Everything that stinks is instinctual.

Since I last posted at the end of July, I’ve had a few publications: “The Casualty Notification Officer” and “Everything that Divides” at Prick of the Spindle (love their layout and design so much); “Improving on Nature” at Strange Horizons; and a scifaiku at microcosms.

I’ve also been playing with a text-to-movie application and have made two “movies”: Improving on Nature and The Queen of England Talks About Pigeons. Those have been a lot of fun. I end up spending all kinds of time with little fiddly details but the basics are dead simple.

My poem β€œHamiltons” is a contestant in the 10-10-10 Poetry Contest. Each poem had to be ten lines of ten words each somehow relating to the theme of β€œten.” Some of the other poems are pretty sweet too. I was initially undecided about submitting – Peg and I had dinner last week and had a long conversation about this market, which pays well (and the editor certainly has his heart in the right place) but which is more of a popularity contest than about the merit of the poetry (the winner is decided according to how many positive comments it gets). I ended up deciding that I wanted the exercise of writing within the limits he’d set, and I’d had what I thought was a pretty good idea for what to write about—and then once it was written I figured I might as well shoot for the $242 prize, and worse case scenario my entry fee would go to some other poet. If you like my poem, please say so in their comments!

Robin Morgan’s “Monster”

I have been struggling to find all of Robin Morgan’s poem “Monster” since I read an excerpt of it on Feminist SF – The Blog.

It’s an angry poem and I adore it. I would love to quote you the entirety of the piece, all 6 pages of its glory, but I would also like to respect Morgan‘s creative ownership of the piece.

I admire its bravery, I admire the descent to violence but not the submission to violence. I need it because it reminds me that there are ways of writing that align with my ways of being and that most of the written word and the spoken word are not written and spoken in those ways. It reminds me that there is nothing wrong or despicable about who I am.

Here is an excerpt:

And you, men. Lovers, brothers, fathers, sons.
I have loved you and love you still, if for no other reason
than that you came wailing from the monster
while the monster hunched in pain to give you the power
to break her spell.
Well, we must break it ourselves, at last.
And I will speak less and less and less to you
and more and more in crazy gibberish you cannot understand:
witches’ incantations, poetry, old women’s mutterings,
schizophrenic code, accents, keening, firebombs,
poison, knives, bullets, and whatever else will invent
this freedom.

This is adult, end-of-the-day Poetry Friday.

like the snout of a strange animal

I wonder if any of our t’ousands and t’ousands of readers live in Alabama? I’m going to be there on March 6th, reading from my work and participating in a panel discussion on submission etiquette, as part of 2010: A Space Oddity (more info here).

Since I’m going to be there, I thought I’d use the opportunity to motivate myself to bring out another chapbook. I’m calling it Edgewise, and selling it for US$5 (postage included for pre-orders). Details here.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to little movies of poems lately, inspired by the many Billy Collins ones which I think I’ve linked to before, and some stop motion movies I was watching. I’m thinking it would be interesting to do stop motion movies of some of my own poems, just for fun.

Gin a body kiss a body

Animated poetry

In a conversation on the Poets & Writers Speakeasy forum, poet Wendy Babiak mentioned videos of poetry animations and short films, citing as a favourite “Forgetfulness” by Billy Collins (animation by Julian Grey of Head Gear).

That’s one of eleven animations of his poetry commissioned by the Sundance Channel’s Action Poetry Series, which includes: “The Best Cigarette” (David Vaio/Will Hyde/FAD); “Budapest” (Julian Grey/Head Gear); “The Country” (Brady Baltezor/Radium); “The Dead” (Juan Delcan/Spontaneous); “Hunger” (Samuel Christopher/FAD); “No Time” (Jeff Scher); “Now and Then” (Eun-Ha Paek/Milky Elephant); “Some Days” (Julian Grey/Head Gear); and “Today” (Little Fluffy Clouds/Curious), which is my favourite animation, although I think “Walking Across the Atlantic” (Mike Stolz/Manic) is my favourite of these poems.

SamuelChristopher also animated “Angel,” which is from Hashisheen by Bill Laswell and read by Nicole Blackman, who I recognize from The Golden Palominos’ album Dead Inside.

Here’s are some other animations and short films based on poems:

Finally, the Poetry Foundation, in association with docUWM at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has a Poetry Everywhere series, which includes: “I started early…” by Emily Dickinson (Maria Vasilkovsky); “The Language” by Robert Creeley (Chad Edwards); “Mulberry Fields” by Lucille Clifton (Jason Walczyk); “Paradoxes and Oxymorons” by John Ashbery (Kate Raney); “Snowmen” by Agha Shahid Ali (Kyle Jenkins); “Some Words Inside of Words” by Richard Wilbur (Anna Wilson); “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden (Allison Alexander Westbrook IV); and “Tornado Child” by Kwame Dawes (Nicole Garrison).