Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Issue 26 of Otolith is Live!

Issue twenty-six of Otoliths, the southern winter issue, has just gone live.

Contributions from: John Bloomberg-Rissman & Anne Gorrick, David Appelbaum, paul summers, SJ Fowler, Vaughan Rapatahana, Rico Moore, Kyle Hemmings, Philip Byron Oakes, Clark Lunberry, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Kent MacCarter, Beni Ransom, Eileen R. Tabios, John M. Bennett, Jim Leftwich & John M. Bennett, John M. Bennett & Matthew Stolte, Douglas Barbour & Sheila E. Murphy, Richard Kostelanetz, Lakey Comess, James Mc Laughlin, John Thomas Allen, Donna Kuhn, Raymond Farr, Joshua Mostafa, Jo Langton, Elizabeth Welsh, Tony Beyer, Jordon Lofton, Mark Rutter, Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Howie Good, David Jalajel, bárbara mesquita, Jeff Harrison, Jill Jones, Bill Yarrow, Jeremy Freedman, Reed Altemus, Jim Meirose, Matt Margo, Andy Martrich, Tyson Bley, Deborah Poe & Gene Tanta, Andrew Topel, Roger Williams, Jason Joyce, Tom Beckett, Tim Keane, Charles Freeland & Rosaire Appel, Bill Drennan, John Pursch, Caleb Puckett, Matthew Stolte, Marty Hiatt, J.D. Nelson, Stephen Nelson, Marc Jones, Jack Galmitz, Márton Koppány, Francesco Levato, Cherie Hunter Day, Scott Metz, Sarah Edwards, bruno neiva, Keith Higginbotham, Dorothee Lang & Julia Davies, Felino A. Soriano, Emma Morgan, lindsay cahill, Bobbi Lurie, Marco Giovenale, Leah Muddle, Bob Heman, & sean burn.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

After numerous interruptions and blockages I've found a way back into Appearances: A Novel in 365 Fragments, completing fragment #101 yesterday.  Fragment #100 was the breakthrough occasion in which a new character was created which should figure importantly in the rest of the book.


Earlier this week I had lunch and a nice visit with my good friend Jessica Grim.  She's the only poet I know in Ohio who I can talk to about anything and everything.  We only see each other a couple of times a year but the conversation is always easy and seamless--as if there had never been an interruption.  Such friendships are rare for me--and priceless.


Listening to Keith Jarrett's La Scala cd.


Received in the mail yesterday:  Captain Poetry's Sucker Punch: A Guide to the Homeric Punkhole, 1980-2012 by Kenneth Warren (BlazeVox, 2012). I know Ken somewhat from the time I was involved in a poetry reading series in Cleveland.  He inscribed my copy of his book thusly:

-for Tom Beckett-
-IN Kent

 It's an impressive volume of essays, reviews, etc.  The work of a lifetime which I'll be a long time absorbing. And hopefully writing about at some point.  I particularly want to spend some time with his many rich essays and talks on Charles Olson.

I've barely dipped into this book and already I want to recommend it to anyone interested in contemporary poetics.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Act of Love, #17

Please tell me,
What is
The act of love?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Act of Love, #16

The act of love
Cannot be repeated.

The act of love
Cannot be repeated.

The act of love
Cannot be repeated.

The Act of Love,#15

Sometimes the act
Of love is
A blackboard.

Sometimes it is
An eraser.

The Act of Love, #14

The act of love
Qua act of love

Is bounded by
Hallucination and perception.

Just like poetry.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Act of Love, #13

The act of love
Can almost certainly
Be incoherent.

The Act of Love, #12

The act of love
May be in
Or out of focus.

Can one say
Too much, can one
Say enough, about
The act of love?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Act of Love, #11

The act of love
Builds on a sliding foundation.

The act of love
Is not comfortable.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me


Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Act of Love, #10

The act of love
Is a song.

The act of love
Is erased story boards.

The act of love
Is grammars
Dissolved in fictions.

The act of love
Makes sense anew.

The Act of Love, #9

The act of love
Can be expressed
As one plus one
Equals almost everyone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Amy's Blues


You never sent
any gotdamn roses!


Groundhogs ate my
car's rubber hoses!



A Few Things I Thought You Should Know

I'm going to have my 59th birthday later this week. Today I received a card from my insurance company. Kind of reminds me of the Christmas when I received an ear hair trimmer in my stocking.


This is me on a "wiggle racer." Daughter Claire is giving a push. Grandson Ryan's looking on.


My sister, after being released from the hospital, discovered that some groundhogs ate a couple hoses in her automobile. I'm contemplating writing a blues song about that.


The Act of Love, #8

The act of love
Is untitled, unframed,
An undoing.

The act of love
Embraces all shadows
In every inconceivable way.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Act of Love, #7

The act of love

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Act of Love, #6

The act of love
Shatters thought.

The act of love
Is otherwise.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Act of Love, #5

The act of love
Is a suspension bridge.

The act of love
Is a wish fulfilled.

The Act of Love, #4

The act of love
Could be a zombie.

The Act of Love, #3

The act of love
Breaks one down into
Previously unknown parts.

The act of love
Is not identical
With itself.

The act of love
Might be a question.

The act of love,
Without question,
Is a palimpsest.

The act of love
Is never entirely erased.

The act of love
Is both in- and ex-timate.

Crag Hill

has just completed his initial response to the question piece I performed at the August 2010 Avant Writing Conference held at Ohio State. Go here to check out Crag's impressive manuscript and to learn more about his future plans.

I'm deeply moved and honored by Crag's thoughtful response to my work.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Act of Love, #2

The act of love’s
Both in and out
Of the capitalist’s
Frame of reasoning.

The act of love
Can’t spell
“The act of love.”

The act of love
Is not work.

The act of love
Is a problem
In the best sense.

The act of love
Is not not
A struggle.

The act of love
Embodies the tension
Between images and sounds.

The act of love
Is neither a reflection
Nor an echo.

The act of love
Is a surround.

The act of love
Is unnatural.

The act of love
Cannot be seen.

The act of love
Cannot be described.

The act of love
Owes something
To resistance.

The Act of Love

The act of love’s
A translation.

The act of love’s
A swarm.

The act of love’s
A confession.

The act of love’s
A balloon.

The act of love’s
A sentence.

The act of love’s
An event.

The act of love’s
A storm front.

The act of love’s
A figure.

The act of love’s
A seizure.

The act of love’s
A fold.

The act of love’s
A feedback loop.

The act of love’s
Always mutating.

The act of love’s
A rearrangement.

The act of love’s
Nothing but process.

The act of love
Has no tomorrow.

The act of love’s
Nothing but net.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm Reading at Kent State in September

A Poetry Reading
Featuring Tom Beckett
10th Floor, Room 1018,Kent State University Library
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2-3 p.m.

Kent State Alumnus Tom Beckett will read from Unprotected Texts, his published
collection of poems spanning from 1978 to 2006. He will also read selections from
the recently published Parts and Other Pieces, a collection of four long poems.

Tom Beckett is internationally known for his work as an editor, publisher, poet and
interviewer. He has published several thought-provoking poetry collections and
currently lives in Kent, Ohio.

Kent Reads events are free and open to the public.
Find us at www.library.kent.edu/ulevents or call 330.672.4483.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Can't Wait To See This New Book From Otoliths!

Now out from Otoliths

Homo Sentimentalis: A Guide In Verse To Modern Emotional Intimacy

Nicholas Manning

116 pages

Otoliths, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9872010-4-1

$15.95 + p&h

URL: http://www.lulu.com/shop/nicholas-manning/homo-sentimentalis/paperback/product-20166234.html

"In a civilization of hysteria, the sentimental man is king. Troubadoured constructions have laced our European balconies with a string of rotting roses. Emotion’s event horizon is the condensation of cliché. Love is both an autonomous quality of the world and a conditional quality of our language. Extend a convention far enough and one arrives at life. Shall we explore love then as rhetorical device? The flowers among your hair are mere metaphors. Upper limit hyperbole, lower limit litotes. Kitsch and the commonplace set up the steps of the dance. To then trip over tropes is to attain a glittering singularity among stars: a stasis amidst the movement. Rhetoric and sincerity do not cease to be distinguishable; rather, their distinction no longer matters. Beyond the baroque and the rococo lie the limits of this spectrum, where all passion is at once passion and its show, all pathos at once ethos and its mask of Venetian glitter. The aesthetic posture and persona of our over-the-top Romeo takes then to moving while still sobbing in a comical cabriole. Let the tropes dance then, the ones amidst the others, and interchange forever their silken, saddened arms." —Nicholas Manning

Homo Sentimentalis: A Guide In Verse To Modern Emotional Intimacy is probably the greatest single-poet book of love poems in the field of “avant” poetry since For Love, by Robert Creeley. – Kent Johnson

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Feeling adrift.

Lots of family stuff sucking energy away.

Writing not happening.

It did rain though today, finally. More on the way. Just hope not too much.

Listening to Keb Mo, after an afternoon spent with Amy Winehouse and Sinead O'Connor.

Going to make a ginger sesame stir fry tonight. With flank steak and an enormous amount of veggies.


Monday, July 2, 2012

My sister moved to Ohio recently from Colorado Springs where she's been living for over 30 years. We'd only seen each other a handful of times over those decades she was away but we've seen each other a lot since she moved back to Ohio.

Her health is precarious. She's been in hospital for a week with no clear end in sight.

During the time she's been in hospital she's heard from a couple of friends in Colorado who have lost their homes to the massive fires which are currently raging.


Sometimes one needs to say something out loud or write it in black and white just to consider it like a mandala. I don't want sympathy. I just want to begin to understand a small piece of the overwhelm I'm feeling right now.


New at Ask/Tell


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lynn Behrendt

is a poet I've interviewed and written about. She's also a terrific visual artist who has been posting some wonderful collages at her blog.

Recently she offered to "artify" my headshot. Here are two of the resulting images:

Thanks, Lynn. These brightened an otherwise dismal week.