Thursday, March 27, 2008

Poetry Reading

If you come to Empire Books (located in Pullman Square) on Saturday, April 5th, between 5 & 7 pm, you can hear me read from Nearing Narcoma & Here's How. The reading itself should start around 6-ish. I'll be available beforehand if you want to chat. Of course, I'll glady sign copies of either or both books. I can't promise free hot dogs & balloons to everyone in attendance, but if you mention this post, I can probably offer you a mint. If you live outside Huntington, the following links may help with your travel plans:

Tri State Airport
Amtrak
Greyhound

Here's hoping I see you there!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Self-Portrait in a Prospect of Photos

Here I am as a moody teen, silhouetted against the picture window at my parents' house. No doubt The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens, my favorite poet in high school, lies at my feet, page marked by a worn paperback edition of 100 Selected Poems by E. E. Cummings. As for my poetry in those days, I wrote much in the style of Richard Brautigan. If you'd think you'd like to read some of my early pieces, you're horribly mistaken. I remember one titled "Penetration." Guess what it was about! Guess!


The Hat, my nickname in college, sits at the campus coffee house, smoking Gauloises & propounding preposterous prosodic theories with aspiring others. I'd memorized "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," so it's altogether possible I'm taking a quick puff while reciting "Prufrock" as Boris Karloff, which I often did--or, if I found my voice, as Bob Newhart, which difficult to sustain, usually only lasted through maybe the start of the third stanza, by which time everyone had quit listening anyway.


Ah, yes! It is I, Pompadour Dali, the self-deprecating alias I sometimes used when, having left Clonus II, I played guitar & sang, neither particularly well, but I knew lots of songs, so I had that going for me. See those eyes--obviously I'd hit the bar chords a little hard of late! I can't explain the sweater. Who can explain sweaters? More to the point, what does this have to do with poetry? If you look over the cover of Nearing Narcoma, you may notice that the utility poles along the roadside resemble guitar necks. The connection to the past--a book plug!


The emerging poet, having composed "Aspects of Dagwood," a parody of Weldon Kees' "Aspects of Robinson," completes his master's at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers.

Coincidentally, Weldon Kees & I both have the same number of letters in our names (10); he has 6 in his first, 4 in his last; for me, as perhaps befits the parodist, it's vice versa--4 in my first, 6 in my last.

Moreover, if you spell Weldon Kees backward, it reads, "Seek Nodlew." I didn't think of this tidbit at the time I wrote "Dagwood," but would you find it interesting, perhaps slightly eerie, if I told you my middle name is Nodlew? For the sake of this post, let's assume that's true.

Friday, March 7, 2008

In Re: Verse

Given my last post concerning the poetics of fear, I would feel remiss if I didn't at least mention the fear of poetry, or metrophobia.

Why would someone fear poetry? Poets use language in ways that many people don't understand; as in most walks of life, people generally fear what they don't understand.

"Metrophobia," you may find interesting to know--I know I do--is the title of one of my poems that appeared in Segue (as well as in my book, Nearing Narcoma). If you're not familiar with Segue, acquaint yourself. It's a great online magazine.

If you don't know about Nearing Narcoma, stop hiding under the covers. Take the time right now to confront the book Roger Weingarten describes as "hellbent breathless" & Charles Harper Webb calls "balls-to-the-walls, full-speed-ahead language," "wired," as Joy Harjo puts it, "by a couple hundred horsepower & loud rock."

Nothing scary. You need only follow the link. I'll wait here with Walt Whitman for you. Now go on. What are you--afraid?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Poetics of Fear

As my plan for literary world domination slogs along, I take little solace in knowing it's at least more successful than the war in Iraq, one of the worst blunders ever made by any president, duly elected or otherwise, kaff, kaff.

My lack of a wider readership disturbs me, as it should everyone. Whereas many experts believe the continued American occupation of Iraq spawns new terrorists everyday, intelligence shows my poetry hasn't bore a single terrorist--nor married, divorced, or legally separated terrorists for that matter.

Frankly, my poems have contributed more to combatting terrorism than all the current counterproductive policies & so-called strategies.

If you're not reading me, the terrorists have already won.