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“That’s 400 years on the breasts. Think how boring that would be. At some point. 15 or 20 years in.”

Today was the second half of Vanderbilt’s Saturday University class with Billy Collins, “Under the Hood: The Mechanics of Poetry.” (I wrote about the first half here.) The bulk of the session was devoted to the kinds of “turns” a poem can take—that is, the developmental moments in a poem which turn our attention. In […]

No such things as distractions.

I attended the first half of Vanderbilt’s Saturday University class with Billy Collins, “Under the Hood: The Mechanics of Poetry,” yesterday. He started with the premise that the process of writing is a series of negotiations between the will of the poet and the waywardness of the poem, and that poets are the kind of […]

Some of them, often the best of them, will go undercover—wear suits and carry briefcases, returning to their writing desk only after the sun has gone down and the city has gone to sleep.

Last Sunday I went to see Reverend Father Ernesto Cardenal Martínez read at Vanderbilt. I don’t speak Spanish, so I had to rely on the translations, which is always a bit dodgy with poetry. If you watch the video linked above, you’ll see he read a number of poems including “Gazing at the Stars with […]

so try as you will/you cannot make me feel/embarrassment//at what I find beautiful – Frank Bidart

I went to see Ciarán Carson with Peg and Declan last week, and Frank Bidart with them this week, both as part of the Vanderbilt Visiting Writers series.  Ciarán Carson is a poet from Belfast who I think is chiefly famous for writing about the troubles there, but my favourite poetry of his is the […]

While I was writing this, I spilled tomato soup all over my desk. THIS IS WHY I CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. (/dramaqueen)

I got my contributors’ copy (contributor’s copy? where does the apostrophe go? there’s only one of me, but many contributors…) of the November issue of Scifaikuest, which contains my scifaiku “autumn visit.” I also just ran across this listing of Metafilter authors, which includes me. I’m internet famous! I am also pretty sick. I probably […]

The price is that she can’t speak.

No problem, she has nothing of value to say anyhow. (via, via)

I question the efficacy of this statistical analysis tool.

(via) Pasting in the first half of “Sundowning” got me Margaret Atwood. “Swan Song” gets Chuck Palahniuk. This Wallace Stevens homage gets J.K. Rowling. Hmm. Oscar Wilde writes like Oscar Wilde. P. G. Wodehouse writes like P. G. Wodehouse. H. D. writes like Ursula K. Le Guin. Ursula K. Le Guin writes like Stephen King. […]

Babies dancing on tables.

and, inevitably…

I know this is an ad, but it’s still pretty funny and you all know I’m not telling you to buy a goddamn minivan.

I desperately want to quote The Big Lebowski but can’t decide which quote to use.

“The Supreme Court threw out a 63-year-old law designed to restrain the influence of big business and unions on elections Thursday, ruling that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress.” (via)