Saturday, October 15, 2005

Is it just me?

Or is Poetry skewing its standards to narrow the range of subjects and style of poems it publishes? I want to like what Wiman is doing with it; I want to find freshness and new horizons. I find narrowness in the last few issues, and an increasingly peevish tone to ALL the work. Does some high-profile editor have on his Cranky Pants? Even the Humor issue had the taint of contemptus mundi. It's discouraging. I need an ivory tower Poetry. I need Parisi's unassailable detachment from writing poetry himself. I suspect the current editors of, well, editorializing through their selections.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mars watching

With so many heads turned upward to the southeast in early evening, to see earth's close encounter with Mars, it's worthwhile to take a look straight ahead at your screen as well. You can find some of the most spectacular images and in-depth information on what we know now about the Red Planet at these sites:

NASA - Mars

According to all the planetarium web sites I checked, Mars viewing will be spectacular in late October and early November, when Mars is a mere 43 million miles away -- the closest we'll be to it until 2018. With a small telescope it would be possible to see its polar cap.

In fact, between now and the end of October, Mars will double in brightness!

Take a walk after dinner. Look up. Feel the distances in our universe.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fourth grade again

I'm reliving anxious days when I had to stand up and read my book review or short story for class. Only this time, I have to choose poetry for upcoming readings. I'm feeling a lot of the same things: the urge to stick with safe stuff, to try to make them laugh rather than put the serious stuff out there, and above all an obsession with what to wear.

As if I ever noticed how any poet reading poetry aloud was dressed.

Okay, I did notice the fellow with a safety pin through his nostril, and the white-haired woman with a little wispy chiffon scarf tied around her neck. But as I plan on neither of those fashion gambits, I'm left wondering more about colors than anything.

And of course -- how many Alzheimer's poems should I read versus "Ode to My Purse"?

But mostly -- what DOES one wear to read in, if one doesn't own cowboy boots or wispy scarves?