Saturday, April 21, 2012

VERSAL 10 Launch... reserve YOUR place NOW

Fall in love with the lit mag all over again  
Amsterdam's first international literary and arts journal, VERSAL, is turning 10

 Yep! So come and celebrate:

WEDNESDAY MAY 23, 2012 · 7PM - 12AM

Join us in toasting to 10 years of our literary community and its flagship Versal at the magnificent Bo Cinq in Amsterdam. Use the Leidsekruisstraat entrance: follow the gold V to join the fun.

*Dress code: Gold tie
*Free glass of Prosecco for the first 100 guests

RSVP IS REQUIRED · Space is limited
RSVP by May 14 to

Thursday, April 19, 2012

CIRCUITS proofs and DUSIE Kollectiv 5 on display in Houston...

For anyone who saw me in the halls at UHA today, it is obvious that I am suffering from a sense of April as perhaps justifiably being entitled the cruellest month (though hopefully no wars outside budget ones on the horizon!). It is therefore with great great JOY that I received note that for anyone in HOUSTON, TX there is a book show on containing tons of GORGEOUS chaps from Dusie Kollectiv 5, among which you can find my own little contribution (Tracery). 

This show is happening thanks to John Pluecker who is displaying his collection of Dusies from what he called "this last round of Dusiedom". It is part of an installation at Project Row Houses in Houston, Texas. The installation is called "Antena Books/Libros Antena" and it is a temporary bookstore, reading room and literary experimentation lab. The Dusie show will be up until the end of June. Read more from John about it at: and also check out his very gorgeous image from his own work which is currently on the Lex-ICON 60 posts in 60 days pre-conference blog project at:

Of course, it is great to think that people are off in Houston checking out things I have also enjoyed reading and collecting here! 

To go with that joy? The proofs of my manuscript soon to be book Circuits... here above is the not yet official cover, it is a cover en cours de production.  But hey.... too exciting not to post! YEA for CORRUPT PRESS!!!  Now to work on reading through the proofs!!!!!! (that will be some work!!!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April poems: questioning the genuine act of making poems in the space of performance engendered by blogs and the internet age

I like that Carrie Etter--who invited me to participate in the writing of a poem a day as part of this month's April Poetry Month project--on occasion sends out little emails saying "Hey, want to check in and leave a comment on my blog about how this is going for you?" (click HERE--CARRIE ETTER for her blog) It is not that I feel that excited by what I have to say, but that when I head over to her blog to leave my 2 cents in her comments space I find I enjoy reading about everyone else's successes or failures--that like me a few people have had to double up one day because another was missed, etc. 

But I keep thinking about the nature of writing poems and blogging them or about them.The nature of private and shared space.

I have always felt that the rewords blog I co-founded and love posting on is this kind of a blog-space where the PLAY of poetry is at work, where play is prioritized, where Picasso's adage “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” is honored and the child is out in the blogosphere messing with language, unconcerned with issues of judgement--Rewords is a space where if what I have put down is completely stupid, flat, lame, in process, drafty, like a room with holes in it, that is ok. Like my poem of the day today, "Eurydice's Vision" which I posted on rewords despite my misgivings about it.

But when I think of putting poems out on blogs elsewhere, even here on my perso blog, I feel like I should manage something better--and then the genuine act of making gets caught up with what feels like to me an ingenuine act of performance. I personally do not want to dance for the crowd. Instead, in the writing, I feel like I want to peel open--myself, my ears, my vision, my body, my soul--if such a thing does exist. 

There are different spaces of making for me, of creating--I believe in being a child and thus getting my hands dirty and tossing stuff round the room and collaging and enjoying the feeling of things emerging, converging. And yet I want also to touch something that is "[...] not a paraphrase or a metaphor for reality but a reality itself." For, in addition to that thought, as I am at the moment in the process also of re-reading Joseph Brodsky's essays on poetry, he reminds me that "The Poem has the quality of an uneasy dream, in which you gain something extremely valuable, only to lose it the very next moment." (On Grief & Reason, essays, Joseph Brodsky, FSG, NY, 1995, p386)

What is interesting is that in this essay, Brodsky argues that that getting at "a reality itself" comes from a poem "being a conscious act". There, at that point, is where our paths diverge. 

For there is something of the conscious, of the lucid dream in really great moments of writing, in moments when you feel the language and you have merged and that what is emerging from you is genuine on every level--formal, narrative, expressive, etc. But it is a lucid dream which at the same time is perhaps changing course because a second driver steps in, takes over, surprises you, leaps out of the closet or rounds the corner--the line swerves, the old-fashioned meters and rhymes of many of the great lyric poets would diverge from their regularity at some crucial moment and that would make ALL of the difference. 

For me, then, the conscious, that lucidity is lost magnificently buried in the subconscious. The dream-state takes over from the lucid me at moments, and the writing self lets it. 

In a space of blogs, the internet, of sending the written writing straight out onto the pavement to get run down or perhaps lauded somehow hollows out that process. I guess what I am saying is that the poem remains for me a private act. The best poems take time--though the draft may be able to flop down onto the page one day, the tinkering that accompanies that first gesture often takes the poem to its reality. The child and the adult, the unconscious and the conscious, the lucid and the uneasy-out-of-control dream are both necessary for the poem to be. 

I guess what I am saying is that though I love knowing we are many of us tossing words onto pages this month, giving parts of every day writing poems, that there will of course be a great difference between these drafts or notes for poems and final "Poems" with a capital P, if such things do exist.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

April showers.... poems, and toils

There is something about everyday blogging and everyday poem-writing that is not entirely compatible. One feels turned outward, like a chat to the chair in the corner with its back turned to you so that you cannot tell whether the friend you hope you are talking to is really there or not. The other--the poem--is turned in on itself instead. Even if it is a zany, splay it out all over the page in jibberjabberish going about your pop-culture filled day letting it rip kind of poem, it is still YOUR very own private inner wildchild day, and not one you are there to necessarily communicate to that chair. 

Anyway, so what I am saying is part of this week I have been poeming, not blogging. But I like that some people successfully blog and poem, poem and blog. 

Still happy to think everyday that so many other people are out there telling the universe that making the poem happen is worth it. --Ah, April... and

Right now? It is 6:06 am and there is a nightengale giving the end of the night its all before the chill of dawn breaks into day and he is chased off elsewhere. 

And I am off to sleep, too (like the woman in Leighton's painting, above left), having scribbled whatnots all night and then also finished the programme changes for yet another version of the Lex-ICON programme. It is inching its way towards being, being itself, being finished. Check it out HERE and check out the supercool video by P Castellin (click on his still image on the blog to be sent to the video in motion):

Monday, April 02, 2012

April and 29 poems or days or poems to go...before May

I do not plan on posting all my mad scribblings of the month  as I do my poem a day project in the joyous space of knowing so so many others are doing likewise, but I will try and chat about the things I am thinking and reading as this process is taking place--and will post some of my poems of the day.

A poem of today I did post is up on rewords--it is a poem in which I am rewording the pared-down tone and language of Amanda Deutch's little poem from last December and combining that with little details that emenate from me. If you are interested, it is at:

But far far far more exciting as a poem for today--though not I do not think just written today if I am clear on that--is Rob Mclennan's poem "from How the alphabet was made," on Canadian Angel House press' national poetry month site which is posting poems everyday by different poets. Here is Rob's intricate wording about lettering and word making: I particularly admired how this somewhat hard-edged poem in the middle does not necessarily become smooth but is tender at the end, where Rob writes:

Betrayed the lovely camera.

Such speculation, ends.           You told me:   this is what

might happen.

For anyone who does know or follow Rob Mclennan's blog, it is worth checking out at: 

Other poems and sites to check into people writing today and everyday this month include K Lorraine Graham's--gotta admire the eloquence but also the sharp ache of the long lines in her post from today on:

And speaking on blogs that are generally worth checking out, one that may give material or a space for rethinking the blog format is Bhanu Kapil's blog at : click on anything and it is like stepping into a little angular space in Bhanu's mindworld. Fantastic!

To make poems is to read, to read into the self of the self and the other. That is my last little pre-drifiting off into sleep thought on this month of poetry making. Night....