some poetry, politics & what have you

Friday, December 30, 2005

Going here a while ago only to find a picture of Garfield totally made my day. Apart from that methinks you need some more crime writing, so I'll remind you of Bill Pronzini. & Marcia Muller. Some criminal couple. Time as well, to link to Justin Sullivan, one of my all time favourite poets - mostly the lyrics up until 1989 - & New Model Army. You might take the time to listen to the absolutely amazing live version of The Hunt.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

F-Minus & Report Suspicious Activity from Alternative Tentacles. &, of course, lots of other lovely listening

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

my daddy was a graverobber
but he never hurt no body
he just loved to live that way
& he loved to steal your body

Monday, December 26, 2005

So, just after posting the previous note I received some links to poems by Justin Evans. They are here, here & here. At times blogs are a quick way of finding information. What strikes me on a first, summary reading is that yes, they might be described as rural, if that distinction is indeed useful. They are also fairly straight-forward & appear largely (auto-) biographical. They could also be called poems of (& in) place. For the most part I think they work well. If, however, I may offer some basic criticism, it sometimes feels like the words stand in the way of the poems. I would suggest reading, & maybe playing around with, some haiku - Yosa Buson would probably be the most useful one - & the first two books, Riprap & Myths & Texts, by Gary Snyder. That would be for brevity &, for want of a better word, form &, of course for some damn fine poetry. Now, I may well be way out of line here. (If I am, say so & I'll edit it out). There may be things at work here that isn't visible from just a handful of poems. Things that may have to do with his spoken prosody or any manner of other things. & besides, I'm not really all that much of a teacher of anything. & yes, I'll be keeping an eye on where mr. Evans goes in the future, there is something that interests me in a body of work such as he seems to be building. & I fear truly rural poets are an endangered species.

On to other things. On july 30 Nuclear Assault released their first new album in 12 years, Third World Genocide, & if the two songs on their website are anything to go by, the hiatus did them a (third) world of good. A band with as much long-term impact on my writing as N.A., but who don't know there is such a word as hiatus, is Chumbawamba. So far I've only heard the snippets from their new album, A Singsong & a Scrap, that are on their website. Of course the only things I can be certain about with Chumba is that they won't sound like they did on their last album & that they will sound good. After a couple of noisy swinging albums, this is an accoustic one. Once, many many moons ago, they began as some kind of disjunct punkrock band. Well, as far as I'm concerned they are one of the very few, say two or three, punk bands still around.

& now for something completely different; a deformed penguin. I'll resist the temptation to lecture & simply say "enjoy".

Some crime writing. A writer I haven't read yet, but who seems interesting, is Duane Swierczynski. Maybe I haven't yet got on your nerves about Robert B. Parker, or Sara Paretsky - anyone who can give the Patriot Act such a beautiful & savage beating as she does in Blacklist is forever included in my hall of fame. So are two writers quite distinct from the P persons & from each other; Tony Hillerman & Janwillem van de Wetering (this article about him, by Henry Wessells, is really good). The common feature that makes me mention Hillerman & Wetering in the same sentence, not once but twice, is that their views on crime, law, morals & justice differ radically from that of almost all other crime writers & of all so called western societies.

&, finally, I just learned that Kirby Olson has his first chapbook of poetry forthcoming. That is one book I'm curious about

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Justin Evans claims to be an untalented poet. Be that how it may, I haven't yet read any of his works. Besides, the concept of talent isn't all that clear to me. On his blog he writes quite a lot about his attempts to place his poems & second chapbook manuscript. This brings me to something I have thought a bit about in recent months; the art of getting your stuff published. The soon past year I have found that fairly easy. From the editors I've so far heard from I've had about 80% acceptances, including chapbook manuscripts (three accepted for publication in the spring, two of them by the first editor I sent them to, one rejected for the best reason possible - "This doesn't work for me" - besides that one wasn't ready to go out into the world as it then stood, & one I'm still waiting for word from the editor about). I'm not writing this to brag (well, not just), but to indicate that I must be doing at least something right. I find it difficult to believe it's because of some great talent. Rather, to me, it's about researching editors to find one who might be interested in the work you want to submit. I'm apparently fairly good at that. For instance, if one writes "rural" poetry, as Justin says he does, one might take a serious look at Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry or Big Bridge, & if they don't seem right, look at the mags & presses they link. Or anyone of ,at a modest estimate, 200 chapbook presses & god knows how many mags in the U.S, Canada, U.K, Australia or New Zeeland, most of which have websites, who just love rural poetry. That's all the mystery there is to it

Friday, December 23, 2005

There has been silence here due to a flurry of activity. Visit from the north, looking for work. & so on. & so forth. Tomorrow is christmas eve, in sweden they celebrate that more than christmas day. It has to do with habits that pre-date the christian cleansling (although, to be fair, the real cleansing didn't take place until the lutherans came to exterminate catholicism). I'm finding it difficult to believe it is christmas. Every year up until this one, christmas has been dark, nightmarishly cold &, in a worst case scenario, snowy. This year I'm greeting christmas in shorts. Today has been mostly cloudy, & the temperature at 23 degrees celsius, with little or no wind & for the last few weeks santas have been climbing up walls, in through windows & onto balconies & terraces. There's no way to get my head around that.
In literary news, Moria accepted my chapbook mindfulness for their e-book series. Will post a link when it's online. The posts for yesterday & today (no, not the exceedingly bad hardrock band of the eighties) on rob mclennans blog are really interesting. Yesterday he wrote about the new book the connection of everyone with lungs by Juliana Spahr & today about /ubu editions & particularly the two books by Deanna Ferguson. Also I recently learned that Kerri Sonnenberg has a blog. A good discovery as she's one of my favourites among the young poets in the U.S

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Go to Rositza Pironska for some good haiku

Saturday, December 03, 2005

This is one way to have some fun in poetry. & the cover painting by Susan Bee

Friday, December 02, 2005

My Creeley poem:

put a mike to that bell
& ring it, add some
distortion & wing
it, but see to it that
it doesn't fly off the
cuff. & the bell returns
from hell, closed some
years ago by Max, with
an axe

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Amy King stole, begged or borrowed this poem by Robert Creeley. I promised to make some kind of new poem out of it & post it here tomorrow & asked her to do her own take on it. So now I want to challenge y'all. You have one week from today to make your own variation on the Creeley poem & send me the the poem or the link to it. The ones I like will be the first post on my new blog, which will be an irregular litmag.