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Everything

A Beautifully Scrambled Egg

October 19, 2010
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Mathews is just talking about how to cook eggs. He’s paying really close attention to both the delicate things eggs are the delicate process of cooking them. What for? Because it’s frickin’ awesome. Shut up and enjoy the eggs.

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Scotch Wave of Light

October 18, 2010
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Klein speaks for those of us who are trying to decipher between what is real and what is illusion; these poems depict a speaker who is, like many of us today, trying to stay not only alive, but sentient, all the while bearing witness to the current tides of war, financial collapse, and personal loss.

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The Paris Review’s implement fetish

October 18, 2010
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William Styron didn’t write in notebooks. He tried notebooks, but they didn’t work for him. They do work for Paul Auster, though, so he writes in notebooks. He likes the ones with gridded lines, which he calls “quadrille lines — the little squares.” When Auster’s done with the notebooks he types everything up. He has a typewriter he bought in 1974.

What is that supposed to tell us? What does this reveal about Styron? What do we know or understand about Auster that we didn’t before?

Joseph Heller wrote stuff down on 3×5 cards he kept in his wallet, which he called a “billfold” in ’74. Gore Vidal writes fiction on yellow legal pads, but essays and plays on a typewriter. John Updike had a typewriter too and Jack Kerouac had two. Gay Talese wrote outlines in different colors of ink or the shirt boards he got when his clothes come back from the drycleaners.

What if none of this information actually acts to reveal anything?

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How to Ransack a Poem for Parts

October 16, 2010
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Hunch against the wind. / Call to the shadows / of lengthening children.

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Sarah V. Schweig, Zachary Pace, & more!

October 15, 2010

[Reading: Oct 22]

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Is Democracy Incompatible with the Humanities?

October 15, 2010
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Humanities programs aren’t being attacked because the voters are cretinous philistines (though we poets & writers prefer to stroke our own egos in thinking so). The humanities are suffering an identity crisis and are being picked off as the weakest competitors for state funding.

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More Construction Notes

October 14, 2010

Just a few things to notice about the site redesign.

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Outing and Demonizing

October 12, 2010

I don’t believe in “blessings” in disguise. I don’t believe that all that doesn’t kill me, strengthens me. I believe I was murdered emotionally. I believed that an already severe sadness was aggravated by being taunted relentlessly. This kid who was outed without his permission, who was exposed for the “entertainment” value of the reality TV culture is not merely an instance of gay bashing. He is a test of our failure not to torture. He is a victim of our pro-exposure, lack of empathy, sociopathic contempt for privacy or kindness. I keep his picture on my desk. I look at him every day.

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Surrealism Re-Imagined

October 11, 2010

At its heart, surrealism wages a political and ideological battle through language. By creating impossible images through placing disparate objects side-by-side, poetry dismantles and re-formulates our perceptions and conceptions of reality.

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Anxious yawp

October 11, 2010
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Whitman wanted the sign and the signified to be the same thing, to come together and, at the moment of poet’s invocation, be one. He wanted to cross the gap between sign and signified by poetic force …. He wanted the sign to be more than a sign, more than arbitrary, to really be alive, to be the thing, be filled with the spirit of the thing signified and the spirit of the people using the sign, but he consistently found that he was trapped in the realm of the sign, unable to bridge over to the reality of things, and that poems are made out of words – the vibrant life he wants to yawp is, on the page, only arbitrary symbols.

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Department of Records

October 11, 2010
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When the young woman of twenty-five notices faint lines around the mouth or tiny crowsfeet at the corner of her eyes, something even more intimate than vanity makes her stop to reflect. The script for her very own mortality play, written on the finest parchment, has begun to develop, nor does she need any special clairvoyance to divine the final act from the first.

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My First Day at Dodge

October 9, 2010
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The church doesn’t look like much from outside, but when you enter it, Oh my God! And not one, but two grand pianos in perfect tune! The one I played was a 150 year old Steinway—with an amazingly delicate upper range, perfect bel canto bass, and not much volume. It was an intimate Steinway, made specifically for just such a classy church.

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Poetry Fix, Episodes 13 & 14: Mary Oliver and Keats

October 8, 2010
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Episodes 13 and 14 of Poetry Fix. Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson briefly discuss John Keats’ poem “This Living Hand” and Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese.”

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What’s Your Style Book of Choice?

October 8, 2010
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I followed Strunk religiously until I read Geoffrey Pullum’s extensive bitchfest in the Chronicle of Higher Education about Strunk & White, and in recent years I have reconsidered my devotion.

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The Inward Soul: Dickinson and St. Theresa of Avila

October 5, 2010
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There is an inwardness so vast, so total, that it has a true integrity—not the pretentiousness of artistic temper, not the vanity of professional mysticism, not the neurosis of social anxiety disorder, but a forthrightness, an honorable, hourly withdrawal from the world that seems, for lack of a better word—ecstatic.

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Poetry Fix, Episode 12: Baseball Haiku

October 2, 2010
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Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson briefly discuss baseball haiku.

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