Friday, March 24, 2006

This Just In

Gum chewing improves memory. Now where did I hear that? Kidding. Click on the link. Okay, maybe it wasn't just in -- but I just found it. Been doing a lot of chewing lately, on my new diet regimen. Lots of leaves, lots of gum. Makes for a tight face, with all those strong jaw muscles under the surface. I wonder when they'll write the article about gum chewing substituting for a facelift?

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If anyone's interested in viewing relics of the Buddha, including those pearls enlightened beings are said to create in their bodies, you can take a look here. The exhibition is making its way around the world. Hey, I've seen sacred relics around the world. The pearls beat Saint Catherine's finger any day in the week. No grisly factor.

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More from Wallace Stevens. Why do I find his use of arcane words so delicious, where in other poets it's just plain irritating. For your dictionary hunt of the day, I offer "lacrustine" (Google it):

The Doctor of Geneva

The doctor of Geneva stamped the sand
That lay impounding the Pacific swell,
Patted his stove-pipe hat and tugged his shawl.

Lacustrine man had never been assailed
By such long-rolling opulent cataracts,
Unless Racine or Bossuet held the like.

He did not quail. A man who used to plumb
The multifarious heavens felt no awe
Before these visible, voluble delugings,

Which yet found means to set his simmering mind
Spinning and hissing with oracular
Notations of the wild, the ruinous waste,

Until the steeples of his city clanked and sprang
In an unburgherly apocalypse.
The doctor used his handkerchief and sighed.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Art About Art

Been thinking about this topic again, ekphrastic art -- art about art. In the current issue of Kaleidowhirl (guest-edited by moi) Jeanine Hall Gailey has a poem that continue to intrigue me: "Ode to Jeffrey Koons." It's the opening stanza I keep re-reading, pondering how it manages so well to evoke a painting I'm not even familiar with:

O commodities trader
with hallucinating toddler soul,
you coax monstrous floral puppies
to romp through museums,
space-age rabbits to eat
silver carrots on plexiglass altars.
Overpaid street entertainer, balloon artist.

Poems about paintings fascinate me, maybe because as the daughter of a painter, I grew up watching paintings grow up. I think my ideal way of going through a museum would be to have a headset that whispered ekphrastic poems into my ear as I viewed the paintings.

Lynne Knight has a fabulous book, Snow Effects, that focuses on an art exhibition that came through San Francisco five years or so ago, "Impressionists in Winter." Small Poetry Press was wise enough to print color reproductions of the art on facing pages, so poem and painting are paired.

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Sunspinner is a new zine out of southern California, but I won't hold that against them. Their dual focus is on poetry and fiction, and they also post interviews. High quality work, very attractive site, issues not too crowded and easy to read. And of course, I'm plugging them because they plugged my poem, "Waking Early at Dottie Lou's", which is in the current issue of Kaleidowhirl -- thus proving that everything that whirls does eventually come around. (I have no idea what I mean by that.) (And here's to you, Dottie Lou, wherever you are reading this.)