mail

This from Brian Leary over at 42opus:

May at 42opus

Currently featured on the site is "The Adventure of the Mason," a brief, classic story by Washington Irving. Also featured this month is work from Farrah Field, John Clare, Keetje Kuipers, Matthew Arnold, Brittany Fonte, Carmen Giménez Smith, Sara Levine, and Ryo Yamaguchi.

Farrah Field began the month with "Desperate Mothers Are an Easy Lay":

They usually treated Detective Summers as though he were bravebecause they thought spending time with him would bring their children back.Summers approaches some women by what they're willing to door outdo. They believe it themselves, a freedom with bunions.It's easy to use someone's body.… read more…

debuts last month

The following pieces debuted on 42opus in April 2008:

Losing Your Breasts a poem by Joy Ladin
Apocrypha #9 a poem by Richard Froude
The Scholar Gypsy a poem by Matthew Arnold
Dover Beach a poem by Matthew Arnold
Postcard from a Kitchen Window a poem by J. Mae Barizo
Noche Buena a short story by Curt Eriksen
Out of Sorts a poem by David Thornbrugh
Rappaccini's Daughter a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Yellow Absence a poem by Melissa Koosmann
Another a poem by Melissa Koosmann

This kinda caught my eye and ear:

Out of Sorts


I have a zebra in my neck
going the wrong way against
his stripes, like Venetian blinds
caught in the throat
of a late afternoon hotel room.
Is this malaria in the public bath,
is this curare in the toothpaste,
is this my prostate clicking
on one of those digital ducks
swimming across the top of the page?
The streets of heaven are lined
with Prozac, and hell, well,
hell is beer that's all foam.
Drugs and religion both wore out
for me a long time ago
and lately my laptop overheats
alarmingly. By birth I’m a
fire sign tiger giving off noxious fumes
as I smolder towards tomorrow,
and the ache in my spine
is a vulture flopping itself clean
in an eyelid birdbath.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Via E-mail Express

Smartish Pace Issue 15 Release Party; Featuring Poets and Bands!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday May 31, 2008, 7:30 PM

The Whole Gallery,
405 W. Franklin St.,
Baltimore, MD 21201.

$10 at the door includes a copy of Issue 15 and all the food, drinks and merriment you can stomach. The event is free to Smartish Pace subscribers. Everyone is welcome.

Poets (from #15) at 8 PM: Douglas Basford, Christopher Cunningham, Stephen Kampa, Lia Purpura, Elizabeth Spires & Terrance Wedin.

Bands at 9 PM and playing late into the night:
Beans (Folk, Blues, Ghettotech) http://www.myspace.com/sinebean,
Baby Venom (Synth Lovely) http://www.myspace.com/babyvenombaby
& TBA (very soon).

For more info or questions e-mail Editor Stephen Reichert at sreichert@smartishpace.com.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

From the "You Know Your Career is Going Down the Toilet- When:" File

Oliver Stone to Shoot George W. Bush Biopic

Stone is famous for courting controversy with dramas like JFK (1991) and Nixon (1995). But with W, the 61-year-old filmmaker isn't merely courting it — he's grabbing controversy by the lapels and giving it a big wet smacker. For the first time, he's turning his cameras not just on a living president but on one who'll still be knocking around the White House when the movie premieres late this year. As if that weren't provocative enough, Stone could end up releasing the film as early as October, at the height of a presidential campaign in which one of the major issues will undoubtedly be the legacy of the guy on the screen. The movie has become a lightning rod before Stone has shot a single frame. ... Josh Brolin will play President George W. Bush and Elizabeth Banks will star as Laura — there is one major character still in search of an actor: a heavy named Dick Cheney.
By Benjamin Svetkey - Entertainment Weekly

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mail Call

Received this from Karen Craigo of Mid-American Review:


As I mentioned earlier, we do read work all through the year, and in general we're actually faster in the summer. So feel free to send your poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translations, and reviews to the following address:

Mid-American Review
Department of English
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green OH 43403

Unfortunately, we do not yet accept electronic submissions except in very rare cases for people with special circumstances. We expect to change that and open up electronic submissions to all in the future. Hopefully I'll be able to make that announcement in my fall newsletter. ...

Karen Craigo

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Quotes & Quotables

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.

--------------------------------------------------------------------Irish Proverb

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 10, 2008

In The Mail

Sid Miller sent me this - I thought I'd pass it along:

4th Annual
Burnside Review
Poetry Chapbook Competition

Judge: Paul Guest

We are sponsoring our fourth annual poetry chapbook competition. Winner will receive twenty-five copies and a two hundred dollar cash prize. Competition runs March 15th to June 30th. Winner will be announced approximately September 1st, with publication date set for winter. The same dedication and care will go into the production of the chapbook as with our journal—quality cardstock cover with photography, linen paper, excellent layout. We will make the publication process as cooperative as possible.


--18 to 24 pages of poetry. Individual poems may be previously published.
--2 cover sheets, one with the title of the manuscript, your name, telephone number, and address. The second cover sheet should list only the title of the manuscript.
--A page acknowledging previously published poems
--A self addressed stamped envelope
--Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us if the manuscript is accepted elsewhere

IF BY POST: Include a self addressed stamped envelope and a check or money order for $15- made out to Burnside Review. Entry must be postmarked by December 31st to: Burnside Review Poetry Chapbook Contest, P.O. Box 1782, Portland OR 97207
IF BY ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION: E-mail all of above a single Word file to contests@burnsidereview.org. Send $16- by Paypal to sid@burnsidereview.org. Fee and entry must be submitted within 24 hours of each other. Receipt of entry will be send after both arrive. (This method will save money and trees.)

The initial readers of the manuscripts will be Burnside Review staff members. They will choose between five and ten manuscripts as finalists to be passed on to the judge for selection of the winning collection.

We ask that former students or colleagues of the Burnside Review Chapbook Contest’s judge—as well as any writer whose relationship with the judge constitutes an unfair conflict of interest—refrain from entering the contest. The Burnside Review staff reserves the right to disqualify entries deemed conflicts of interest and will return those entry fees.

At no time will the judge have the names of the finalists.

Winner will receive 25 copies of the chapbook printed by Burnside Review Press and a cash prize of $200-.

All questions happily answered by e-mail : sid@burnsidereview.org.

Paul Guest is the author of The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World, winner of the 2002 New Issues Prize, and Notes for My Body Double, winner of the 2006 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. In 2007 he was a recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award. He teaches at the University of West Georgia.

complete guidelines available at www.burnsidereview.org