Thursday, March 20, 2008

things are not scheduling real nifty for me. this saturday has a Vincent Ferrini memorial in Gloucester. in the evening is this:

Saturday, March 22, 8 pm
John Mercuri Dooley, Derek Fenner, John Mulrooney, and Ryan Gallagher
So-and-So Series
The Distillery
516 East 2nd Street
South Boston

the Johns supply woozy ole metro Boston with 2 solid reading series (life! there is life in this burg!), and Derek and Ryan (Bootstrap Press) provide local publishing zest. I support their efforts.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gary Sullivan is, like, totally talking poetry book covers, and it is an interesting ramble. I have 3 book covers in my cv. Simple Theory. which Beth designed. b&w, a small photo of a nest with 3 eggs, that she twiddled with. I must've added the typography. the image is lovely, more clear than I could have done. simple... theory... works for me.

Days Poem (in 2 doorstopping volumes). 2 pictures by moi-meme. a favourite, scribbly picture done with watercolour pencil, trees, volume 1. trees and stuff, in acrylic, for volume 2. check it out. in both cases, the pictures wrap around to the back.

I'm thinking: the rightness of a cover is defined by the reading. one might just eschew thinking that the work is slagged because of scruffy cover, s'il vous plait. when the poetry lights up, the cover will too. but not vice versa.

Gary's right, it would be nice to have covers, me just standing there a la Three Poems Ashbery. because that photo seems to have a full moment involved, rather than a stiff, thoughtfully implicative image pressed hard on consuming eye. hey, when I met JA, he looked like that.

Days Poem included the work of Erin, who photoshops better than me. and Shanna Compton, whose knowledge exceeded my confusion, which confusion sent Erin astray. do you see things here? the input streams and hopefulness, for something to enclose and advert or suggest the words within. who knows how to do it, except budding Goebbels. choices were made by enthusiasms, a pretty good calculus.
y'know, yesterday was Lloyd "Little Poison" Waner's birthday (104th?). one month later will be Paul "Big Poison" Waner's birthday. but nemmind that. Henry Gould informs me of a reading next month with hisself and Anny Ballardini, to wit:

Brown University's John Hay Library will host a bilingual poetry reading, in English and Italian, by Anny Ballardini, a visiting poet, editor and translator from Bolzano, Italy; Henry Gould, of the Brown Library staff; and Peter S. Thompson, Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature at Roger Williams University, on Wednesday, April 23rd, from 3 to 5 p.m., in the Lownes Room. The reading is free and open to the public, and will include a discussion with the poets afterward, and refreshments. (Please note : the Lownes Room, on the 2nd floor, is fully accessible; if you require assistance, please call the Library at 863-3723 a few hours beforehand.)

what better way to celebrate Shakepeare's birthday? if it proves impossible for me to attend, make sure you take good notes. remember: keyword: refreshments.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

bulbs that I planted last fall, a bit late, started peeking thru the soil last week or so. I also noticed that elsewhere in the yard was evidence of more bulbs, planted by previous residents. since friday was springy and verging on mild, I thought saturday would be a likely day to rake out the beds. saturday was the day that snow and rain fell, at least during the morning. ne'ertheless in the afternoon I took rake in hand. I speak of this because it is a ritual, one that I haven't celebrated in a couple of years. I love bulbs. my 1st bit of gardening came about when I got a bulb catalogue some time in early summer. I decided to order. this entailed waiting 3-4 months for the bulbs to arrive at planting time. then it was another 6 months before I got to see what I had planted. it was worth it. I never begrudged raking in the fall, because I can mulch the garden with the leaves, and replenish the compost pile. and in the spring, digging those leaves out to let the yellow tops of bulbs feel the sun. one winter when we'd had a lot of snow, I had to chop away at the residue of snow, now impacted ice, that I'd shoveled there earlier in the season, because bulbs were under there. I did this on Good Friday, and wouldn't you know that on Easter, the blooms showed. righteous. it's early for bulbs here, by a week or 2. one of the 1st listservs that I subscribed to was a gardening one (which was a surprisingly snarly gathering of cranks: more flame wars and such kind of moronic crap there than on any other list I've been on). folks in California and elsewhere were trumpeting the arrival of their daffodils in January. aint you people got no winter? daffodils are my favourite, especially when I'm wandering lonely as a cloud. bright and brilliant, and disinclined to be bothered by pests, not even deer. I like that a bulb carries the entire plant to come within it. I extend that image of renewal to Geof Huth, and wish him the recovery that spring brings to us all.
money up for poets, that is, thoughts on Jessica Smith charging for the right to read parts of her blog, I see that Lanny Quarles has made a varied offering. he takes a somewhat different approach in that he is releasing selected archives of his blog in printed form. his blog may be more suited for print pub than JS's, because it is mostly poetry rather than commentary and personal reflection, which I take JS's blog to be. so the situations are not comparable. in both cases, tho, you likely must know the person's work some to roll the dice with your own moolah. that would be the difficulty of online purchase. I will assert that Lanny produces an adventurous range of textual and visual work, if you would care to do that supportive monetary thing.
the documentation by Geof Huth (rhymes with Booth) of his open heart surgery has been spectacular, in many ways (here is the link). literally a spectacle, but also the way he manages to present the experience thru its many scary developments. his patient critical factor never wavers, which to me takes courage. he reveals equanimity and focus of a Buddhist sort. there is a position where one could merely be whiny, or one might overwhelm the experience with drama, but Geof doesn't do that. he reluctantly offers an unsatisfying photo of himself because later versions would not properly show the actuality of the surgical wounds at their most raw. I'm impressed that he writes as much as he does. hospitals are stultifying, and it must be worse for one surgically ravaged. I'm reminded of the story attributed to St Francis Assisi. while working in his garden, he is asked what he would do if told that he would die the next day. he responded by saying that he would continue doing what he was doing. not bewail his fate, not party like it was 1999. Geof chose a similar option. we should all think healing thoughts and hope Geof's recovery continues well.