Thursday, February 14, 2013

The four things

I have some things to tell you:

1. My latest column on "The Poneme" is live in the new issue of Lemon Hound. I wrote about Catherine Wagner's Nervous Device. Here's a little snippet it from the essay:

Scientists classify tickling as a kind of pain, and Wagner’s intentional mistakes are pleasurable in the way tickling is pleasurable (hurts so good). See “How can I knock be clear about my intentions?” and “I / j’adore your piggy light.” I particularly j’adore this second “mistake,” the double “I” which is crucial in order to Frenchify the word for “love,” which otherwise is boring English. I’m reminded of an old friend who had a real gift for typos, for evocative errors like “seamingly” and “unphased” which I would steal and put in my poems.

2. The excellent poet Jeff Alessandrelli, formerly of Lincoln, Nebraska, and recently of Portland, has a new chapbook out from Imaginary Friend Press: People Are Places and Places Are People. I wrote the intro for this chapbook. Here is a paragraph from the intro:

Knowing exactly what you mean is a sure sign that your poem is bad. It is hard to know exactly what Jeff Alessandrelli’s poems mean, and that’s what makes them waver and shimmer, like the air above a fire. They are approximate, like feelings. If you have tried and failed to describe your own experience to yourself, you know what it’s like to be in an Alessandrelli poem, a place where you can know something but not believe it, and vice versa; a place where understanding is not deeper knowledge but an alternative kind of access.

And here is its pretty cover:

3. I'm participating in a panel at Lighthouse next Saturday, Feb. 23, called "Your Writing Education: To MFA or Not to MFA." If you happen to be in the Denver area and don't know what to do with your life, come, get a drink and ask us questions. Drinks at 6, main program at 7.

4. John and I will both be reading in the Literary Firsts series, hosted by Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff, on the Saturday after AWP (March 9). Don't you want to see what happens on the other side of the river? Also, John will be telling uncomfortable stories about his first girlfriend; you won't want to miss that.


  1. We're leaving (fleeing? at that point in AWP it may feel like fleeing) Boston on Saturday night, which sucks because we'll miss your reading and John's uncomfortable stories.

    1. Maybe it'll get recorded for posterity? They often do that.

  2. The line you quoted above by Catherine Wagner that mentions a "piggy light" made me immediately remember a lamp that was in my bedroom when I was very young (ca. 2 years old), the base of which was a painted glass or ceramic pig, or more or less cartoonish pig, big-eyed and smiling and wearing clothes and standing upright. I have no idea what happened to it.

    I'll be at AWP. I have no idea what I'll be doing Saturday the 9th after AWP -- quite possibly sprawled in wipeout mode in my hotel room -- but I've marked down the reading on the Possibly list.

    Off-topic perhaps, though since I'm here, and in the spirit of show-and-tell, I'll mention that my new (and long forthcoming) book is out, All Through The Night: New and Selected Poems, published by Red Dragonfly Press. Copies of the book arrived in the mail today. The above link is to the publisher's webpage for the book, in case you (or anyone dropping by here) care to take a look.

    I will now dance. (Yee-hahh!)