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Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Bitch is Back Bits

River Road: a few poems by Kazim Ali. He's my new boyfriend. Sssh. Don't tell him. It's a surprise.
I received my contributor's copies of Post Road this week. It's a good-looking journal. Post Road only publishes four poets an issue; two poems each. Dora Malech, Michael Dumanis, and Anthony Swofford are the other poets. Yes, that Anthony Swofford. Author of Jarhead.

Anthony contributes an ekphrastic poem; so do I. I contribute a broken heart poem; so does Anthony. We're twins! Not identical, but fraternal. He's the beefy ex-military stud. I'm the fat tumbleweed.

All the poets are graduates of Iowa. Funny or scary?

When I see my work in print I usually cringe. I see all the "weak" lines! I see all my mistakes. I quickly put the journal away. But not this time. I really like my work this time!

Dora Malech's "Face for Radio" is my favorite poem in the issue. It begins:

As usual I am unusually tired.
All night my fingers double-crossed me,
tangled up in someone else's hair

And ends:

If you give me a dollar I'll take
my top off and let you see my heart
I had a good first day of class Friday. Nice assortment of students. Though the classroom they gave me threw me off. My classroom is a small computer lab! Each student has a computer. I'm thrilled. I'm going to incorporate technology into my class for real this semester.
Take the work of Brian Turner, who has been described as a “war poet.” He is an incredibly earnest young man, and it is not hard to imagine why the Festival invited him to read here. But his work—what he’s managed, under pressure, to punch in—embodies an impoverished imagination and a determination to trade on his experiences in only the most likable and predictable ways. Nearly always competent, his verse is yet frequently artless...
Congrats to the newest MFA grad. Welcome to the rat race!
Three poems by Josh Rathkmap. Josh, that's a terrible author photo! The gaps in the fence behind you highlight the gaps between your teeth! Josh, you're too good-looking to have a bad author photo. Leave bad author photos to me. And to Nick Flynn.


jeannine said...

Thanks Eduardo, for the congrats! Yes, rat-race o' poetry, here I come??

PS I think Brian Turner doesn't lack imagination. I think, in his interviews and his writing, he has been very careful. That may be a habit of being in the military. Anyway, I think that carefullness has been translated by some as "he can't write any other way." But I think he can, and will.

Anonymous said...

Eduardo, yes that's a bad photo of Nick Flynn. But you should see those blue eyes for real.

Limonada said...

Agreed on Nick's eyes. But also I must add that re: Post Road, it's a great issue all around, congrats Eduardo! The play on page 129, Dorsal Striatum by Trish Harnetiaux, is also amazing!