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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bits

At the library.
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Am I a snob? I roll my eyes when I read about these nominations. I wish I didn't roll my eyes. I want to be nice. But seriously! Does anyone really think this "award" means anything? And if you do, then please explain it to me. I want to believe.
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Cut my hair yesterday. Now I look like an overweight guy who wears glasses with a nice haircut.
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Eight days 'til I move to Bucknell University. I can't wait.
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Most of Juan Felipe Herrera’s many books evoke at once the hardships that Mexican-Americans have undergone and the exhilarating space for self-reinvention that a New World art offers.
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John was interviewed on the radio and he didn't once use the word "applesauce." WTF?
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I miss teaching.
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Am I the only one who thinks Michael Phelps has a jacked-up smile? His teeth and gums are way too small for that cave of a mouth. But still the man has an amazing body. And size 14 feet.
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Pet Peeve: Poets who say they're over the Po-Biz. Get real. If you're sending out poems, if you're hawking your own chapbooks like mad, if you're organizing readings, if you're editing anthologies, if you're promoting your own readings, if you use your blog to kiss ass, if you're writing blurbs for other writers, if you're in the process of starting up your own press, if you send out your mss to contests, then you're not over the Po-Biz. You might by playing by your own rules, but you're still in the game.

I'm talking to you, Collin. You're in the Po-Biz game, baby. You might not be a first draft choice, but you're in the game.
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Why are all the cute guys in the library going to the science fiction shelves?
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And just to be clear: I'm not a first draft choice either.
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Ah, how cute! I'm watching a daddy read to his son.
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I was flipping through my mss yesterday and I was surprised by how much I've taken from Robert Hayden. I steal some of his diction. I use some of his lines in a poem. Two of the poems are addressed to the Beastangel and Angelbeast, figures that make an appearence in his homoerotic poem "Bone-Flower Elegy."
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14 comments:

jeannine said...

Yes, but you really can't begrudge people the small glories of being nominated for things? There's usually so little to celebrate in the world of poetry, and so much rejection. I say, yay for them.

Now I realize why I was attracted to sci-fi as a young teenager...must have been all the cute boys in the aisles!

PS Ever going back to Arizona?

Reb said...

What awards do mean something? Seriously. As far as I'm concerned all awards are bullshit -- even the Pulitzer.

Nominating poems for honors such as these is one way an editor can further promote work by other poets. Lots of people read the Best of the Net selections -- it brings new readers to the magazines and poets highlighted.

Collin said...

Oh, Eduardo, so bitter these days. You seem to begrudge and have contempt for anyone who does anything to further their writing career. I'll cop to most of what you accused me of in this post, although I do take exception to the ass kissing bit. I promote the poetry I like on my blog because I think it deserves an audience. If that's ass kissing so be it.

As for editing the anthology and starting up the press, these are labors of love and collaborations that don't make a dime for me. I do it because I love poetry and because there are many poets out there who deserve recognition and publication, but cannot find a home for their work. Is that po'biz? Yes, but not in the shitty, haughty, nasty way you make it out to be.

We in the "second draft choice" realm have to go above and beyond to get our work before an audience and to get any recognition at all. We can't all float from one cushy academic job to the next having our egos inflated beyond all measure. Maybe one day you'll publish a book and get nominated for an award, and when you crow about it on your blog (and you will) I hope I'm the first one to call you a hypocrite.

Eduardo C. Corral said...

Collin,

How am I a hypocrite? I've never said I'm not part of the po-biz. I am. There's nothing wrong with claiming a part in it. I just hate it when people casually say they're not part of the po-biz when they're clearly working hard to make their work (and name) visible.

When I say po-biz I don't mean the huge machine of American poetry. I mean the smaller communities: the branches of the American Tree. I'm part of the Chican@/ Latin@ community. I champion members of this community. And I encourage interaction between different
communities. Life shouldn't be spent perched on only one branch.

I've worked hard to get
those "cushy" gigs. Maybe you haven't worked as hard. Maybe your work doesn't measure up. Maybe you have no interest in these gigs. I don't care. Your career is your career. But I do think it's telling that you call these gigs "cushy" as if I didn't have to bust my ample butt to teach and produce poems.

I have no beef with you, Collin. And when you get another book out, I will be happy for you.

PS
What makes you believe you're even second draft material?

JK! Or not!

Collin said...

I've never had any beef with you at all about anything, so that's why I was shocked by the post. It was harsh and out of left field. There's been a lot of condescension aimed at poets, editors and mags on your blog lately, so I have no idea if you're trying to be funny and sarcastic of if you're just on some kind of mean streak.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that the po'biz I deal in is with poets who are mostly outside the academic circle and need a leg up in getting their work read and in front of an audience. This kind of po'biz I happily engage in and encourage. What you posted about me seems to go beyond po'biz and sounds downright personal, although I don't know you at all beyond the blogosphere.

I don't doubt that you worked hard to get where you are, Eduardo. What surprises me is the disdain you seem to have for anyone else who's also trying to get ahead. I mean, how petty is it to criticize editors and poets who get nominated for awards? It smacks of envy whether you intend it to or not.

Best of luck in whatever you do, Eduardo.

Steven D. Schroeder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eduardo C. Corral said...

O no! Did I just get smacked down by a Laureate Prize winner?

Steven D. Schroeder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eduardo C. Corral said...

Look: the Laureate Prize endows the winning poet with...

I wish I could finish that sentence, but I just don't care enough.

Steven D. Schroeder said...

$300 and publication, actually.

Collin is right that you come across as spiteful when you post stuff like this, whatever your intention. I've removed my other comments because it's pretty ridiculous to defend nominating good poems for a good award.

Eduardo C. Corral said...

Yeah!

Anonymous said...

I'm of two minds on this one. No one made any comments on your Gluck link, which was far more intriguing and potentially engaging. It might confirm for me that poets don't actually read other poets, and yet are far more concerned about what the competition "does" outside of the work. If that's the case, maybe it's time to read a new poet only when he/she has two books out. How many do you have? Actually it might be time to stop reading poetry blogs. Lots of whining, not much work.

Jilly said...

Phelps has a mild case of Marfan's, which causes a high-arched palate and dental crowding -- that's why his teeth are funky.

Keith said...

This has been extremely entertaining for me to read. Thanks, everyone.