My daughter, once a huge fan of J. Crew clothing, introduced me to the wonderfully-entertaining (if you like words) J. Crew catalogue. Heck with the clothes. There one would find color names that looked more at home in a biosphere than a coloring book. What would I do to be employed by J. Crew, my … Continue reading J. Crew Poetry Clues
According to the prophets, when someone asks you to review their book, you make like Donald and duck (the exception being a good friend). But what about a request that you critique a poem? Tougher, as it's such a small basket of kindness, the sort you might decline only if it's a stranger. But...but! If … Continue reading “Would You Critique My Poem?” (Gulp!)
What does it mean to be a man? In its way, as fascinating a topic as the age-old muse of many a poet: death. I was struck by this thought while reading Tony Hoagland's 1998 collection (for the first time!), Donkey Gospel. While in the book, wondering if the title had anything to do with … Continue reading Be a Man!
Sure, The New Yorker is eastern liberal elitist, but does that mean I can't read it any way I want? Pricey at $8.99 (is that the "liberal elitist" part or the "eastern" part?), the magazine came my way free thanks to my daughter who renewed with the option to gift someone a subscription (she wrote … Continue reading Reading ‘The New Yorker’ Backwards
If you're tired of empty phrases like "Build a Wall" and "Make America Great Again," you might consider Tony Hoagland's America for respite. At least you'd be a realist, and at most a decent judge of political poetry. Tony Hoagland's view of America is subtle, though. No in-your-face pronouncements. Just creative and philosophical riffs that … Continue reading Tony Hoagland’s America: Look Familiar?
In yesterday's post, I wondered aloud about poets seeking publicity in a kinder, gentler way. In today's, I muse over just how cool it would be to have an understanding of those ways and not share them. Not share them? Right. Because feeling no need to share would be cool. Fact is, cool poets make like … Continue reading If You’re Trying To Be Cool, You’re Not
Note: The following is written for hounds trying not to bay like the Baskervilles. It explores Aristotle's philosophical conundrum: Can you self-promote your work without looking like you're self-promoting your work? Heed, then, the "sound" of trees falling in the wilderness.... I've written before that a part-time poet (full-time poets, like unicorns, are rare beasts … Continue reading Publicity Hounds from Hell
A pair of new poems I wrote are now up in this fine issue of Roanoke Review. Each is followed by a brief comment by the author (who looks familiar), so I need not go on and on (as is my custom) here. These poems will appear in my forthcoming book, so consider it an advanced … Continue reading Two New Poems in Roanoke Review
Let's address the misnomer first and foremost. To exchange poems via post is charmingly retro to the extreme, but if you find a willing poet and want to give it a go, by all means! More likely, this post should be called "E-Mail Poetry" but, like most things technological, it lacks the charm, don't you … Continue reading Pen Pal Poetry
Standard dictionary definitions are of little use when you're in the mood for a little fun. It's better to hear the experts themselves. Poets. They'll say anything, sometimes coming closer to the heart of the matter than Merriam or Webster. Here are a few of my favorites culled from the web: "Poetry: three mismatched shoes … Continue reading Poetry Unconventionally Defined