Sunday, May 29, 2011

Prose Poem Project and Kill Author

Two more of my pieces are available on the interwebs.

The latest, Night Hungers, can be viewed at Kill Author.

Another, Brick Harvest, is at Prose Poem Project, the fifth poem down on page 2 of the 5/26 additions.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ubiquitous Notepad

Everywhere I go I carry a pad and pen. Before I leave my apartment I slap my pockets. Front-left, phone; Front-right, keys/pen; Back-left, wallet; Back-right, pad.

I prefer gel pens, but lately I've been smitten with a liquid ink pen, that is Pilot's V5 RT. It writes incredibly smooth and the metal clip is sturdy enough so I've never broken it off in my haste to take it out of my pocket.

The pads are always small enough to fit in my back pocket, usually with a metal spiral holding the pages together. They also must be college-ruled and sturdy enough to withstand constantly being used and sat on.

The pad I'm currently using is the Caliber 80 page memo book. I really like the hard-ish plastic cover; it sort of reminds me of the Five Star notebooks that were my favorite in high school and college.

This is the third of three notepads I bought about two years ago at CVS and it has about 20 pages left. Every few weeks, or while I'm stuck waiting for the train, I do a purge. I tear out fragments that have become poems, or when I'm embarrassed I wrote down something so devoid of lyricism. The contents of the rest are as follows:

50% Writing. That is fragments and starts for poems
15% Scrabble games. Words and scores.
15% Grocery lists.
10% Research. For certain more technical poems, as well as curiosity.
5% Magic the Gathering game scores.
5% Books and websites friends have recommended to me.

Soon it will be time for me to start a new notepad. Usually I stockpile. Even though I bought three of these a couple years ago, in that time I've gone through many more pads. I like to change it up, sometimes setting aside a half-full pad in favor of a new one, only to return to the old one a year later and finish it out. But and I'm a little nervous, because I don't have one waiting in the wings. Yes, I could go to CVS online and get a lifetime supply of the one I'm using right now, but I enjoy the serendipity of going into a physical shop and finding just the right thing.

As to the title of this post, not only do I carry this notepad with me everywhere I physically go, but last night, for the first time, I carried it into the meta-physical realm when I whipped out my notepad to write down a good idea I had while I was dreaming. Now if only I could remember what I wrote!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Interviewed by Monkeybicycle

Today the literary journal with arguably the finest name, Monkeybicyle has posted an interview with me about the piece 'Clockwork Dog' which appears in their latest issue.

Enjoy an excerpt here and follow the link after the break to read more about the joy of baseball, why I write prose poetry, and the gentleness of Iowa:

‘Clockwork Dog’ is built on a disparity of terms – ‘friendly
friction’ / ‘retrieving discarded’ / etc. – how important is this
discord to your poetry (or this poem)?

In poetry, and contemporary poetry in particular, I think that the
pairing of disparate words and contrasting language is a common
strategy. The goal, I’m pretty sure is to be evocative, but often it
results in obfuscation. You could say the same about the very title
and subject of this poem. I understand that an initial reaction may
be something along the lines of, what the hell is a “clockwork dog”
anyway? Well, I don’t want my reader surrounded by a jangle of words,
so while the exact form of the dog is left to the reader, by the end
they have an idea of this dog’s motivations, and I think would agree
that he is a “good dog.” So rather than discord, in this and other
pieces I work to create chords from unlikely notes.

There is also an aggressive use of range in this piece –
running the reader from a ‘tornado’ to a ‘merry-go-round’ – can you
talk to us about what you hope this scaled-variation will do to

Simply, the range makes the poem livelier and more engaging. The
reader has the opportunity to fit their own rotations and clocks
somewhere between bottle caps and planets, and make their own personal
connections to time with the Clockwork Dog as a guide. . .

For the full interview visit the Monkeybicycle blog

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Uterus Fiasco

I haven't uttered a more hilarious phrase (recently) than the title of this post.

The Huffington Post has the comprehensive story, but really it's fairly simple. Representative Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, used the word "uterus" on the House floor, and was then reprimanded for referencing body parts, and later another GOP spokesperson suggested that "uterus" is "inappropriate for children."

To me, deeming "uterus" an inappropriate word borders on misogyny. While that's a broad problem, I an think of one way for politicians to realize how ridiculous it is to get wrapped up around a word, and because it's clear the primarily-male House of Representative is more comfortable with their own reproductive organs, I call on the House to engage in a bipartisan competition of "the penis game" to demonstrate just has silly it is to get hung up on body parts.

. . . Also, I wonder if "uterus" is in the Word Mole word list.