Friday, November 26, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baby lemur at the Banham Zoo

I could look at the Zoo Borns site all day. And maybe I will once I get laid off at the end of the year. But for now: Hamish, the baby bamboo lemur!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thomas Lynch has a new book of poems

Thomas Lynch has a new book of poems. Walking Papers is out now via W. W. Norton. Please buy it for me for Christmas. Or any other holiday. Or just because you love and appreciate me. Oh, forget it. I'll buy it myself.

"Calling," which is from the new book, was Poetry Daily's pick for Nov. 2. You can also read and listen to "Euclid" at Poetry Out Loud.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Poetry is moving

We should all be so lucky to look this good and be this self-confident when we're 100 years old. But self-confidence doesn't automatically translate into self-awareness. Or good poetry. Or clothes, for that matter.

I wish there was a "behind the scenes" video to accompany this. Because, seriously, what is she swinging on? There's very little camera shake and the camera seems to be moving with her. I don't know. A tire swing? A stripper pole? Or is she just floating on a cloud held up by fairies and wood sprites?

Via your mom Videogum.

Also via your step-mom Slog.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Adam Roberts reads my mind

In The Atlantic, Adam Roberts writes "a five-part series about the value of verse in the 21st century." And at the end of Part Five he somehow reads my mind. Or not "reads" so much as "translates."

Part One: "The Righteous Skeptic's Guide to Reading Poetry."
Money quote: "Yeah, poetry sucks! It's confusing, it's pretentious, it's precious, it's frivolous and disconnected and has nothing to do with my life. Right on."

Part Two: "What Makes a Poem Worth Reading?"
Money quote: " If you don't have your graduate degree in comparative literature, wtf is irreducible alterity????"
(A good question. The simplest translation is "hard and weird.")

Part Three: "Flarf: Poetry Meme-Surfs With Kanye West and the LOLCats"
Money quote: "This game of WTF one-upsmanship ... is quickly becoming a recognizable phenomena in everywhere from YouTube to advertising to mainstream news coverage. Sometimes we call it lowest common denominator--but other times, it's something different. Poems, and poets, can learn from it."

Part Four: "Good Poetry Is Like Good Food: How to Find It ... and Savor It"
Money quote: "In the world of literary culture, the small press is probably the closest equivalent to your local farmer's market. (The carrots might look funnier, but, after you're used to it, they taste about five times better.)"

Part Five: "7 Poets I Love"
Money quote: "Delusionally or not, I always feel, when reading, as if quite a bit is at stake. At their core, poems remind me of at least one thing: that I have only one life, and that it's a life with others: other people, other creatures, complicated and interrelated systems of life. Urgency—right—that's what calls me back to read."

And this, the "high stakes" of poetry, is exactly how I feel about poetry. Exactly. Except it's never been something I've been able to articulate. It's as if Roberts reached into the mud of my brain and said, "Here. This is what you've been wanting to say all along."

"Wave" by Alan Shapiro. So good.

"Wave," a really beautiful poem by Alan Shapiro, is in the latest issue of The Atlantic. Me like.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Please buy Christian Wiman's newest book for me. Thanks.

Clive James reviews Christian Wiman's Every Riven Thing (published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux) in the UK's Financial Times. Perhaps James just writes an especially good review, but I am very much looking forward to reading Wiman's new book.

Via Slate.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book to buy: Between Old Trees by francine j. harris

francine j. harris has a chapbook and you should buy it. Between Old Trees via Organic Weapons Arts can be yours for only ten cash dollars (or Paypal dollars, as it were). That is cheaper than so many things. And probably better than whatever else you were going to spend it on anyway.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I can read

This evening I had the awesome pleasure of reading with Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Jamaal May, and Adrian Matejka at the Virgil Carr Center in Detroit as part of the Robert Hayden Poetry Series. They're all incredible poets and it was great to get up and read again, especially with such fine company. It was a really good crowd, too. Imagine, people actually showing up for a poetry reading. It happens in Detroit, folks. :)

All of them have books you should buy if you know what's good for you. As for me, to borrow from Whitney Houston, "I have nothing, nothing, nothing..." But, to borrow from her yet again, "It's not right, but it's okay."

So thanks to the wonderful and talented poetry duo Vievee Francis and Matthew Olzmann for asking me to read. I am very lucky to know such wonderful people who do so much for poetry in Detroit.

Thursday, Dec. 9 is the final reading in the series. I plan to be there. If you're also there then we'll be there together. At last.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fight monkeys with monkeys

India unleashes langur patrol in New Deli to protect Obama from "maurading" rhesus monkeys.

Hey, if it's good enough for Stephen Colbert, it's good enough for Obama.

Oh, and speaking of langur monkeys... I know. That is just so much aww. So much it hurts.

Via The Awl.