Thursday, December 29, 2016

Affirmation in Cleaver, another Appearance at Trial

A poem of mine, "Affirmation" is in Cleaver Mag. According to them I am a "Cleaver Emerging Artist." I hope you agree. There are several other emerging artists in this issue as well: Elizabeth Burkhalter, Kelly R. Samuels, Olivia Parkes, Jack Wills, Sam Brighton, and Michael Fischer.

As for my work, this isn't Affirmation in the spiritual sense, though perhaps the title does play off of it. In this particular work, I'm dealing with Affirmation in a legal sense because this poem is from my legal-based cycle, "Appearance at Trial." If any of you want to read the whole thing I can email it to you!

Some of the things discussed in this poem are: conscious pain and suffering, New York, paperclips, mercantilism, trusts, Discovery Zone, the Beach Boys, cents, Dinosaurs, corpses, and Billy Shears.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Slagging Off and Away

How my poems get to market
Down at the Slag Review they've gone through the slush and pulled up what they think is a gem or ore with my name on it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happy and Unhappy

Drabble has put up a new poem of mine, Happy and Unhappy. Read it here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Hear Oh Audience, the Sound of My Poems!

Listen to Alexander Smith read several poems of mine on Creative Writing Out Loud. You won't get to hear my voice, in case you were wondering what I sound like. Work from Richard King Perkins II is also featured. Yes, one is about PowerPoint.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

If You're Not Interested in Poetry, How About Philosophy?

My girlfriend Sara has just started a blog on philosophy: Notes on Real Clouds. Her specialty is Wittgenstein but she also digs Foucault. It also looks nicer than what I've got here. She's at least in 2010 using WordPress and I'm in 2005 here at Blogger.

Of course, I know the lyrics to the Philosophers' Drinking Song. So I don't know who the real expert is here.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Interview with a Children's Book Author

Happy Labor Day! Appropriately, this poem was published at The Metaworker. Meta-labor certainly counts as labor, doesn't it? Otherwise, it deserves it's own holiday.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Get Ready for September with Sweater Weather

Four poems of mine are in the latest issue of Sweater Weather. Go on over and read them, especially if you're into the possibilities of teeth whitening.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

These Poems Got Back

Three poems of mine in TreeHouse. One is ever so slightly multilingual. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration. Stay cool with my poem about snow. Well, it's not really about snow either. NONE OF THESE POEMS IS WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

TL;DR New Poem about Bank Fraud

Or I should say, prelude to a bank fraud, up at TL;DR Magazine. It's a nifty little creative outlet with work by Mary Two Teeth and a short musing on Pokemon Go by William Lessard.  My poem is a musical re-rendering of an email I got from a bank in Africa promising me big returns if I shared a little bit of data about my debit card with them.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stay Cool with Poetry

Damn corn sweat! I hope you're all doing your best to stay cool, that is, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere. If you're in Argentina or Antarctica, stay warm! If ice cream and wet sacks are failing you, don;t give give into temptation and do the things kids say are cool, like doing heroin. Instead, go over to Anti-Heroin Chic and read three poems by me. Red wine and chocolate will be there.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Finds and Observations 6/24 to 6/26

I hope by making it small enough, it isn't obscene.
Room in Rome is a terrible fucking movie. Literally. I looked it up on Wikipedia and surprise, surprise, a movie about Lesbians that fails to stimulate, educate, or even titillate was made by a man. Not only that, the same man, wrote, produced, directed, and EDITED the film. So there was no one reining him in. He was probably the caterer too. It wasn't even filmed in Rome!

I found a few interesting things in the city yesterday. The first was a twenty year old syllabus for a film studies class at NYU. I came across it at a Goodwill. It was tucked inside of a tome on film criticism. It is interesting to read because it shows how just a few years ago everything was different for students. There was no internet, no DVDs, and no expectation of using a computer and printer. In one assignment, the professor, Joy Gould Boyum, tells the students to keep the carbons because they won't get their essay back until the end of the semester. Carbons! I could also tell the syllabus was originally typewritten then xeroxed. The smudges on the letters give it away. Since the class was in 1996, I imagine she got twenty papers on Pulp Fiction for the final.

Oh, so much progress we've made since then! On the other hand we still have a Clinton running for president.

I also found a ticket for Eastern Airlines tucked inside of a book the library was selling for a dollar. The book looked like a Dave Barry knockoff, a lament by one of the early baby-boomers about how Elvis was great and the Beatles ruined everything in a frothy over the top style that hides a serious bitter core. Anyway, the ticket was at least 25 years old since the airline went out of business in 1991. What I found fascinating was the lack of personal information on the ticket. There was no name, nothing. Anybody could've used it to board a plane.

Ah, the innocence that was pre-9/11 America. I'm starting to sound like the author...

And finally, the final find. A kid's book by Eugene Ionesco.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Tribe of Ben

The Tribe, a journal from India (not to be confused with the brand of hummus) has two of my poems in their current issue.

Also, I wrote a poem criticizing Trump and the critics of Trump, which can be found in this collection. I guess that makes me a cuck now, huh?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Gawker's Best Article

I know Gawker filing for bankruptcy has brought out a good deal of Schadenfreude among the commentariat, however I think it's important to remember that Gawker has occasionally run a good article or two.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Three Miscreant Poems

Three bastard poems of mine, no goodniks, little rascals, worthless to the hilt! But good enough to be posted by the Miscreant.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Part Moron, Part Genius and Part Ogre: Reviewing Paris Review Interviews

As I mentioned in my last blogpost  I'm getting back into the publishing game, trying to find and agent and with their help, scale the heights of world. To that end I'm immersing myself in the world of writing, authors, and publishing. I'm reading articles about getting published, instructions, lists of agents, how-to manuals, all of it. Hopefully something will rub off on me. Or I will at least be inspired. The key is to make it what I do when I'm bored or when I need something to kill time. No more idle following the news, gossip, music, or movies. No, instead, I'm going to listen to an interview on Bookworm with Michael Silverblatt or watch a documentary about Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or the whole Lost Generation!

However, I save that for when I'm submitting and searching for presses and agencies. When I can't play something in the background, or watch it in the foreground, I have to turn to the text in order to continue my immersion in the affairs of the writ. It makes sense, words for a would-be up-and-coming wordsmith. A favorite of mine are the interviews at the Paris Review. They span the decades from the 1950s to the present day and contain several gems from poets, playwrights, and novelists. Reading through them, you realize how the same problems with editors, audiences, booksellers, publishers, and writer's block keep recurring through literary history and never fail to spare the famous, infamous, unknown, and rightfully ignored. 

In the 1950s, a goatee like this automatically landed you on the Blacklist
I particularly enjoy John Steinbeck's complaint about the "reader" as imagined by his publisher:

"He is so stupid you can't trust him with an idea. 
He is so clever he will catch you in the least error.
He will not buy short books.
He will not buy long books.
He is part moron, part genius and part ogre. 
There is some doubt as to whether he can read."

Terry Southern's interview was interesting, if for no other reason, I think I look like him with my bangs and beard. He also predicted rise of cable and movies on demand. At one point, the interviewer asks “will success spoil Terry Southern?” judging from his Wikipedia page, I’d say yes, yes it did.

Over time, the interviews slowly evolve and the interviewees change the way they write them. In Harold Bloom's piece, the interview strangely incorporates his wife and him wandering through rooms and watching television. In the end it becomes a screenplay of the time the two of them spent together. In his interview, he revealed that he liked the Band (“there hasn’t been any good American rock since, alas, The Band disbanded”), as well as his view of foreign policy ("Our foreign policy basically amounts to making the world safe for Gnosticism").

Reading the more recent pieces in the Paris Review, it seems they are becoming self-aware. Not that the subject and the interviewer suddenly know they are in the midst of a friendly interrogation. That's always been the case since the interviews started. It's more the case that the Paris Review is now dealing with writers like Matthew Weiner and Wallace Shawn who grew up reading the interviews. Wallace even believed he would end up being interviewed by the publication eventually.

Perhaps one day I'll get to make a comment about commenting on the interviews while being interviewed by the Paris Review. Meta Squared. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

In Between Hangovers and Other Updates

A poem of mine "Father and Son Safari" is up at In Between Hangovers. It was inspired by a story I read about Soren Kierkegaard's childhood.  His father used to walk him around a room in their Copenhagen house and they would pretend to visit a world city, say Paris. Young Soren would be asked to describe various monuments and landmarks one might see in the city while staying in the confines of the room. I guess an armchair would be Notre Dame and so on.

I've decided to begin the process of querying agents again. I took a break the last couple of years because I got discouraged. In that time I wrote several more novels, honed my skills, and rewrote my first novel "The Daybreak Boys," I changed the title from "Everything with Wings Is Restless," and gutted out the interior. It was once a series of journal entries by the narrator. Now it is just straight first person storytelling. The exterior remains: the great bromance of our age. I think it's ready for some strangers' eyes. Not just any strangers. Strangers with contacts in publishing, of course.

So, wish me luck with that. If you've been wishing me luck so far, but in regards to getting poems published on websites, you can stop. Thanks for the vibes and prayers so far, now you just need to direct them towards the world of literary agents.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Be Still My Heartbeat

My poem "Flotation Device" is in the April edition of Heartbeat. Oddly enough a poem by a poet named Vincent Bottom is below me. Soak it in!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Super Tuesday Prayer

Come bring in the results, Super Tuesday bless us
With data, every single point and poll,
Help us color in the map, so we may know
Where our friends and enemies lie across the land,
Those towns and counties filled
With patriots and likewise political geniuses,
As well as the gulches and gullies
Populated by the cretins who can only use
Their opposable thumbs to oppose a righteous cause
But most of all, Super Tuesday, help us know
What desires and dreams are out there
In a country we have only heard rumors from,
Trade in every empty white space for blue and red,
And please, refrain from confusing us with any purple
Or results which bring no conclusion,
Just the cliffhanger of things being too close to call.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Story about a Chicken Foot, and Nothing but a Chicken Foot

Finally another short story. This one's called The Chicken Foot. The genesis of this one started with a lecture by William S. Burroughs I listened to a couple years ago. During a lecture to a writing class, Burroughs discussed the Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs. I decided to write a variation on the story based on his ideas about it. Hope you all like it. Thanks to Roxana Nastase for giving it a home at Scarlet Leaf Review.