Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bloghopping while the bones knit, the Olympics wind down and politics ratchet up


Here are some notable stops in the literary blogosphere:

Linebreak - a single poem a week, giving us a chance to read and re-read -- careful selections mostly tending toward short poems with short lines, and although several poets seem to be featured without explanation, the picks are good and often memorable. You can also get them as weekly emails.

Blue's Cruzio Cafe -- I've blogged before about these animated poetry videos, but as I've just completed an interview with the creator of this marvelous site (forthcoming in the fall issue of Umbrella), I want to mention it again as one of the most innovative ideas for bringing poetry into the 21st century I've seen. Check out Robert Bly's "Stealing Sugar from the Castle" (The Stage Upstairs) and Robert Sward's "Shelby the Dog" (The Green Room). Navigating the site is a little tricky: click on the words "Stage Directory" in the upper left of the home page. I'm happy to say that my poem, "One Night, Light" is in the same stage as Bly's. It left me breathless to appear on the same stage as this poet I've read and admired now for decades.

And if, like you, you are beginning to suffer Olympics withdrawal already, with the specter of wall-to-wall negative politics looming over the stupid-toob airwaves, check out NBC's Olympics site. More videos and athletic trivia than you can dream of.

I don't know why it has so cheered me to lie on my back and listen to my bones knit while watching Olympians hurl their bodies at the kind of back trouble ballet brought me, but I assure you it is with not even a shred of cynicism that I have thrilled to their achievements and even their noble failures. Olympics is to me a paradigm of how to live, how to approach art: all-for-a-golden-chance efforts, bolstered by years of sweat drying to the rhythm of insane repetition and ardent striving. Is there another way to live? Tell me about it.

3 comments:

  1. Rachel,

    Look forward to your interview re: Blue's Cruzio Cafe. And thanks for your generous mention of "Shelby the Dog" (The Green Room). Our friend has put hours and hours into these animated poetry videos. The man deserves a prize or some kind of recognition.

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  2. Robert,

    I listened to Shelby the Dog with my dog Nissa, and we agree that it is a profound poem. Nissa indicated her agreement by doing extra field-rolling yesterday.

    If the interview with JJ can bring more attention to his wonderful online anthology, I will be very gratified. It was a pleasure to talk to him about his journey from a blinking cursor to poetry videos. I insisted he give me guidelines I can add to the interview, as I'm sure lots of people will want to submit after they watch samples of the collection.

    Rachel

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