Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Been thinking about the Monster Hour a lot recently, one of the two Charles so kindly noted that he admired. I've actually been doing a lot of re-reading of older poems (2-6 months old) rather than writing new ones. I don't why and I don't know if this is healthy. But a lot of them read completely different to me after they've sat on the shelf a little. Some I hate. But the Monster Hour now has struck a newer nerve. It makes me want to cry.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Spork has put up a fiery hot new issue over at their website. My poems, and some even better ones, are over there and available for the reading. A print version, I'm told, will be available soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

 Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

I had a good day yesterday. I hiked through the Gallatin National Forest and found this spot (pictured above) at Hyalite Resevoir to take a 1 hour nap. I got a little sunburned. I then later played Center Field in a softball game with B for the Swingers (sponsored by Ms. Kitty's Adult bookstore). I went 3 for 3.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Full Moon

It is 11:30. I miss A. She is at the Crow Reservation. The moon is very full tonight. Tonight I go to Albertsons and pick up a 6 pack of Hornsby's. All by my lonesome I'll drink at least two thirds, or 4, whichever comes quickest. Perhaps all 6. I'll put on my comfortable surgeon's pants and watch Baseball Tonight. Tomorrow (my day off) I hike up a mountain.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I've just finished Brandon Downing's Dark Brandon from Faux Press. It's very unusual and I dig it. I like unusual. It has inspired a handful of half-written poems so far. I'd like to meet this strange cat. Look for a review in the forthcoming Octopus #6.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Canary is one of those mags where each issue could replace Best American Poetry. I get more of the low-down in what's up in a Canary than in a BAP. Or at least, it is more consistently amazing. Issue #4 is out and you should buy it. Look at the line up. And I put one of my good poems in it.

I'm excited about a big yes from Word For/Word. Jonathan Minton does a clean up job with that e-zine. And a big no from American Letters and Commentary. I didn't really want in there anyway.

My 15 year old sister, K, wrote a poem recently. Apparently, it's entered in some sort of contest that she is very excited about it. This makes me smile. It reminds me of my first poems my sophomore year in the HS creative writing course. I remember writing about cotton candy.

When K was in junior high, she had to write a poem for her english class. I told her I'd help and I pretty much just wrote it for her. It had all the metaphors and similes a middles school teacher could want. It ended up getting a B-. My poems can get into some pretty killer mags but they can only score a B- in middle school.

Anyway, I'm proud of her and I miss her and I haven't had a chance to talk to her about it yet and I don't know yet how she'd feel if I put it up on the blog--it's somewhat personal. But maybe soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

If you're as interested in Ronald Johnson (check out Octopus issue #3) as we are at Octopus, and you're within driving distance to Kansas (who isn't?), you should check this out. This came across the wires from Ben Lerner and Robert Webb:

Poetry Plaque Dedication & Symposium on Ronald Johnson
CONTACT:Robert Webb (785) 232-5274

On Wednesday, May 25, Topekans will celebrate the work of Kansas-born poet, Ronald Johnson, with two local events.

The Kansas Center for the Book , Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site and The Friends and Readers of Ronald Johnson are cosponsoring the commemorations.

Plaque dedication: At 2:00 P.M. in Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site, 124 NW Fillmore, a bronze plaque will be dedicated. It features a poem from Ronald Johnson's final sequence of nature poems, written while Johnson worked at Ward-Meade. The garden location is in an area on the north side of the Prairie Mansion's courtyard, where Johnson often sat to write. The resulting book, The Shrubberies, posthumously published in 2001 by Flood Editions, Chicago, was termed "an enduring pleasure" in a recent issue of Poetry magazine. A reception in the Preston Hale Room of the Prairie Mansion follows the dedication. The general public is invited.

Symposium: At 7:00 P.M. in the Topeka & Shawnee County Library, the Kansas Center for the Book will hold a symposium on The Shrubberies and other works of Ronald Johnson. Since his death in Topeka in 1998, Johnson's stature as an important literary figure has steadily grown. Participants in the panel discussion and reading are Peter O'Leary, Johnson's literary executor and editor; one of Johnson's publishers from Flood Editions, Devin Johnston; and Norman Finkelstein, a literary critic who has written perceptively about Johnson's work. The symposium will be held in Marvin Auditorium, Room 101 C, off the main rotunda at the library. The public is invited.

Thomas Fox Averill, Writer-in-residence at Washburn University > and the popular voice of William Jennings Bryan Oleander on Kansas Public Radio, will act as moderator at both of the day's events.

About Ronald Johnson: Born in Ashland, Kansas in 1935, Johnson moved with his family to Topeka in the mid 1950s. He graduated from Columbia University in 1960 and traveled extensively. His first book of poetry, A Line Of Poetry , A Row Of Trees, 1964, contained many specifically "Kansas poems." Over the next 32 years, he published seven other major books of poetry as well as a long metaphysical poem titled ARK, created over a 20-year period. He also had a parallel career as a chef and caterer and produced five cookbooks on American regional cooking. In 1993, Johnson returned to Topeka and is remembered by many here for his part-time work as a cookie baker at Ward-Meade Park. The gardens there inspired him to write the sequence of highly condensed poems which bridge common experience to the universal in a way that is both precise and ecstatic. As a "poet's poet", Ronald Johnson is admired by many of the new generation of American poets. Extensive discussions of his work have appeared on Internet magazines, such as Octopus and LVNG, as well as in several recent books of poetry criticism. To Do As Adam Did, Selected Poems of Ronald Johnson, edited by Peter O'Leary, was published in 2000 by Talisman House. Flood Editions republication of RADI OS, one of Johnson's books which has long been out of print, is available this month and is one of several ongoing publishing projects of the poet's work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A has gone to the Crow Reservation in SE Montana for the week and I'm pretty lonely. She'll be doing this every week for the rest of the summer, though she'll be back each weekend. This is part of her doctoral internship in counseling psychology.

I've realized that I don't turn on the lights very often when she's not around. One good side effect: I write more poems. Tomorrow I have the day off and I think I'll hike up a mountain if it is nice out.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sister-in-law, M, and I assembling little plastic creatures that the 3 of us bought with spare quarters from the little quarter dispenser machines at the Greek take-out place, It's Greek to Me. We took our food and toys to Lindley Park for the afternoon. I also bought an Eeyore ring and a little stringy beaded ring in an attempt to get a bouncy ball, which never did come out (they must have all been on the surface).  Posted by Hello

Here's what the creatures look like when properly assembled. Posted by Hello

Here's what happened after we decided to experiment a little with the creatures. Those are A's legs in the background. Posted by Hello

Here's that one shirt I was talking about earlier. Posted by Hello

Friday, May 13, 2005

Wednesday, M brought me my belated birthday present--a 1987 Iowa Summer Writing Program t-shirt. I don't have the camera with me today, so I'll have to take the pic later. We also went to Cactus Records and she bought me the new Weezer and the new Ben Folds. I've yet to listen to the Ben Folds, but the Weezer is good. Time will tell how it ranks with the Blue album, and my personal favorite, Pinkerton, but I am already certain it destroys the Green album and Maladroit. And the new Mountain Goats is out--I'll have to get that on my own.

We karaoked last night at the Belgrade Lounge. I rocked Simon and G-funk's Cicilia and then got serious with Neil Young's Old Man. Had one too many PBR's then went to Perkins for pancakes. A and M are going to Jellystone today without me--I gots to work.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My sister in law, M, the one I told you about a month or so ago, is flying in for a visit tonight from San Fransisco. Maybe she'll bring me the presents I asked for. I'll keep you posted--and with pictures.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

It is finally here--after years of waiting. It is my time at Unpleasant Event Schedule. UES is one of my very favorite places to stop for a good read. I have a poem called Telephones there--you should visit.

Friday, May 06, 2005

I attended Derby's 2000-2003 with my dad, B. Hope to go to more. Though this t-shirt represents the horse, Thunder Gulch, winner of the 1995 Derby--the horse I put 10 dollars on to Win at 25-1 shot, booked through a friend because I was not of gambling age, who I later found out did not actually bet my 10 dollars but pocketed it, and still has not paid me the 240 dollars he rightfully owes me. I have been wearing this shirt all week. Every day.  Posted by Hello
I have $12 on the Derby, booked through my dad, B, who is there. The $12 has been bet as so:

$10 on Greeley's Galaxy to Win (currently 15-1).
$2 exacta on Greeley's Galaxy over Bellamy Road.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'll be attending the Tony Tost/Leigh Plunkett wedding on June 4. I've booked my flight and got measured for my tuxedo (I'm a groomsman). Here are my measurements:

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 185
Neck: 16.5
Sleeve: 37
Chest: 39
Overarm: 48
Waist: 36
Outseam: 42
Hip: 40
Coat Size: 42L
Sleeve Inseam 19
Shoe size: 12

What are your measurements?

Also: I'll be meeting some good friends that I haven't seen in ages. Will Manning, Riley White, Tony of course, Adam Clay (seen him recently, and Kim), and many many others. Stoked, just stoked. Let me know if you're going, so I can anticipate our time together.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I got 2 separate things in the mail yesterday from Alice James Books. 1. The 2004 Beatrice Hawley Award winning book, Polar by Dobby Gibson. I'm quickly becoming a Dobby Gibson fan and have already torn through the first half of this book. There's a rhythm there that just carries you, on through the poem, to the next poem. It's hard to stop. We put 2 of his little ditties in Octopus. And 2. A letter telling me that I am not the 2005 Beatrice Hawley winner. (Sigh).

Sunday, May 01, 2005

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

A and I saw a matinee of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy yesterday. Big fan of the books--both of us--so we were a bit anxious. Not bad, really. The opening sequence (So long and thanks for all the fish) stole the entire movie I think. I fell in love with the ideas in the books, the theories, and regretfully the movie focused a little more on the action and adventure. But still, if you've read them, you should see the movie. Also, we came back home to watch a rental, the exact opposite movie: Vera Drake. It was alright. I got sick of her crying all the damn time though. Get over it, you know.