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Monday, May 20, 2013

Finals Frustrations

O! such stripes we thrash upon ourselves
scourging on superiority,
or, as the case may be, I swear:
to but maintain mere mediocrity.


No, that's not really the title of the "poem" up there (and  those of you familiar with law school exams will understand this a little better than all the other students out there).  That it's only a "poem," I think, excuses it from my otherwise ordinary disdain for "untitled."  And besides, does this really even qualify as a poem?  Certainly less so than the little ditty I wrote about pens,which I actually thought was pretty clever, by the way, but which, if anyone actually read, apparently no one got.  Anyway, I thought this was kind of clever, too.  I "wrote" it while walking to campus to finish studying for my final 2L exam last week.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Bookmash, from Sentence First

I don't know if Stan Carey came up with the idea of the "bookmash," but I picked it up from him, and think it's a pretty great source of accidental or chance poetry.  Of course, the accidental/chance nature of stuff like this "poetry" (not always so great for its actual artistic value) must be taken with a grain of salt, because, indeed, it's pretty friggin' easy for the discoverer (or, as it were, author/poet) to arrange the titles or labels in whatever way works best--or least badly.  What I think is truly great about this kind of art, however, is first that the photographer (an attribution more appropriate, perhaps, than artist or poet) has to make do with the phrases available to him, and better, second, that there is, to those familiar with the source materials, immediately implicated meaning and connotation built into the poem by the authors of the works whose titles form the lines of the poem.  Cool!

Anyway, Mr. Carey posted a new one on his blog, "Sentence First," today, and I think it's my new favorite:

-- and arranged by Mr. Carey thusly:

Black Hole, the long falling
Darkness peering, portable darkness --
Tidal dreams, grotesque dreams,
The holy door on Green Dolphin street.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Bitten Bullet and The Purple Dragon

If I happen to have any regular readers left out there and waiting for something new, don't get too excited; this is just an announcement.  As you know, I've been in law school for the past year and a half and hardly able simultaneously to keep up literary or "grammarly" commentary and my grades.  Obviously, I've sacrificed the blog.

Because I needed a project this winter break, and because I don't have the time or means to continue sending queries and making submissions (if, that is, they're not related to job applications), I bit the bullet and self-published.  As of today, I have made two sales.


The book, originally intended for a Mormon audience, is plenty suitable for a "general" readership, though it's lack of horned or polygamous characters may stump the stereotypes.  Instead, it's about a kid preparing to serve his Mormon missionary service.  The church--both the institution and its people--put a tremendous amount of pressure on its youth to serve.  I did.  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  The pressure on Eugene is greater than anything I experienced, however, as his family has been stigmatized by some ugly family history, and he and his sister--the last remaining and cogent of the Cross family--are desperate to bring the name back into good repute.

Mormon missionary service, however, requires a towering degree of "worthiness," which Eugene is hardly able to claim.  He is a kleptomaniac, and despite his self-justifications (including the stealing exclusively of books), is racked with the guilt of it.  He convinces himself that he tells the truth to the religious leaders who interview him and vouch for his readiness, and he makes the trip to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.  Eugene, despite his stealing and despite what he is certain the membership of his local congregation surely will think of him, is a good kid.  He brings himself home and begins the devastatingly painful repentance process, which necessarily includes the returning of the thousands of books and other items that he's stolen over the years to their owners, including his friends and family.

The book is cheap: just $.99 at Barnes and Noble and $2.99 at Amazon, though only available in digital format.  (BN only provides for the Nook platform, from what I understand, while Amazon makes their ebooks available for Apple and other products.)  If you pick it up and read it, I'd love to hear you thoughts!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

This Wretched Store Does not Carry My Favorite Pen in My Favorite Color


It's either
blue or red; or
the lesser or the better pen.

I chose by pen,
forewent the red, for
the better of the lesser bens.


Composed while walking back to the library from the university bookstore.

This pen represents the first I’ve bought for my personal use in over ten years that is not red.
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