Friday, April 17, 2009

Poetry Tips: As Poet Laureate I Would...

Some may dream about being the President, others CEO. What would you do if you were the Poet Laureate of your state? Of the country? Would you polish up your poems or write more often? Would you spend more time reaching out to those who don’t read poetry? What would you do as Poet Laureate and how would it affect you?
Sure, it’s not your typical poem writing prompt, but why not think and dream bigger than writing your next poem?

What is a Poet Laureate you may ask? Click the link below to learn more:

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by again soon. I’m afraid I have no interview for this weekend but hopefully the next one! One person I hoped to interview has had an influx of busy-life and she is working diligently to answer my q’s in the meantime, another has a chapbook that is behind in its publication so it will be an interview posted later on when it is available. Stay tuned!

Please drop in on Monday…

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Copper Nickel Open Submissions

You may submit up to five poems or one piece of prose attached as a Microsoft Word file or an “RTF” with “submission” in the title line of your e-mail to element15ATcopper-nickelDOTorg. Be sure to include your name, e-mail address, and phone number with each submission, and yes simultaneous submissions are accepted. For further details please click the link below:

Good luck to all who submit! Please drop in tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Adrift” by William Taylor Jr., excerpt from Pulverized Canine
“Better Off” by Felicia Urso

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Julian Gallo's A Symphony of Olives

Julian Gallo’s chapbook, A Symphony of Olives is published by Alternating Current's Propaganda Press. Isn’t the title marvelous? It is brought by the poem’s title in the collection and is also in the line of another poem. Mr. Gallo lives in New York City as a writer/musician and painter with many previous books published such as Standing On Lorimer Street Awaiting Crucifixion published by Alpha Beat Press in 1996 and novel November Rust published by Lulu in 2007. This particular collection of poems runs from light-hearted to critical and ranges from personal relationships to whimsical scenarios. Below are a few of my favorites:

Afternoon Delight

Like a red-eyed scavenger you
devoured my thoughts one by one.
You sometimes sit with
predatory hands, waiting to snatch any
Word that can be used against me.
You hear me but you never listen;
for that would take too much effort.
You are not what I always thought you were.
No, you are just one of the rubber gloved elite,
an aging debutante peering at the faded portraits
through your own weathered prism.

Interesting juxtaposition of the title to the poem itself! The lover sounds like a buzzard in the beginning and at the end is an aging debutante, opposites are engaged throughout the poem giving light to the conflict in the relationship yet the title indicates affection. Very clever surprise.

Rules Of The Game

And I try to teach myself many things.
A professor of the self, incessantly searching
for the right way, the only way, in fact
for me to get on with things.
Apart from the myths of today’s age.
Apart from the standards someone else has set.
Apart from the rules of the game
that I don’t want to be a contestant in.

It’s not an easy thing when you tell someone
that you don’t feel like playing.
They will try their best to make you play,
for they will not tolerate any insubordination,
any insurrection of any sort.
There are rules to this game and you must abide by them
or else be disqualified and forever withheld the dice.
It never occurs to them that you never wanted the dice
in the first place.

It never occurs to them that
one is just simply not willing to play.
You must conform, must be part of things.
Nothing else is tolerated.
They want you to play so they can try to beat you.
They want to win and badly
for this kind of success is most desired.
Otherwise they may have to face the extreme
Failure of their own.

This could just as easily have been titled “Society” don’t you think? I have always felt the way the poet describes himself here, I’m sure most of you have as well. Whether it be office politics, family or friends’ gatherings, there are unspoken rules to be followed and those who do not follow are immediately punished. I like that the ending says the game really has nothing to win which is obvious to all but the rule-followers who refuse to face reality.

Silence Over A Bridge

All of this of course is silence over a bridge.
Or a papal bull.
Or a royal decree.
All of this is everything
and nothing.
Oil. Lather.
A codex of blood
written on towels.
A piece of a symphonic bible
kept hidden in jars
under the sink.
All of this of course is bullshit,
designed to project something
lost in childhood reverie
which itself was lost
with dust bunnies under the couch.
Sexuality is the power you weild
Designed to ensnare the more
deceived among us.
But I am not fooled.
I know better.
It is
nothing more than the tap of phlegm
in old rusty spittoons.

I like all the strange imagery: “codex of blood/written on towels” and “symphonic bible” and then it shifts to the poet revealing these words as “bullshit” and that all things people use to fool one another is “nothing more than the tap of phlegm/in old rusty spittoons.” It’s a strange poem and that is why I like it.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems please note there is a wider range of subjects and that this chapbook can be had for a mere $5.00 at Propaganda Press where a free chapbook from the archives is included with your purchase. All poets receive royalties and I am a huge advocate of poets getting paid for their books so I hope you’ll support this small press and be amused by this collection of poems.

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, April 13, 2009

One Poet's Notes

Edward Byrne’s blog is intelligent and meaningful in the world of poetry and literary figures. Read the awesome essays and posts by clicking below and be inspired:

Thanks for clicking in, please drop in tomorrow for another featured poet…

Sunday, April 12, 2009

B Z Niditch and PORTRAITS

B. Z. Niditch is from Brookline, Massachusetts and also writes fiction, teaches, and is the founder and Artistic Director of The Original Theater in Boston. His more recent books include The Book of Maxims from Lummox Press in 2001 and Boston Fall and Others from Aurorean Press in 2008. Mr. Niditch’s collection of poems, Portraits, published by Propaganda Press, is a fantastic array of poems that focus on individualists, artists, musicians, and philosophers. The poems themselves are short but the words are rich with witty, remarkable descriptions. As a result, I could not resist asking Leah Angstman of Alternating Current for a way to contact him and she was kind enough to oblige. Since then Mr. Niditch and I have corresponded through letters. Mr. B.Z. Niditch was kind enough to answer my questions about his chapbook and the interview follows below:

1. Thanks for taking some time to answer my questions, I see that you have published several collections in your lifetime such as Milton; The Lot of the Poet, Poetica, and many more. When did you first fall in love with Poetry and take up writing on your own?

The first poetry I remember falling in love with was that of Dylan Thomas. At twelve-years-of-age, I was browsing in a Boston bookstore when a blue volume of verse by the Welsh poet caught my eye. I read some of it, brought it home, read some more, and was hooked. Though I had been concentrating for years on music, particularly the violin, my life took another direction after falling in love with the beautifully written notes of poetry.

2. What inspired you to create a collection of poems that creates portraits out of words as the title indicates?

For a long time, I’ve been intrigued by the connection between art and poetry. Thematically, PORTRAITS is most concerned with images, so I decided to write and collect an imagist, minimalist group of poems. These poems focus on real people, personalities who I believe have changed the way we experience reality by confronting our lives and our time through their art.

3. Your collection features a wide variety of people including great writers, philosophers, musicians, and people whose names I hate to admit I’m not familiar with but would still like to learn about. Who do all of these people mean to you and what about them inspired you to create a portrait out of words for them in particular?

What inspired me were the individuals themselves, artists who express themselves in a singular concept ional way that sets them apart from their peers. It’s my recognizing that they possess a knowledge that can be very different from others. This knowledge may be found in how these individuals express their views on topics I find especially important: exile; suffering; persecution; revolutionary and challenging ideas in language, music and art.

4. I want to ask you about your poem titled “Alain Veinstein” who is a French poet. I will post the poem below for the readers and how did you decide which words to use to create a poetic portrait of Veinstein?

Alain Veinstein

A rabbi exiled
in dark caves
the slaughter
of centuries.

The particular words and freshness of language suddenly emerged from me as I thought about the work of Alan Veinstein. My poetry in PORTRAITS emerges almost subconsciously as I respond to issues and ideas as I confront them. Often there are ones I have dealt with consistently in my literary career, such as that of the outsider prophetically reflecting on their own survival as they struggle to resist oppression.

5. I love your poem about philosopher and activist, Simone Weil. Could you tell us a little more about her for the sake of our readers and why she inspired you to create a portrait of her as follows?

Simone Weil

A saint whitewashed
in troubled handcuffs
an ache of loving wounds
on grindstones.

For me, Simone Weil is the long-suffering outsider, a brilliant woman who was something of a self-exiled soul. She could be alternately considered or classified as a mystic, a Gnostic, an agnostic, Jewish, Christian, a free thinker, a revolutionary, a rebel or a saint. Her primary cause was social justice. She believed that through her personal sacrifice for the oppressed she could redeem her soul and society.

6. Which poem, if not already mentioned, is your favorite and why?

Yves Bonnefoy

Trembling chimeras
from skeptical inkwells
draw along the shore
paint the undivided sea.

The poem “Yves Bonnefoy” is my personal favorite. He’s generally considered to be France’s greatest post-World War II poet and art critic. He was an individual who was fascinated by color, form, light, and lyricism. His works run across centuries and countries without borders.

7. The poetic portraits you created rarely exceed a dozen lines, is there any particular reason for the relatively short length?

I want my fans and friends to be readers who get to know PORTRAITS in a minimalist sense of time restraints, with a flash of but who will also return to PORTRAITS as in a painting with a flash of startling directness that tears you apart and sears the reader like a ball of fire, never forgetting the ashes which always stay with you.

8. When not writing poetry, what other things do you enjoy doing and do any of them have any influence on your writing?

Playing violin and taking notes for my poetry made me aim for euphony, that is sound, as well as a visual poetry of human language. For me, the greatest poetry is musical, from the oral tradition of the ancient bards, to that of the modernists and surrealists like myself in our world of written words.

Thank you, Mr. Niditch, for responding to my curiosity, it has been a pleasure. For other readers out there who may want to obtain a copy, you can find it at Propaganda Press Catalog for $6.00 and please note that not only do poets get royalties from their collections but you will also receive a free issue from the archives. Please support poets and the small press and thanks to all of you for reading.