Now that I live in a state that is a firmly blue state, I feel like I can afford to vote for the exact right representative for myself without risking indirectly voting into office the exact wrong candidate for myself. The electoral college, as ridiculous and outdated and unnecessary as it is, affords me the chance to make this move. This is all to say I went to the Nader rally last week. This is all to say I'm still undecided.
EKF and I procured 12 books of poetry while in Seattle the past few days and on the way back we held a poetry book tournament. In the first round we read aloud the first poem of each book and pitted them against one another, one on one on one. Only one of three advanced to the second round. In the second round, the semi-finals, we read aloud each book's second poem, one on one, and that book advanced to the finals. In the finals, we read aloud the book's third poem. I would encourage you to do the same this weekend with random books from your shelf and show me your results.
Here are our results:
Hat on a Pond (Dara Wier)
Oubliette (Peter Richards)
Something I Expected to Be Different (Joshua Beckman)
Winner: Something I Expected to Be Different (Joshua Beckman)
Selected Poems (Pierre Reverdy)
Quill, Solitary Apparition (Barbara Guest)
Indeed I Was Pleased With The World (Mary Ruefle)
Winner: Indeed I Was Pleased With The World (Mary Ruefle)
Plainwater (Anne Carson)
The Endearment (Joe Wenderoth)
Gentle Reader! (Beckman, McCann, Rohrer)
Winner: Plainwater (Anne Carson)
Rise Up (Matthew Rohrer)
Terrain Vague (Richard Meier)
So We Have Been Given Time Or (Sawako Nakayasu)
Winner: So We Have Been Given Time Or (Sawako Nakayasu)
Something I Expected to be Different (Joshua Beckman)
The president of Hofstra, Stuart Rabinowitz, with an upside down american flag pin before the debate.
E, L, K, C and I watched the final debate at the Laurelhurst theater in Portland tonight. It was a raucous, angry, and cheerful crowd. Tonight's debates were the most skillfully and intelligibly moderated debates I have ever seen, particularly in comparison to Brokaw's. I love you Bob Schieffer.
Brandon Shimoda's The Inland Sea (Tarpaulin Sky 2008) is ready for you to buy it and read it. We should all be reading this and when we get together we should talk first about this before we talk about other less important things. Everything will seem less important from now on. You and I are going to be reading a lot of Shimoda for the rest of our lives, teaching his poems in our classes, etc, so let's get started. The time has come to get started.
After my meeting with my comprehensive exam readers last week in Lincoln, I learned I still have some work to do on my essays before I can become ABD. So, back at it. Here is a list of books I bought today to make that final push:
Rene Char: The Myth and the Poem by James Lawler Mallarme. Yale French Studies. A Short Survey of Surrealism by David Gascoyne The Heresiarch + Co by Apollonaire The History of Surrealism by Maurice Nadeau
Also, EKF and I saw Mister Lonely today. It is the first film I am screening in my film courses. It is stunning and overwhelmingly beautiful at times. Harmony Korine made a movie I've been trying for a while to write as a poem.
Two artist friends have new sites I want to show you.
Clifton Burt designed the cover of Octopus Books' latest chapbook, They All Seemed Asleep by Matthew Rohrer.
Ben Estes designed broadsheets of each poem from my forthcoming chapbook, The Pond (Greying Ghost). He and I are collaborating on an illustrated chapbook also that will come out at some point from Factory Hollow Press.