My poem “Hamiltons” 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 “ten.” 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!
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
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.
Poster poems: Ballads: Some information about the tradition behind ballads, with reader-submitted ballads in the comments. Of these, I was taken with “The Ballad of a Thinning Moustache” and “The Ballad Of Kevin Bacon’s Relatives.”
Somebody has done a series of videos with a hand puppet reading Charles Bukowski (it’s actually the author’s voice): “Grammar of Life,” “The Light of Jesus” and “Photo.” I can’t decide if these are dumb or funny.