Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Walt Whitman (etc.)

Happy birthday to:

1819 Walt Whitman, West Hills NY, poet (Leaves of Grass)

1821 Elizabeth Blackwell, Hastings, 1st woman doctor of medicine

1861 Emily Perkins Bissell, welfare worker (1st christmas seal drive, 1907)

1894 Fred Allen, Cambridge MA, comedian (Fred Allen Radio Show)

1898 Norman Vincent Peale Ohio, clergyman (Power of Positive Thinking)

1930 Clint Eastwood, San Fransisco CA, actor (Dirty Harry)/mayor (Carmel CA)

I know what you're thinking. "Did six lilacs last in the dooryard bloom, or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, with all these house calls to make and all these Christmas seals to sell up and down Allen's Alley, I kind of lost track myself. But being as I'm large and contain multitudes, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I think positively? Well, do ya, punk?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Time and Tide Wait for No Man, But We Wait for The Times

The article was postponed a week. It'll be this Friday's Escapes.

Hay(na)ku, hay(na)ku, It's Finger Poppin' Time

The hay(na)ku, according to a recent post on the New-Po list, "is a tercet where the first line consists of one word, the second line of two words, and the third line of three words." An unpromising form, says I, who thinks that a haiku is already too short for my Western mind, but I tried one anyway, and lo and behold it turns up on Bob Grumman's blog, along with a promise to analyze it in the future. If this happens, I will link to it once again.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Opus 40 in the NY Times

A photographer from the NY Times was here today, taking pix for a story that should run this Friday. It's a story that a Times reporter came up here to do last fall, but then it never ran. He told us that they were planning to put it off till this spring, and apparently that was the case. According to the photog, this is going to be a big story, on the front page of their Weekend Getaway section. So let's hope. Look for it.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Poets' Corner

A recently discovered -- by me -- treasury of public domain poems, pictures and bios of poets, at a site called Poets' Corner, put together over the past ten years by four gentlemen, Bob Blair in Texas, Jon Lachelt< in Colorado, Nelson Miller in Georgia, and Steve Spanoudis in Florida. Offering particular pleasure -- the "Faces of the Poets," but all of it worth a look.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Net Neutrality

This is a post that every blogger, no matter how small his readership, needs to make. Because today you can find my blog with no trouble. You can find poetry blogs by experimentalists like Ron Silliman and formalists like Mike Snider, or international poetry blogs like Anny Ballardini's, from Italy (and look for my page on Anny's Fieralingue anthology of contemporary poets). You can find the Academy of American Poets or Poetry Daily, which features a new contemporary poet every day--today's is Victoria Chang, with a poem originally published in Ploughshares. Here's a taste:


They say my great-uncle read foreign books
in a mud house in Nanking,

plowed his twenty acres, listened to
rare birds, disobeyed

the tides' yes and no. One day he knelt in the street,
sign around his neck

that said: Traitor. Little Red Book spread like wax
over him, even

beech trees turned.

You can find tiny online poetry magazines like Snakeskin from England (look for me in Issue 118), or larger ones like Jacket from Australia (here's my review of Calendars, by Annie Finch), or Cortland Review (look for me here and here). You can buy books directly from small presses like Ye Olde Font Shoppe, which has published my books, along with those of Dennis Doherty and, most recently, an anthology of poems from Erie, PA; or from McPherson and Co., or the University of Georgia press (publisher of Rachel Loden's Hotel Imperium. Or you can find Powell's Books or the Gotham Book Mart or the Grolier Poetry Bookshop, if you prefer an alternative to Amazon.

You can find the Woodstock Artists Association or the Town of Saugerties, or the Saugerties Artists Studio Tour or the Saugerties Lighthouse, or, of course, Opus 40. You can link to blogs by Nick Jones or Jerilyn Dufresne.

And you can do all this as easily as you can access IBM or Amazon or anything published by Rupert Murdoch. But this could change, if Congress goes through with its plan to create a two-tiered internet, one (fast) for the haves, the other (slow or nonexistent) for the havenots. Here's what has to say about it.

Congress is now pushing a law that would end the free and open Internet as we know it. Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet's First Amendment and the key to Internet freedom. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. So Amazon doesn't have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to work more properly on your computer.
The above link will take you t0 MoveOn's petition. It should be signed and sent in.