Monday, April 25, 2005

Bits and Pieces

From all over the map:

If the letters by Franz Wright in the new
Poetry are not a joke, they comprise a sad commentary on the meritocracy. Yes, I said "comprise".

Flipping channels this weekend, I stopped watching
Star Wars (Episode 4) during the commercial breaks in the games I was following because I was in the middle of rooting for the Mets and the Nets. If my luck spilled out from those games to the movie, Luke would've been toast. (By the way, did Leia really call Han "laser brain"? I must have heard that wrong. "Laser brain"?)

The Spring/Summer
32 Poems is available. I think you should go order one right now, but go read Geoffrey Brock's sonnet and decide for yourself. Deborah and the 32 Poems team were nice enough to credit me in the Research and Development group along with Jeffery Bahr and Jeannine Hall Gailey (both of whom have fine poems in the issue as well). I hope to do more in service for that honor soon.

Slate ran an article by
Billy Collins on e. e. cummings, asking "Is That A Poem?" I'm of two minds about Cummings. Some of his poems have been important to me forever, but I don't feel much need to reread them, the way I feel the need to reread, for example, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird every so often. Sounds like Steven Schroeder is of like mind on that point - we agree there's something in Cummings worth not forgetting. Thanks to Jilly Dybka at Poetry Hut for highlighting this (and a hundred other things I'd otherwise have missed).

Wil Wheaton is out of the tournament, but I expect a good story when he gets his hands on a computer that works.

Over in
The Poetic Life, a reader posits the ultimate unspoken sentiment: "Perhaps writer's block is simply a state where one has nothing to say. In which case, silence is the most useful thing. Elizabeth Lund evokes a preening peacock in reply.

If you get the impression I'm all over the place today, it's because I am. I've taken on a task that elevates my seriousness about this writing business. It's occupying the vast majority of the operational fraction of my brain, and no, I'm not ready to tell you about it.



A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...


I enjoyed your comment on Silliman's blog; I was the guy who asserted the 'reasonableness' of saying a poem is 'too vague'.

Your comment reminded me of something Philip Levine once said (I'm paraphrasing): "It's the poet's job to make the reader care." I've always taken that notion seriously.


David Vincenti said...

A great quote, and a great point you made in that surpringly vitriolic debate. Thanks for visiting this, the pre-kindergarten classroom version of the post-graduate education that is Silliman's Blog.

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

You're welcome -- though I should be thanking you. This is a nice place to visit.

I enjoyed the poems on your website; they have an honest humility that reminds me a bit of Kooser- and Collins-types. And that's not a bad thing.

I'll keep a slice of carpet open for you at my toddler-blog.

jeannine said...

Hey David! I was doing the same thing with Star Wars, and was amazed to hear that the line from Darth Vader to Obi Wan wasn't "Then I was the student; now I am the master" it was "Then I was the learner; now I am the master." Learner? Learner? Who wrote this? Oh, how memory changes things for the better. However, stil a great line: "Laugh it up, fuzzball!"