Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nor lost again

A day spent enjoying the slightly warming weather by walking through the slush. Spent looking at the hockey (nice OT gold win for Canada), U.S. gets the silver). Spent grading papers. Spent writing poetry and more Hinojosa work.

The weekend slowly ends.

all was not lost

Worked seriously hard all evening on a new poem and a new Hinojosa translation. Did watch some of the Olympics but was very good at sticking to a plan.

Thanks to the many people who wrote about Tourist on Poetry Daily. Many thanks.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Facebook has me in its thrall and news

Okay. I signed up and now I'm not doing the work I should. But it is fun and I recommend it only if you have way too much time on your hands. Or that you go in with a strategy that lets you get away.

As though I'm any good at that...

The Moe Green interview was a lot of fun:

The Moe Green Poetry Poetry Discussion hosted Rafael F J Alvarado Brett-Candace interviewing Mark Statman 2/26/2010 - The W.W.

Today is the day to catch me at Poetry Daily.

News will be coming sooner re: other readings and the like but until then



Thursday, February 25, 2010

News update for Thursday, February 23

A few things happening with Tourist at a Miracle.

Moe Green Poetry Hour, Friday February 26th, from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM EST. The call in number is 718.508.9717.

On Saturday, February 27, "Tourist" and Tourist at a Miracle will be featured on Poetry Daily. Poetry Daily is a great site and the poets they feature are quite good.

Later events happening: the big Hanging Loose book party for this year's poets will be the first week in May, more later. I'll also be reading at Perch in June. Other readings coming so watch this page. The September California tour is rounding into shape and I'll have more news on that later. Florida later (November).

Last night, a good reading at the Poetry Project with Joanna Fuhrman and John Koethe. Joanna read from Moraine and Pageant, as well as some new poems, and John Koethe mainly read from 95th Street. He closed with the long title poem, which has as a central trope a dinner with John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and Kenneth Koch that took place in 1966. It was a weave from the past into the present that was quite elegant and elegaic.



Saturday, February 20, 2010

Baseball calls

A warmer day in February reminds me that, with pitchers and catchers reporting, baseball is not that far behind. Even now the newspapers have stories and the sports radio is more it than Olympics and even Tiger Woods. What are the priorities?

Last night a poetry/jazz program at the New School that had Robert Pinsky reading with drum, piano, bass players from the Jazz program. Pinsky made note that his point was to be part of a quartet and he did just that, the words as one fourth of intelligent and resonating sound. See photo at band of the

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)

I've always admired Lucille Clifton's poetry. It has a music and a spareness, an observant, thoughtful and buoyant joy and seriousness with the world. The first poem of hers I ever read was "miss rosie" and when I thought of the I standing up, it reminded me not only of seeing those we would like to conveniently overlook, misplace, forget but of the importance of standing up for those who can't.

Her poem "roots" is one I taught in the schools for many years and which, in my own life, I've found worth remembering. I was grateful to be allowed to use it in my book Listener in the Snow. I knew she had been ill, that her health had not been the greatest for a while, but this is a real loss.

call it our craziness even,
call it anything:
it is the light thing in us
that will not let us die...

call it our roots,
it is the light in us
it is the light of us
it is the light, call it
whatever you have to,
call it anything.

-from "roots," Good Woma:n: Poems and a Meoir

Sunday, February 14, 2010

lots of snow and then I got sick and it is Valentine's Day

It was wonderful to see all the snow come down in Brooklyn on Tuesday and into Wednesday. The back got its workout with shoveling and the legs with walking in the snow (Jesse took video and photos, go to band of the to see some of these). Then the week wore on and I wore out and collapsed Thursday night. No fun as I'd hoped to have a nice long weekend for relaxing, reading, and writing. There is a difference between sleeping when sick and sleeping when healthy. The biggest one is that you can read but in the former the words never stay on the page or in your head.

But it meant lots of radio on as well, and going back and forth between NPR news, discussion and music and sports talk on baseball. Pitchers and catchers report this week. Always that pleasure, harbinger of spring.

I think I have managed to do a little reading that counts: some Ezra Pound (for teaching and for pleasure), Huidobro, Stroud, Vargas Llosa and E.B. White. Read Nick Thran's book of poems, Every Inadequate Noise which came out a few years ago, very good. He has a new one coming out next year. Stephen Kessler's The Mental Traveler arrived in the mail and I look forward to reading that. Also now reading Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin which is good if not a little too happy with itself (can one really observe all that much in a single instant?)

Tourist at a Miracle news: A west coast/Bay Area reading trip for the end of September seems to be coming together (more later on this). At least two confirmed and two very likely dates/places.

I'm being interviewed on the Moe Greene Poetry Hour out in California on February 26, 6:30 EST and 3:30 PST. More info later on this for life listening and podcast downloads.

It is Valentine's Day. Save your money and just remind your loved ones just how much you love them. Words mean most.



Sunday, February 7, 2010

not quite right

Okay. I blew the Super Bowl pick.

It happens. Really. Truly. On occasion. Wait til next year. And so on.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lazy day/Super Bowl Pick

Big news that we missed the snow. Saw that DC did not. The dog was sad. My back was not. Something about shoveling.

Wrote a little. Read the paper. What will Toyota do? The energized Obama? The depressing because paid attention to Sarah Palin?

Super Bowl pick: Indianapolis 38, New Orleans 27

It comes down to this: both teams are matched fairly well. Give the edge to the Colts on defense, even with Freeney's injury. Special teams go to New Orleans. Offense, you could say they are evenly matched but as good as Brees has been this season, Manning runs the two minute drill for the whole game. Forget the Colts' lack of a running game. A pass from Peyton is as good as a hand-off and he has all the targets he needs.




Friday, February 5, 2010

week gone by

A long week gone by and a good one but long which is sometimes how the good ones are.

Teaching is serious now, the introductions done and the work at hand at hand. Reading Whitman and Lorca with Pound on the horizon (and Lorca a constant). With Whitman some interesting conversations that go from his influence into the present as well as his work over his own time. We've been reading Leaves of Grass 1855 and Leaves of Grass in the deathbed 1891/92 editions and thinking about how much the small changes mean and the larger ones as well, the sense of the earlier work in some ways as the poems in process and the last work as the poems as done (which they obviously by that point more than are). A serious joy here is reading Whitman again and again and recognizing just how much pleasure there is in doing just that.

The same is true of Lorca, although until now more time has been spent setting the stage for the rest of the semester, a lot of background, Spanish history, Lorca's life, Lorca's New York. Reading the first Poems of Solitude at Columbia University makes me realize how much a part of me the poems have become. I read the lines and remember how much time I spent working with them, the conversations Pablo and I had in the intense three years we spent on the book. Interesting how much presence it has, the intersection of that with memory.

I'm pushing myself now to finish the Hinojosa selected. I've been feeling good about it, sure and certain of the voice. The final translation draft should be done by the end of February, early March. The introduction should be done as well. Funny to be conscious of, if not exactly able to see, the light at the end of that tunnel.

And working hard on new poems. A good feeling to do that. Going through the most recent moleskine typing even as a newer one is being slowly filled.

Snow coming. The storm is supposed to center more to the south, with DC and Philadelphia taking larger hits. But the coming 2-6 inches could be romp in the snow fun.