Tuesday, August 29, 2006

August is almost over.

Good-bye, August.

Write a poem saying farewell to August that doesn't use any details from nature (and that doesn't depend on the old "cycle of the seasons=the cycle of life" metaphor).

Now write a hello to September poem that uses a different strategy than your poem about August and still doesn't depend on the old cycle=cycle metaphor.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What do you know about flash mobs?

Apparently, I'm a few years behind. All of this is news to me. I thought flash mobs only happened when class let out or airline customers disembarked.

Word Spy


Stay Free! magazine
(interview with the originator in issue #24)

Bill Wasik (originator)

Sean Savage(near the bottom of page)

Jane McGonigal (at the bottom of page)


flash mob news from uk

wikipedia (includes picture of pillow fight flash mob in Toronto)(check out the link to Larry Niven's sci-fi story "Flash Crowd." In "Flash Crowd" gawkers and criminals use teleportation to go to the sites of news events as they're happening.)

Flash mob as bank advertisement (Interesting art always gets co-opted by commercial advertising)

Sad to Say

3rdBed is folding up. Wish them well.

(Also, interesting to note that their senior fiction editor is/was MT Anderson who wrote the YA novels Feed, Burger Wuss, Thirsty, and others. Who'd have thought he'd also be involved with a pomo lit magazine? I wonder how one informs the other. The world is full of possibility.)

Mish as Mash

Word Clouds can be had.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

CLMP Directory to Member Links

This site contains a long list of urls:

Council of Literary Magazines and Presses

To see the entire list click on "All Members".

Thursday, August 24, 2006


At Sketch of an Astronaut, Don says, Write a poem with two voices.

Alberto Rios on Newshour with Jim Lehrer

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bill Knott's Blog

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tagged by Laurel

Book that:

changed my life?
Russell Edson's The Very Thing That Happens made me want to write poetry. (And anything by Lauren Myracle.)

I've read more than once?
I just reread Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, Steven Kowit's In the Palm of the Hand, and most of Sheridan Blau's The Literature Workshop. I've read Jane Hirshfield's Nine Gates... book more than once, and will return to it soon. Every year I reread the books I teach. The one I usually get the most out of rereading is King Lear. It's odd. I think my own writing actually improves while I'm reading and shortly after reading King Lear.

I'd want on a desert island?
A book about how to get off the particular desert island I was on. And anything by Lauren Myracle.

made me laugh?
John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces is one of my favorites. Also, when I was 19 or 20 I read John Nichols' The Milagro Beanfield war. I was reading at night the scene where the old woman throws rocks. I laughed so hard I fell off my bed.

made me cry?
Most of them. None of them. I don't know. Let me think about it. You know the character in John Irving's book, I think it's the 158 Pound Marriage, the character who won't finish a book, he reads right up to the last few pages and stops, because finishing a book makes him too melancholy?

I wish had been written?
I don't think I've ever made that wish. But I do wish somebody would write that book about how to get off whatever island I will be stranded on. I'm waiting for more books by Lauren Myracle.

I wish had never been written?
Never wished this either. However, I can think of a few didactic grammar exercise books that are useless to most students because teachers so often misuse them.

I'm currently reading?
Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch
Beloved Infidel by Dean Young
Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford and a couple of books about how to use the writing portfolio in a high school classroom.

I've been meaning to read?
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

And I guess I'll tag Glenn and Henhen and Smartweed and Don.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August rejections still coming in

Margie 7/18/06, rej 8/1/06
Threepenny Review 7/21/06, rej 8/3/06
jubilat 6/18/05, rej 8/4/06
Harvard Review 7/18/06, rej 8/12/06
Paris Review 4/29/06, rej 8/14/06

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Check This Out

I feel certain there's no such thing as the Sensitivity Through Poetry Program, but this is interesting: Shakespeare Sonnets Read by Some Guy from New York.

First, Some Guy pretends someone is making him do something like community service. Next, he reads the sonnet. Then he discusses the sonnet. I've only listened to a couple, but they're well done.

"Sharing Makes My Air Fresher"

One of my sons made the above statement today while working with his brother to build the pictured couch pillow structure. One of the most interesting features of the structure is that if you drop a quarter into it, something inside sings "la! la! la! la!" (in an incredibly loud and screechy voice).

I mention this mainly because the phrase my son used struck me, and because their building process reminded me a bit of what my writing process has been like sometimes, especially lately, which is to say, lately I've been trying to cram together a bunch of things that don't fit together right, but once I get a big enough pile, I figure I might as well start climbing on it.

The "la, la, la," well, I'm working to get a handle on that, too.

Compare These Essays

"The Rose of the Name" by Joshua Clover appears in the first issue of Fence, and "Fear of Narrative and the Skittery Poem of Our Moment" by Tony Hoagland appears in the March issue of Poetry.

Now write two poems, one that Robert Hass might call ethical, one that will allow you to escape from the inescapable room of one of Joshua Clover's favorite childhood jokes, and one that Hass might call unethical, one that allows you to stay there in that room in(e)scaping or whatever. Now put those two poems together on a page and let them talk at each other.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Be Somebody Else

and write.

This can take the pressure off. Write in the voice of somebody else, one of your students or your mom. Write what you think they would write about something. And if it turns out as less than you'd hoped, blame them. Lower your standards a bit, then go back as yourself and fix it.

But if it turns out better than you hoped, all right then. Put your name on it.

Later today, as Olivia de Havilland, I shall write of beauty, or maybe hunger, perhaps patent law.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Got a line?

Yesterday, Don gave me a line to write a poem from. I'm struggling right now, but it's a good struggle. I came here now to give myself something else to work on and think about while the back of my brain, or the bottom, or wherever it is, works on the problems that Don's line has presented to me. Using Don's line, I'm trying to write a poem..., well, actually it doesn't matter. What matters is having some more lines to write from. Here, I'll supply four or five. Feel free to use them however. Of course, they're really not mine to give away anyway. But if you have a line or two within reach that you think might be a good poem starter, an idea to build on or argue with, an epigraph, or whatever, I wish you'd share.

I offer these to you (I'll probably try to use some of them, too):

"Thou art the sky and thou art the nest as well."
--Rabindranath Tagore

"Beauty is momentary in the mind"
--Wallace Stevens

"That word drama has been somewhat discredited of late."

"I do not cough for my own amusement"
--Jane Austen

"As I was floating down impassive rivers,
I no longer felt myself steered by the haulers"

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Wall & Window Behind Me

Ok. Ok. Don says this is boring; so let's make it into a writing exercise:

write about the wall and/or window behind you. Consider things like history, construction, the other side, the inside, the end. Consider passersby. Consider those not fortunate enough to have a wall. Consider the writing on the wall. Consideer what the animals think. Any of this. Or something else.

Monday, August 07, 2006

List of Fuels

I'm trying to make a list of fuels. Any suggestions?

Everyone of them, including popcorn.
because it's probably not really food,
but it's good on popcorn.
and other things you can't eat.
Look at the stars.
They burn everything.
They burn:

I need help with my list.

(I remind you that Matter (there's a link on the right) is accepting submissions for their FUEL issue until Sept 1.
There's method to my madness here.
If you're submitting a good poem, mention my name.)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

August Rejections Already Rolling In

Margie 7/18/06, rej 8/1/06
Threepenny Review 7/21/06, rej 8/3/06
jubilat 6/18/05, rej 8/4/06

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Still Life 2

I have a reasonable draft of the poem I wrote from the first still life below. It's in two parts. The working title is "Still Life With and Without Reader."

I guess the first line for this next still life poem will be "The lion approaches the pirate skull telescope from beneath the arm of the black, extruded-plastic alien."

Part two, the coda, the response to the call, may be called "In a Different Light."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Poetry Foundation Calls Dean Young (on the phone) to Get Him to Explain His Poem "Dear Reader"

The podcast can be downloaded at the poetry foundation's audio site.

And Dean tells the truth.

This is the James Tate "Dear Reader" poem Dean Young refers to.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Still Life

The first line of my still life poem will be:

"The apples don't know what they want."

Poetry and Pizza in SF

Poetry and Pizza Reading Series

Say hello to Glenn for me.

Writing Exercise

I don't know the ins and outs of the exact assignment, but when I was in Squaw Valley, one of the workshop leaders, I think it was CD Wright, suggested to one of my housemates, Stephen Massamilla, that he write a poem that is a still life. Now I suggest that to you. Write a poem that is a still life.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Scientists find a relationship between how a word sounds and how it's used.

Checkout this article in Seed magazine.

Looks like the source is here.

I don't know. For me, "marble" is both noun and verb.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

July Rejections Are Now In. Keep 'em coming.

Cortland Review 8/21/05, rej 7/3/06
The Journal 3/22/06, rej 7/12/06
Blackbird 9/3/05, rej 7/14/06
Cimarron Review 5/1/06, rej 7/14/06
Pleiades 4/29/06, rej 7/30/06

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