It has been a crazy past few months. Not only has the day job been running at a gallop, but it's been full-on on the family front and back-to-school and all that. No shortage of activity in my corner of the poetry department, either. I've been posting a lot of interesting work at TNB Poetry, and other have been publishing a gratifying run of my own poems.
Maenads are snarling their decree:
‘So who d'you think you are,’ they howl
‘To seal your bonnet from the bee?’
Those bouncers at the Muses’ hill
Take down attendance in their hall—
You’re conscript to the gathering
To rouse the skaldic clan again
With clinking roar of brannigan.
Yield bruckle skin to miching flea.
I've mentioned The Flea
several times in Copia
since I discovered it this year. I'm in the first place delighted to find a journal featuring the sort of witty and expressive poetry I love, and in the second place excited to have my own work in such brilliant poetry. In the same broadsheet
are too many superb poets to list here, but I must give special mention to the contemporary Australian master Alan Gould. As for my own poem, I had a good deal of fun writing it specifically in response to the call for carouse-house poems to celebrate the anniversary. "Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief"--Hamlet, III. ii. 146
Next my poem "Fortune of Chi"
was published in Soundzine
, with my recitation. The poem is fairly typical of the manuscript on which I've been working for a few months, with its dash of Biafra and undercurrent of Igbo cosmology, so it was great to place it in such a great journal. An excerpt:
Some randomized permutation of genes
Spelled these very left and right brain cortices–
Spotlight nerves on sheer possibility;
Some Mendel melody conjured these eyes,
These muscles, grafted these veins under this skin;
I am too many pin-point faults to be
By design yet I crown my own life's fitness:
I am perfected fortune of my chi.
I've stroked it while it gently weeps,
Caressed each trembling string,
Cranked up to weapons grade at times
I undertake to sing.And yet I disappoint, I rip,
I charm a wicked scar;
Hot venom as the scorpion bows
To cantor de Ronsard.If poetry and song provide
The island with a reef,
What heroes championing what gods
Are left to my belief?
And shortly afterwards my poem "Rhapsody On Q A"
appeared in Red Fez
., where it was classified as a villanelle but is actually a variant of the villanelle created by Lewis Turco and named the terzanelle. Lewis Turco then added "Rhapsody On Q A" to his exemplar list of terzanelles
. An excerpt:
Light on temples, Nepal to Sri Lanka,
You glide, traveling soul, earth-bound fixed foot,
Each step mounting from base camp Casablanca,From past-life luxury of Hatshepsut
To present serene, composed asana;
And mixed into all that I found time to write and record a spoken word piece flowing into an old school rap to celebrate TNB's 5th anniversary
, and I also wrote a great deal of verse in the 2011 session of Heather Fowler's poetry marathon
. I'll also be co-leading (with María Meléndez) a workshop on submissions at the Western Colorado Writers' Forum
October 7th-9th in Grand Junction, Colorado, which should be a great time to meet many of my fellow Rocky Mountain poets, including Wendy Videlock, whom I've mentioned on Copia, and David Mason, Poet Laureate of Colorado. Busy, busy times. Fun, fun times. And I'll have more to report soon, with poems forthcoming in The Flea
and The Raintown review