Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Waiting and Contemplating

The schedule for this year's Dodge festival is still not posted. Not that I should need more than 28 days to figure out how to spend 48 hours of my life, but the list of poets - especially the PFKAPAA (Poets Formerly Known as Poets Among Us) is just tremendous this year, and I know I need to run a nice optimization algorithm to get the right mix of fine poets whose work I know and fine poets whose work I've yet to meet.

Lord, I'm really geeky this week.

I'm actually looking forward to Dodge more than usual this year because I've written almost nothing since April, and I could use the time, inspiration, and bad cel phone reception to squeeze out some words.

Maybe even save a few to start repopulating this litte desert corner of the internet, too....

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Miscellany for a Wednesday

It's Charles Bukowski's birthday. Maybe we should all do today's writing drunk, naked and sweaty in commemoration. I've been meandering my way through Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way: New Poems for months and to be honest, I find parts of it brutal - where the subject overwhelms what craft there is to the point where I have to put it down. It's like spotting micrograms of diamond in a pail of rotting meat.


On the other end of the spectrum, I've been spending lots of time with my contributor's copy of Silk Road. I'm just thrilled at being included in this inaugural volume alongside some of the writers whose works I've been studying and learning from. Among the poets you'll find there are Deborah Ager, Kelli Agodon, Steve Schroeder and Suzanne Frischkorn. From the Editors' note:

A series of collected writings on place is like a string of caravansaries along the ancient Silk Road. Each one offers a similar refuge from the immediacy of a dusty, perilous highway, yet no two are the same because of the mix of travelers who gather there.

What a great way to approach creating a magazine.


The 06-07 season of the Spoken Word Series has been posted at If artistic diversity is my primary objective in scheduling artists, I may have hit my peak in this, our 5th full year. And we're not done - I'm finalizing plans for a day of workshops in May and stewing up some longer term plans. I hope you NJ locals will keep an eye out. Or better, get on our mailing list.


The list of poets presenting at this year's Dodge Festival has been posted. It takes artistic diversity to a whole other level (and look for some lesser known but terrific talents in the bottom section of that list). It's interesting to think of this list and my own much smaller effort in the context of Deborah's recent comments on "KINDS" of poets, and to imagine the conscious and unconscious checklists in my head (and the heads of other event planners). "Diversity" requires criteria against which to check off "differences". Have to think about that some more.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Here, gone, here

From the comings and goings files...
  • Lost and Found Investigations has posted new comics this week, bringing its Gamefly-imposed hiatus to an apparent end. (Yay!)
  • Kelli Agodon's blog has been subtracted the universe. A comment over at Jeannine's place leads me to think this was purposeful. Too bad - Kelli's was one of the truer-to-format "writer's blogs", with (I thought) the right mix of personal, projects, and poetry/prose.
  • I just noticed that Kim Addonizio is blogging again, however.
  • The Yankees did me the substantial favor of aquiring the two Phillies on my fantasy baseball team. Thanks, Brian Cashman! The Mets reacquired Roberto Hernandez, because Julio Franco wasn't doing enough to increase the average age of the team.

The next thing to go needs to be the HEAT!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

James Weil (1929 – 2006)

By various electronic means, Ed Foster and Ron Sillman both bring us news today of the death of James Weil. For me to provide links here would imply a false familiarity with his work, but you can do a Google search on him and find a large number of references.

Among the accomplishments Ed included in his email obituary for Mr. Weil were these lines from "A Coney Island Life", which is on the Academy of American Poets' list of Great Poems to Teach:

Having lived a Coney Island life
on roller coaster ups and downs
and seen my helium hopes
break skyward without me,
now arms filled with dolls
I threw so much for
I take perhaps my last ride
on this planet-carousel
and ask
how many more times round
I have
to catch that brass-ring-sun
before the game is up.