Saturday, May 30, 2009

California and seeds

News of California's fiscal totaling is just hitting the media. It's as pretty a picture as any pileup ever coned off on the fast lane of a freeway. This isn't a poetry blog entry, but a lament. I can only respond to what may shortly be an official disaster by gardening. That's right, gardening. Because the first response to devastation must always be new seeds taking hold. As I learned on a lava field in Hawaii, a wasteland is always fertile ground. As is any failure or loss. So tomorrow I'm planting, and not just a victory garden to get through a lean time for myself, but a little something of beauty to remind the earth that that's what it wants to be, no matter what we do on its surface.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bloghopping + summer reading

Sam Witt has a good article, Who Cares About Poetry? He quotes poet Charles Wright: "Poetry is a stairway to God." If that's even sometimes right, it's a good reason to buy a poetry book!

Redheaded Stepchild has a new issue up. The glorious mission of Malaika King Albrecht and Deborah Blakely's zine is to furnish a place for previously rejected poems. And what good poem hasn't made the rounds at least once? Some familiar names in this one.

Karen Weyant has a good-looking summer reading list up. An invitation to add to a summer reading lists has also appeared on Scott Summer's blog. So I'm inviting reading list suggestions here. I'll start the ball rolling with my current summer to-read list:

* Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington - Daniel Epstein (read about their relationship at Lincoln's Cottage. (Confession: I've already read it and am about to begin rereading it immediately)

* Black Swan Green, by David Mitchell (tip from Chris Potter)

* Posthumous Keats - Stanley Plumly (anticipating the movie they're making about Keats)

* Emerson's essays

* Embryos & Idiots - Larissa Szporluk

* Fire to Fire - Mark Doty

* The Scenic Route - Binnie Kirschenbaum

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Top 100 Poetry Blogs

A new publication has appeared from Online University Review, the Top 100 Poetry Blogs. Diane Lockward's Blogalicious is on the list - congrulations, Diane! It has given me a new source for adding to my Blogroll, which I'm regularly doing, now that I cleaned house. Despite the intolerable slowness of the new (guys, can you do something about the atrocious loading time?). I noticed that Avoiding the Muse made #33 AND #34 on the list - impressive blogging, no doubt. They want to be sure you don't miss it.

Sadly, Rocket Kids didn't make the Top 100 list, but then we prefer to stay in a quiet corner of the Internet, far-far away from any university, so it's no wonder a university missed us. And I like to think of Rocket Kids as indefinably eclectic, if not electric.

Among the poetry blogs I'm adding to my Blogroll, thanks to Top 100:

One Poet's Notes (Edward Byrne, editor Valparaiso Poetry Review)
Best Words in Their Best Order (FSG's poetry blog)
White Chicken (Michelle Lewis' poetics blog)
Poetry & Poets in Rags (Rus Bowden of IBPC fame)
ReadWritePoem (speaking of eclectic and stimulating)
Nic Sebastien's Very Like a Whale (interview with editors coming soon)

I'm so glad to see Poetry Hut Blog (#16 on Top 100) return from hiatus. Yay, Jilly! I hope the coffee helped.

(The picture's caption: "Places I Wish I Were On Memorial Day" - this one being the coast near Carmel, California)