Wednesday, November 09, 2005

While eating a tuna fish sandwich. . .

I thought I'd update. Why not? Tuna fish is so good.

I went to a stellar poetry reading last night through Columbia College: poet Rick Barot read some stellar poems. While he purports to be all about form, his poems presented themselves in graceful flow, as fluid and un-figid as possible. This seems to be quite an accomplishment, really- to embrace form so fully yet still maintain a grace and elegance. The poem that was most memorable for me is "Magnolia": it has Abraham Lincoln, a magnolia, and a laundromat in it. Not to mention the fact that it is one long, very elaborate sentence written, no joke, in couplets. It is extremely elegant. And if you get a chance, check out Roger Pao's discussion of it from this summer. I'm obviously not the only fan.

In other big and exciting news, my friend Simone Muench's new book, Lampblack and Ash, has made the transition from word into flesh and, in bodily book form, is hitting shelves and in the very near future. I was lucky enough to get a sneak-peek last night. . . and it's awesome. The poem called "window," hidden innocuously in the middle of the collection, is a knockout. The first poem as well, though I can't remember the title, is fabulous. Check it out.

I continue to trudge on, now reading Susan Howe and trying to make some sort of sense of it all without getting too frustrated. I mean, she's amazing, but sometimes I'm just like, "what? What the hell is she talking about?" Which I suppose is exactly the point. And she's half Irish, which makes her all the more cool. I feel like her poetry is all about context- like she works very hard to present us with a context and then disrupts it by disregarding and semblance of language as social function. I have a feeling that she's darker than I think she is, like down in the core. I feel like she masks this too much- she doesn't let the darkness assume its own power and it just downright makes me nervous. Timebomb style.

I finally got my rejection from Conduit, nine months in the making. That lays to rest the first batch of poems I sent out after the baby was born, sometime back in February. It's probably time for one more big submission push, though I'm not sure I have the energy for it. It definitely feels like I have a lot of better things to worry about.

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