Tuesday, February 28, 2006


"'You and I are disappearing'"

Komunyakaa is reading in Greeley, CO, at the University of Northern Colorado, tomorrow, March 1 at 7:30.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hammer Time

And MC Hammer has a blog.

Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell has a blog.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Building toward Narrative

Why not? On rereading the previous post, after a few lines, maybe by "Gneiss," I'm bored. As I rethink, I find myself wondering where the verbs are. Also, 1. and 2. feel like they need to be shuffled.


Oil rests on water. Ink
diminishes light.
Boil and totter. Wink the alphabet. Integer.
Vinegar stings.
Up can be over. Down and ouch,
obstinate as ice,
the onion pushes back at the knife.
Rice opens. Drown the couch. Inflight dirt.
Gneiss crumbles into gneiss.
And, but, for this region molten,
my grandmother, henceforth, and all of the glaciers
gliding away on their own melt.
Maybe it's a sign.
Band leader. Birth mother.
Hope and fear chase each other.
Jail. Jail. Jail. Pling.
Tree line. Afterlife.
Oh, empty. Oh, spectrum.
Reponsibility is doing the right thing at the right time.
One dollar bill holds an apology note.
The rest hold out. Oven hands.
Stove heart.


1. Oil and water. Ink and paper. Vinegar.
Up and over. Down and ouch. In cider.
Un and done. Onion.
Knife. Rice. Gneiss.
Bagel. Gable. Bramble. Blamber.
And, but, for this region, because.
Reason. Red Zone. Redesign.
Grandmother. Earth's core.
Nitrous vitreole.
Male. Flail. Fail. Solar flare.
Feline. Free line. Tree line.
Hope and fear chase each other.
Oh, empty. Oh, spectrum.
Oven hands. Stove heart.

2. Boil and totter. Wink and lasar. Integer.
Blub and clover. Drown the couch. Inflight dirt.
Grunion. Grunion.
Gripe. Thrice. And again.
Blah, blah. Buh. Ulp. Clamping hammer.
He sought to cleave the cause.
Sedition. Elephant throne. Maybe it's a sign.
Band leader. Birth mother.
Fulvous oxide.
Jail. Jail. Jail. Pling.
Canine. Tree line. Afterlife.
Reponsibility is doing the right thing at the right time.
Oh, infinity. Oh, rectum.
One dollar bill holds an apology note.
The rest hold out.

Friday, February 24, 2006

February Rejections

The Gettysburg Review 10/10/05, rej 2/3/06
Pool 1/18/06, rej 2/6/06
Washington Square 10/3/05, rej 2/6/06
Cue 1/5/06 rej 2/7/06
Hunger Mountain 12/23/05, rej 2/24/06

4 months, 2 weeks, 4 months, 1 month, 2 months. What does that average out to?

11.5 months divided by 5 equals an average wait time of 2.3 months for rejections received in February.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Open Source Poem IV

If every moment has a continued existence in the mind,
isn’t it kind to think that the medium,here before you,
his handlebar moustache marking him out as eccentric,
the tweed trousers a mistake for his years, only forty,
stands some suspect chance, admittedly, of revealing
to you, the seeker, some hint, a shadow of her heart?

To even have a shadow of a heart, one must first have had a heart,
Admitted the senses, the feelings of humanity to oneself,
Taken a part in that human game known as life, confessed their mortality.
How could I then be known to anyone else? How could he know me?
For him to truly know me, I would have to have knowledge of myself
And that mystery of self is hazier still to me than to he.

But that mystery is the reason, for being here
To try and understand, to learn which path to take
Entrusting ones life to the ethereal plane and its whims
Or is it to a showman, a flim-flam, a fake?
Taking your inner demons and twisting your soul for profit
Who is the eccentric now?

Rilke says, “Every angel is terrible.” He means, Beauty
burns us down. Consider dusk. What does it mean?
Every day cows return to the barn. James Wright says,
“I have wasted my life.” Anyone could say everything
and not live up to that. Cows in barn. Angels asleep.
The medium before you. Consider the dusk.

Glenn has written stanza five.

Check out his use of "veal."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Poetry Foundation

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Surrealist Compliment Generator

The SCG is here.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Chuck Norris

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Corroding the Narrative

Last night, in a workshop I'm taking at ColoState, one of the other students talked about corroding the narrative. I think that's a useful idea.

One corrosion of the poem I've been tossing around gives me this.



Flashlight beam pools scorpion announces tamarisk rocks knot raft past Moab since dusk six thousand stars nothing the stern and arc hear constellations sizzle on their black and water look each into the other sleep.


Andrew corroded his narrative, and I corroded this narrative, by taking out words, especially connective words. Is it possible to corrode the narrative by adding? Is it possible to corrode the narrative by replacing?

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Revision Questions

Flashlight beam pools and bobs into balance.
A scorpion at chest level announces nothing
to the rocks above the knot that holds
this boat from drifting in Colorado snow melt.

I stand on the edge and arc
piss across night to hear constellations sizzle
on any of their black planes.
Night and water look each into the other.

Where have I left you?


Questions I still have as I read this:

Why "balance"? How can a flashlight be balanced? on the fingers? In the hand? On the table? Or is it the light that's balanced? against the dark? against sight? The "b" of balance sounds right, but is there a better word for meaning? Or can the rest of the poem or a title build a context for "balance"? Does the second to the last line suggest a kind of balance--night and water on either side of the river's skin?

How does the scorpion get to chest level in the poem? Is he a flying scorpion? Is she perched on the rocks of a later line? I remember seeing the scorpion sitting on the sand within a circle of light from my flashlight beam. The scorpion was probably three or four inches long, so really not dangerous like the little ones we sometimes found under our sleeping tarps on the Green. The scorpion of this poem was on a rock wall at a camp site called Scorpion Flats on the Colorado R. The river, slow at that point, as I recall, meets the wall and turns and lolls past, as I recall. The boat was tied in an eddy along the wall. The wall was about eight feet from water to the top, to the soil where we built a fire and played guitar and told lies and drank beer, the flat ground that spread into elevation for hundreds and hundreds of yards to meet other sudden rises of rock. In the wall that met the river there were what amounted to three steps or ledges. The drinking and singing was done. It was time to sleep. The scorpion was on the middle step beside a tamarisk plant. The raft's bowline was tied to that tamarisk. We all slept in our boats that night, mostly to avoid setting up camp. The sky was lit with the six thousand stars we can see on a clear, moonless night. Where should this poem go? Should it be spliced into a collage of other phrases? Should it try to figure out what/who the speaker's looking for? Can this poem borrow any of the phrases from this questioning? Why am I revising in public? Is the scorpion a scorpion or does it need to be something else?

What/who is the speaker really looking for? The earlier version suggests he's looking for his wife. In this version it could just as easily be a reader. If he's really searching, why does he stop to piss in the river? It's a relaxed search.


Here's another try that doesn't feel so different from what came before:

Flashlight beam pools and bobs from circle to circle.
A scorpion at chest level announces nothing
to the tamarisk and the rocks that hold the knot
that holds this raft from drifting down past Moab.

We have been singing since dusk. Now
six thousand stars say nothing.

I stand on the stern and arc
piss across night to hear these constellations
sizzle on their black planes.
Night and water look each into the other.

Sleep, where have I left you?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Baker

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jack Martin

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Big Names


Monday, February 06, 2006

Old News

What about foetry?

Should friends publish friends?

Yes? But not as part of a contest that charges a fee?

No? A poet's only friend should be the right words stringing from page to page?

Maybe? If it's good?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Like muffins?

Muffin films

And there are other films by
Amy Winfrey

And this traffic cone stuff is worth a grin.

Writing Exercises

Write a poem that's six sentences long. One sentence should be much longer than all of the other sentences in the poem. Two of the sentences should be much shorter than all of the other sentences in the poem. The poem should contain the words "Utah," "ping," "tractor," and the scientific name for an insect.

This reminds me of an exercise that Carl Phillips gave at the Nebraska Writers Conference, actually I guess it's called the Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference, a couple years ago. Let's see, what was his exercise?

Ok, well, I managed to find all five of his exercises buried in an old folder. He offered one per day during the conference. He seemed to be creating them off the top of his head. This is how I transcribed them:

Five exercises from Carl Phillips--Lincoln, Nebraska, July 2004
Compose a poem that contains three types of sentences—statements, fragments, questions.
Use one of the sentence types once, one of the sentence types twice, and use the other type three times.
Your poem should include an animal and something sexual.

Write a poem that is no more than 15 lines.
Use three sentences—one long, one short, one in between.
Your poem should include the word “lamentably,” a piece of fruit, and a piece of dialogue.

Write a three stanza poem.
Two of the stanzas should be consistent in the way they break lines.
The third stanza should have line breaks that are not consistent.
Each stanza should be a different length, but know why.
Your poem should include a terrible wound, a tree referred to by its scientific name, a garment (not on the body it once was on).

Write a poem that is two stanzas.
Stanza one focuses on the argument.
Stanza two focuses on the image/imagery.
Your poem should include a tattoo and a latinate word.

Write a poem that borrows a line (the first line) from another poem.
Use this borrowed line like an acrostic:
each line in your poem begins with a word from the borrowed line.
Your poem’s first line begins with the first word, second line begins with the second word, etc.
The first word of the poem will also be the last word.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bill Hicks

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