Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Your atomic number is directly proportional to the number of new posts on your blog. I'm made of hydrogen.

But seriously, folks. One of my students today said that some of Frank O'Hara's lunch poems sound like blog entries. I did not prompt him. This is big news for me, as it brings together the two genres with which this blog is concerned.

In the meantime, I have begun my Facebook experience. I think it should be Namebook. I mean, you don't have to show your face - and even if you do, it's tiny. It's really Who's friends with Whom, isn't it? And that's the whole point of life under conditions of Universal Competition, isn't it?

Did you know that the original investors in Lloyd's of London were called The Names? They may still be, for all I know. Or maybe now they are The Numbers.

Anyway, Facebook, a "social networking site," is a weird medium. (or weird museum) Some people mainly post links to their blogs or to on-line publications. You're aware of others only by the friends they acquire (or who acquire them). I find myself thinking, "Damn! That person has 10x as many 'friends' as I do - I better get cracking!"

Will everyone still be friends if Obama loses the election?

Speaking of which, if you're on Facebook, join "Irish-Americans for Barry O'Bama." You don't have to be Irish to join, since neither is he, exactly.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Maverick (and other tired ideas)

"Several tags . . . have been attached to me during my political career. One of these is 'maverick,' and if one likes labels, this in some ways is an apt description." - Sen. Albert Gore, Sr., ca. 1972

"I do not want college professors around. They believe in the greatest good for the greatest number, and I do not believe in that." - Prentice Cooper, Gore's unsuccessful opponent in 1958.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Readings Last Weekend

Why do we update our blogs? Because our public awaits us? Because we are sending signals out into the void, like SETI? Maybe we like to hear ourselves talk.

I like to hear Hadara Bar-Nadav talk - and read her stuff, which I did, Friday night. Good crowd at the Writer's Place in Kansas City (70 or so). She started out with a fanciful poem involving her recently-flooded basement, which, in the poem, she's navigating in a paper boat, with the entire family. But then she went into some weirder, darker stuff - such as the series of poems that begin with Dickinson lines (and smuggle other D lines in later, if I understand aright). Much more bodily grotesquerie than in ED, I'd say. Longer lines, too, I'm guessing. Like if Dickinson could write free-verse and had to watch Holocaust documentaries as an adolescent. But the weird part is, it gorgeous. The cross-sectioning of the body is done in such a lyrical way that it leaves you wanting more. Damn I wish I could do that.

But I can't, and I didn't, on Saturday night. Instead, I read some of my cartoony twisted little faux-rhetorical nature poems, as the warm-up act for Cyrus Console's serious poetry. CC read from his MS in progress (which, unlike Brief Under Water, appears to be in verse) - faux-vatic symbolist pronouncements interwoven by a character named Anthony, who is part ex-con, part 19th c. dandy, part schlep, and part *Saint* Anthony, as far as I can tell. The poems I hadn't heard had a distinctly scrambled-biblical air (Miltonic, as it turns out) - funny and scary both (to me).

And that was my weekend trip to KC and Topeka. I hope to return some day!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Joe on Godot

Hey, they spelled the name right . . . AND they put me right before Adrienne Rich!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New NO

I just got the new copy of NO: A Journal of the Arts. Like the previous issues, it's very swish - high production values and quality writing. It seems like NO started by publishing a few famous poets alongside "emerging" ones (and some who were a little of both). Then they started publishing more famous people, but also including much more visually adventurous poetry than in previous issues(poetry including pictures, even stitching; poetry demanding different typefaces; or a "landscape" page orientation).

This issue is pretty much composed of really famous poets (mostly over 60). And, while there's some dandy reproductions of visual art works, there's not as much of a visual sensibility to the poems (certainly not much use of the graphic possibilities possessed by a well-funded journal).

This is not to say that it's boring - it's not, by any means. There's a lot of really exciting, interesting writing by those really famous poets. But I do hope they continue to make room for some less-well-known, off-the-wall stuff - especially from poets who include pictures or push the spatial and graphic potential of the art nowadays.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Joe (me) Reads Ken (Rumble)

Here is my review, posted this week in Tarpaulin Sky, of Ken Rumble's Key Bridge.