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Showing posts from May, 2013

On Putting It Out There

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Get yer minds out of the gutter, folks! "It" refers to one's self, one's consciousness, the essential voice that one shares with the world when one publishes a poem, or an essay, or an article -- or an essay on poetry printed in a journal, such as this one by my friend Stephanos Papadopoulos in the Los Angeles Review of Books last week.
I love this essay. It's beautifully written, introduces me to poets I was not familiar with previously, and speaks to an issue that's timely and relevant. Also, and more importantly, I think it does what an essay should do, which is similar to a function of poetry: to raise a question that weighs on the mind of the writer, to reflect on that question, to explore that question. It may or may not answer that question, but you follow the writer's process as he or she thinks. (This idea -- of the essay as a mode of thinking -- is the most difficult to teach in Freshman Comp.)
Of course, as I said above, the author is my frie…

Matters of Taste AND RANTING IN ALL CAPS

I did a lot of interweb reading over the month of April. As I read, I'd cut and paste each and every link I liked, or wanted to comment on, into a draft blog post on my smartphone. I'm finally getting to the point where I have a few moments to spare/type unencumbered on a real keyboard (I'm probably jinxing myself by even thinking I have a few moments to spare), and I decided I'd better get to this post before it became completely unwieldy and/or boring.
April, National Poetry Month, brought with it a slew of "poem-a-day" posts to my email inbox, because I belong to two listservs, the Poem-A-Day from the poets.org (the Academy of American Poets web site) and Audio Poem of the Day from the Poetry Foundation. Generally, I find that I like the taste of whoever manages the Poetry Foundation's listserv more than I like the taste of whoever manages the Academy of American Poets listserv. 
For instance, early in the month, I received this through Poem-A-Day. For t…