Monday, June 01, 2009

Update on Publications and Reading Venues; New Poem

I wanted to alert you to some new publications and readings.

Here's an essay in Barefoot Muse on "Intellectual Substance in Poetry":

There is a companion essay in Umbrella:

I think I already told you about my memoir "On Becoming a Poet" in PIF:

New poems in The Avatar Review:

And my upcoming readings:

First, "Poetry and Pizza" at 333 Montgomery at Bush in SF on June 5 at 8 PM, hope some of you can come.

I'll be at Beyond Baroque on July 5 at 5 PM, 681 Venice blvd, Venice, CA for any in the LA area.

More to come...

And thanks to all who have purchased my book--like the reviews, I've heard nothing but good reports!

As for my previous blog, hashing it out on paper has helped me make peace with ambition again. It's about the poem. Publishing and recognition are secondary, but I for one need the encouragement to go on. So I do.

June gloom has hit Mendocino and Kathleen hates it. The overcast days don't affect my mood one way or the other. Then I'm Nordic by descent.

There were some great comments on my last post if you haven't read them. Thanks Mittens and Beau Blue!

Since I find myself with little else to say, here's a new poem I may have posted in rough draft form before but I doubt it. Ah memory, where hast thou gone?

Of Book Trees

First, do not pick a green book,
the print is faint
and there's often no ending.
They also fail to develop the proper musk,
that smell of paper and glue.

Paperbacks mature more quickly
but are usually known cultivars
and lack the vigor of hybrids
that hardbacks display.
Still, where the soil is poor
or shade diminishes
the literary vigor of the tree,
occasionally a masterpiece
may appear. These are usually
grafted onto hardback stock
as soon as possible.

Pulp paperback trees
have no peer and can produce
more fruit than any other
though as in a Chinese meal
you may be hungry afterwards.

The rules for nonfiction trees are simple:
lots of room and lots of light.
Space them too close together
and they share the same opinion;
give them too much shade
and the research isn't up to par.

Reference trees are orderly as beech forests,
their tall smooth boles spaced widely,
an air of gravity in the light
that floods the oblong leaves.
Silence and history walk there.

Beware a brown book,
usually overwritten or overripe,
with stultifying reams of overexplanation
and overelaboration as in how many paradoxes
can fit on the head of a heading.
But you might find Henry James there
or the critical prose of Eliot,
so a discriminating taste
in aged books should be cultivated;
not all their fruit is dry.

A red book should be picked immediately.
Bright red has the genius of youth
though Shakespeare and Dante
come in gold and are common now,
having been cultivated for centuries.
The Bible is black but remember,
licorice tea is sweet
like the scroll Jeremiah ate.

Poetry trees are rare
and do best in the high desert.
Overwatering them
leads to self-indulgence
while soil too rich yields verse
in love with its own diction.
Planted in unforgiving soil
they have a chance,
though most die young.

At 1 Kilobunny,


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