baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Friday, July 29, 2005

I am not a best new poet

a no from the Best New Poets series.


Looks like I missed my chance to see war of the worlds in Seoul. Tried today, but didn’t want to wait an hour. Walked home. Been sick for the past few days, this seems to be the first day when I was able to feel myself for about a week. On Monday I taught a whole day with the shakes. Felt great in the worst possible way. Impossible to be bored when you are convulsing and changing from hot to cold. There was interest. My students asked if I was recovering from a tough night. Had to reassure them that no, I was in fact just sick, and to please stop using “frankly speaking” at the beginning of your sentence until I say it is ok to do so. (Frankly speaking, did you drink last night?). But now they cheer me every day. my slightest improvement is met with warm smiles and questions such as “are you more better today?” to which I reply, “yes, please open yr books to page 39, today we are going to talk about comparatives and superlatives.” So we got to talking. And the big key with these things is the syllables. Stupid me, I hadn’t figured it out before, they don’t count the syllables the same way I do. At the moment I can’t recall the word, but even in American English, in two separate parts of the country, the same word is pronounced with 2 or 3 syllables respectively. so if you are trying to figure out if the adj should be a ‘more’ or ‘er’, and can’t count the syllables, then you are going to have some problems in yr self correction. I asked them what they did in jr high, and they said they just memorized the words. Damn lot of memorizing goes on here. Did I mention that we got a good laugh in about 15 times during the 2.5 hour class? Think that is why I am enjoying it so much here. The students are fun. They are funny. Sometimes they are not sure if they are fun or funny, and they get a kick out of that. I think it is a place away from the stress of the normal school, somewhere where they can meet other students and improve their use of this impossible language. Now I have a four day vacation. Tough life.

By the way, enjoying the discussion over at Kyle’s blog.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

another piece from stacy

This is the piece that got sent along with Red States. Like i said, it is leaning against Swan s way. There is a note on the back. Thanks again Stacy.

aligning space. Posted by Picasa

an out class on friday

An out class with my level 4 class. Meat was eaten. Cass was in lifted. This night went on and on. As you can see, we were at a place called the Red Lion. It began as a jazz bar, but ended with Cyndi Lauper. Korea is a fast moving place. If you stand still, you get passed.

one of the better half, JWG, and Kelvin. Posted by Picasa

The better half of my class. Posted by Picasa

Friendship Night

There are old friends in LA. They would be the reason for my visit. However, I'd be less than truthfull if I said I did not want to meet the folks from Friendship Night. They look like they have fun. I need more of that.

Stacy Dacheux

 Posted by Picasa

By Stacy Dacheux.  Posted by Picasa

The post arives in seoul too

In the mail today:

Stacy sent me her Red States painting. I need to get a hammer. I need to get nails. My walls are blue and empty.

Stacy D also sent the Star Wars edition of Nathan Jr.

Stacy D also sent a postcard sized painting that is now leaning against Swan s Way.

I am loving and hoarding her work.

And a little reminder. Come August Octopus will be accepting submissions. This only happens once per year. All ye out there, start the stretching for this sprint.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

is it good?

I’ve been reading about subjectivity in the reading of poetry (seems to be all the rage). Again, I am not sure how we can get away from it totally. If we develop rules, the rules we use are subjective. There is always a value judgment. So why not be honest about it? Why should we read a poem from a place other than where we write one? What I am thinking is this, just as when we need to step away from a piece of our own to edit, I am wondering if we can’t make that same step with someone else’s work. If we can enter the work and improve it, then the work might not be all that strong (or it might be strong but have weakness). But, if in the attempt to edit/translate the work we are unable to “improve” it, that might just tell us that the poem is complete, that it does what it needs to do.

If in our desire to revise a poem we weaken it, we also learn what it is that makes the poem tick. We begin to see the strengths and the reasons for the moves.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

communication on the court

Why is it so fun when yr playing basketball and yr man goes to screen another player on yr team, and you call out, “screen on yr left” and yr teammate recognizes it and when the man he is guarding tries to use the screen and you say, “I got man” and switch men and follow a new guy around the court for awhile? Why do I get such a thrill out of it when that switch works seamlessly? I think it is even more fun than a basket, rebound or assist. Just good smart basketball. Even better when said screen is set up so the other team can run a back door and you say all the right things and switch to the cutter and the play is foiled. Great stuff, but I sprained my finger.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Mr. Moon

Looks like we have a full moon tonight. Was talking to my students the other day about the moon. They told me they don’t have the tradition of the moon causing insanity like we do in the west. For them it is just romance and something to gaze at. I prefer werewolves.

Yes from the Harvard Review

Yes from the Harvard Review. Thanks to the wise folks in the library.

Last night I went out with another teacher. Most of the schools are on summer vacation, so most places were pretty empty. Still, and this is for ML, we went to the Sam Gyup Sal place, then to the place with the pool, then ate some of that fried fish. Got home way too late, had too much fun, love that Korea never sleeps.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Yes from LIT

LIT says yes to “Wrinkled Gown Sonnet”. Thanks to you good folks.

The Page

Thank you Reb for pointing this out to me. Seems QLRS just put my poem up, and soon after, so did The Page. Thanks to QLRS, Reb, and The Page.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Second fiddle

After my previous post I went over to Reb’s blog and lo and behold it was there too. It is clear she published her post first. What is a guy to do?

It is 10:48 on Saturday night. Think it is time for some Stevie Wonder and a few beers. Not sure if the dancing shoes are on, but I am out the door.

214 of 2005

Jordan Davis lists his top 214 (and counting) poems of 2005. some good reading n there. Nice to have it all (or a piece of it all) in one place.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Nidus #9

Nidus is up. Great work. Happy to be a part of it.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

El Pobre

Richard Lopez has nice words for El Pobre Mouse. Talk to Kyle about sending in work or buying yr very own Mouse.


I looked back at the CWHOBB bc Jim Behrle posted on Silliman’s site. I hadn’t been back in some time. Decided to take a look at XX (where Teresa and I are), and guess what, I discovered that Rebecca Loudon and Scott Pierce were also living there. This blogging thing rocks.

Call for art

Craig Hill needs a cover for his journal. You artists out there might want to send him some work (if it's not too late). Check out his July 10th post


1 Pickled Mango 238.5 0 6 23
2 Portland Potshots 224.5 0 10 12
3 The Nolens Volens 218 0 15 78
4 The Scaffold 214.5 0 13 37
5 The Singing Knives 209.5 0 19 49
6 Slaughterhouse Nine 208 0 11 21
7 Bad Horse 206.5 0 18 58
8 Good-Wood-Pork-Cork 198 0 14 77
9 Hott Dixx 192 0 3 10
10 shut the flap 179.5 0 17 12
11 Ann Arbor Martyrs 176.5 0 5 73
12 The Ironic Names 169.5 0 2 5
13 Word Dogs 168.5 0 4 5
14 Dick Nixon 159.5 0 12 2
15 Fatty Fatty 2x4 153.5 0 9 68
16 Good Night Nurse 146.5 0 16 57
17 Phillies 132.5 0 1 1
18 Harlequins 125 0 7 16
19 Quahogs 99.5 0 8 28

This is how it stands at the all star break. there is evil afoot. Trades of dubious nature are going down. This second half is going to be fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A yes from QLRS. They took a piece from After Meng Chiao. This makes me happy. Was worried that those pieces would not see the light of day until the time a book is published. Thank you Hsien Min & QLRS.

ML on his first beer. Ogg reaching in from the stone age.  Posted by Picasa

And the man returns to the States

So long ML. Look forward to your return.

A fun time in the North

A student was leaving the other day to visit a mountain in North Korea. She asked me to hold her book for her. Of course, I asked why. She told me that you could not take any books up. No novels, magazines, comic books, poetry, EFL books, etc. What they did want her to bring was her 100,000 Won (100 bucks) per day. Guess they were afraid that she would pass some knowledge on to the folks in the North. Now, least they can be sure, no Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate course books got into any reactionary hands.

Yes, I held it for her. She came back on Monday and I gave it back.

In case you are curious, I do have problems with visiting North Korea right now. That money goes right to the wrong people. Same goes for Tibet.

Monday, July 11, 2005

a welcome back

One of the first blogs I read is back in service. Check out Tony Tost’s The Unquiet Grave.

Super size my clever

This is not a direct response to Kyle’s comments on clever in the younger poet’s poems. Instead it is brief question I’ve been asking myself since I read his post. What is wrong with clever? Why is it ranked lower than irony? My first response to the comment that there is too much clever in the underage poems was to agree, not with the assertion, but that clever is a negative. Why do I have this knee jerk reaction? Sure, there are folks out there that are so clever it makes me sick, but my friends, people I like, when they get a clever streak going, I kind of like it. They are being silly. Silly is good. How different is clever from silly? Is it the trying?

In my mind, clever can be just about anything. Sometimes it falls flat on its face, and in these times, the clever is apparent, just as when Irony is stretched and fails, it becomes even more apparent. The best irony is that which goes unnoticed. Irony which is not called Irony. I think this might be the same with clever. Clever, when working, can hit somewhere between curiosity and humor and plain ass stupid. I am not saying we should aim for clever (or any result), just that if clever occurs, so be it. Rather read poems full of clever than full of Irony. Rather read poems full of the laughing “I” than the self conscious “There is no “I” in my poems”. There is too much tip toeing around. When the comment on Ogg is that Matt has put him down, and the humor (which truly had me laughing) is ignored, I think that is a shame. Why are we so careful? Did anyone else laugh?

But to get to it. The comment was that younger poets are being too clever. Sure, some of the poems out there fail. But this is not limited to the younger set. Failed poems are a dime a dozen, I got a few spare ones if anyone wants em. No published poet is without the bad published poem. And a poet who is well practiced should be able to write a different poem than the inexperienced poet. All of us are just sharpening our tools and putting them into the tool box. let’s get our laugh on. If anything, we need to play more.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Yes from the No

Molly and Reb, over at The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel, said yes to a piece.

This print anthology will reside next to Gideon in every No Tell. Best be warned Gid, no funny stuff, keep yr psalms to yrself.

Lorenzo Thomas
 Posted by Picasa

Lorenzo Thomas died Monday. He was 60

Friday, July 01, 2005

Thais catch 646-pound catfish in Mekong on June 30th

Anyone want to go fishingPosted by Picasa