Tuesday, September 27, 2005

background: John Coltrane, stellar Regions

Two rejections this week, one the day after the other. But, I must persevere! My Immortal Ship is sailing this way to pick me up at the Dock of Last Days, you know what I mean?

B and I got netflix this past week. It's my new favorite thing--a promise of guaranteed mail! And they even send emails to say when something's coming! A steady stream of correspondences!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Look! A wierd Virtual Puppy!

my pet!
This is perhaps one of my favorite things in the whole world. I proudly add it to the list of links to the right.

And this entry is dedicated to H, a friend and, I've been recently flattered to learn, a devoted reader of this blog.

Not much to say about poetry today, except that Merwin's new book is pretty good, his best in a few books, I'd say.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Soundtrack: John Coltrane: Live at Birdland

It's sad, really. I come home every day all excited, hopeful, about the mail, anticipating news from poetry city. No news of late.

On another front, the poems are coming, and I'm reading with deep and ernest engagement--this Graham Greene novel is softly blowing my mind. And Mary Szybist's tightly coiled poems, too.

What's anyone out there reading these days?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Soundtrack: Juju, Wayne Shorter

Reading Material: Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene, Granted by Mary Szybist

Good News: Spent the past weekend in upstate New York, lake country, at a wonderful wedding with boat rides, puppies, interesting new friends.

Bad News: The dog my family's had since I was about 10 is being put to sleep tomorrow. She's about fifteen, and very infirm. I will miss her.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Stressed today, can't quite say why. Lots of work I should be doing but am not. Went out drinking with friends, one of whom boarded a motorcycle with a strange fireman, the thrill of the night.

Need to teach myself to relax, never my stong point.

Read the Bret Lott Story in the newest Colorado Review. And the new Cole Swenson poems about gardens. Looking forward to her upcoming book about hands. Her work makes more and more sense.

Wrote a sad poem about my dog, who, I think, will have to be put to sleep soon.

Most things go well.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wonderful New Poems By Friends

Check out Jesse Ball and Zach Schomburg in the new issues of The Paris Review and Fence. And check out the stunner by Olena Kalitiak Davis in Fence, and the stunner on the cover.

Continuing the generational discussion that's going on below, I was talking with "Anonymous B" about it. It's interesting too to wonder when the poets now in their mid to late twenties will coalesce into a kind of recognizable group or generation or whatever, as poets in their thirties have in the last five or so years. I guess that's part of what I was sort of sarcastically questioning in my previous post--I'm starting to have a sense, for the first time, of who the poets I consider my contemporaries are. It's kind of like a terrifying and vast high school getting smaller, like in that old commercial when the new kid didn't know where to stand when using the drinking fountain, and then he did.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Talkin' Bout My Generation

Who are the poets in my generation? If I'm friends with poets in another generation, are they in my generation too? Or do I have to skip ahead to theirs? I don't really want to. And what about the poets in between my generation and the older one? Are they closer to my generation or the one ahead of us? Who, even now, is staying up late into the night, editing the anthology that will tell me how old I am?

Monday, September 05, 2005

5th Season

Soundtrack: Live At The Fillmore East (March 1970), Miles Davis

This summer's extreme heat was worth slogging through for these few lovely days of calm cool breezes and sun. This lovely weather is ironic in light of what's going on down south, and it seems unfair to enjoy it, but wrong not to.

We're just having a lazy weekend around here, lots of naps, cooking meals, not leaving the house. B. is in the kitchen preparing for the class she's teaching this fall, and I'm in our room, listening to music and blogging to have something to do while I'm listening.

Today I've been playing all my electric Miles Davis albums. They used to seem too sloppy and crazed, but now they're just beautiful. There's really nothing else like them, a sort of tidal wave of sound out of which sparkles of melody rise. And it's relentlessly aggressive.

Sending poems out into the world again, to VOLT, The Hat, elsewhere. And the manny this week to Alice James.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Soundtrack: Bitches' Brew, Miles Davis

Well, just finished revamping the ole' manuscript for this fall's round of contests. Wish me luck, and I wish you the same.

B. and I had a long, complicated talk the other night about the value of new literary magazines that may not have the rescources to hold out in the long run, that may fold after two or three years. Basically, I said that the important thing is that young magazines create venues for new writing, offer opportunities for young, professional-quality poets who are unlikely to get into APR or The Yale Review to publish their work and become part of a larger community of poets all of whom share various aesthetic interests. B. contended that magazines that don't last do a disservice to young poets because in five years, if the magazine folds, no one will be able to find a copy, and the poems will be essentially lost. No one but the few people who actually got a copy of the issue will remember them. The publication credit, too, loses value because a defunct magazine doesn't carry much prestige, especially if people don't remember what it was about in the first place. I said, however, that no one expects the magazines, or the poems in them, to last; a poet needs to publish a book for his or her poems to stick a while. There are so many young magazines now, so many new ideas, so many folding all the time. It's hard to imagine this varied, compelling, trend-oriented, ever-blossoming poetic climate any other way. And hasn't it always been like this? But what will the consequences be in ten or twenty years?