poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz (with 8-string stuff)
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Posts from — October 2008

About that Broom Closet …

I quoted James Hannaham at Salon the other day, thinking the predicament of an “experimental poet” without net access to be pretty funny. But aside from just what the hell an experimental poet might be, the question is whether, without the internet, any lightly published living poet would be any better off outside that broom closet than in it?

I say it depends on the meal plan.

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October 28, 2008   2 Comments

Even Tastier!

From Wyatt Mason at Harper’s:

I wouldn’t argue that more shrillness is what we need right now, but from a selfish standpoint, the idea of Ezra Pound, at his best and worst, being interviewed by, say, Bill O’Reilly, offers more imaginary pleasure than SNL or the Daily Show are managing to deliver.

Here’s the direct link, but I think next month it will be unavailable to nonsuscribers.

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October 27, 2008   No Comments

Delicious

From a Salon article on Sarah Palin as reality-TV star:

Take all the hype out of today’s American culture and you’ll have next to nothing left — just some experimental poet locked in a broom closet somewhere with no Internet.

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October 27, 2008   1 Comment

Brand New Poem

Not, I think, the kind of thing I’ll send to zines, so I put it here.

Roundel: I Do All Right

I do all right: My daughter’s lost,
But in the rushing wind last night
We spoke as still-green trees were tossed

Almost to breaking, and despite
The years and miles our voices crossed,
Despite myself, we were polite:

A wishful dream; a pentecost.
I wish I may, I wish I might …
Though some night soon there will be frost,
I do all right.

I think perhaps the first line of the last stanza should be “A wishful dream of pentecost.” What say you?

Update: podcasted

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October 20, 2008   5 Comments

Larkin Comes to Mind

… while reading Patrick Buchanan‘s “Liquidate the Empire” at The American Conservative. Except that Buchanan and I, unlike Larkin in “Homage to a Government,” think it would be good that at least some of the troops come home:

America needs a bottom-up review of all strategic commitments dating to a Cold War now over for 20 years.

Is it essential to keep 30,000 troops in a South Korea with twice the population and 40 times the wealth of the North? Why are McCain and Obama offering NATO memberships, i.e., war guarantees against Russia, to a Georgia run by a hothead like Mikheil Saakashvili, and a Ukraine, millions of whose people prefer their kinship to Russia to an alliance with us?

We must put “country first,” says John McCain.

Right you are, Senator. Time to look out for America first.

I am aware how odd it is that I—atheist, deeply skeptical of unregulated markets, socially an extreme liberal—find myself reading and agreeing with an essay (and more than just this one) at The American Conservative, which is, among other things, strongly linked to libertarian and Orthodox religious thought.

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October 14, 2008   5 Comments

Election to Nietzche to Eliot (with Gödel and Arendt!)

via the Daily Dish, Nikola Karras at Iqra’i tells how she was saved from existential crisis by a passage from The Waste Land. I’m not being snarky—it’s a good read.

I wouldn’t have put this under Inclusions were it not for the way I found it. Now I’m adding it to the non-poetry blogroll.

Update: She posts a good follow-up to a another blogger’s comments, where I find Freddie’s blog-slogan a quote from Titus Andonicus, which I once saw performed as space-opera, light-sabers and all. That play, by the way, demonstrates that we in the West still hold dear texts which would not seem strange to the Taliban.

Update 2: I suppose I am a post-modern formalist.

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October 10, 2008   1 Comment

Does This Count?

From a reader at TPM Cafe: John Cleese versifies Sean Hannity.

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October 9, 2008   No Comments

This Is Getting Ridiculous

Matthew Yglesias points me to Ars Technica, where once again a snark is being hunted—this time with an attributed quote:

“I have said it thrice,” wrote Lewis Carroll in his poem The Hunting of the Snark, “what I tell you three times is true.”

Maybe I should keep a count of whose and which poems get quoted in what context? Would I learn something?

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October 8, 2008   No Comments

Cavafy Now

Andrew Sullivan posts a poem for Cheney: Constantine Cavafy‘s “Waiting for the Barbarians.” It looks to me like Keeley and Sherrard’s translation …

Yup. Google Books has that poem and a lot more. Despite the burying in the notes the only hints that Cavafy sometimes worked in form, the book is well worth your money, so go visit your favorite bookseller.

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October 8, 2008   No Comments

Carville Quotes Dylan Thomas

James Carville on CNN says the Republican campaign isn’t going to go gentle.

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October 7, 2008   1 Comment